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Ho-Chunk Indians

Learn about the famous Ho-Chunk Indians also known as the Winnebago.

Emily K

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Ho-Chunk Indians

By: Emily Konchan Ho-Chunk Indians Where did the Ho-Chunks originate from on the North American continent?

They originated at Red Banks, which is in present day Green Bay, Wisconsin. Ho-Chunk Creation Story

The creator realized nothing was around him and began to cry. His tears formed all of the lakes, oceans, rivers and seas. He liked this but did not think the world was “quiet and steady”, so he made trees, grass, rocks, wind, the four directions, and he formed people out of clay. He created four brothers that would keep the world safe and be the chief leaders. He created more people to fill the tribes. He gave them a plant he told them was very important: tobacco. He also gave them fire. But the people did not know about death, and when the oldest chief died they went to the east wind spirit and asked him what to do. He told them to go to the north wind spirit who also told them to go to the west wind spirit. Finally, he told them to go to the south wind spirit. There, all the wind spirits were gathered and the three remaining brothers asked what to do about their brother. They explained to the brothers about death and how the dead brother’s soul would travel west to a village just for them. They then buried their brother with some tobacco, facing the west, so that he would travel to the village quicker. That is how the Ho-Chunk believe the earth started. What kind of environment did they live in and how did they use it?

The Ho-Chunk lived in an environment with lakes, rivers, forests, and prairies. Before the Europeans came, the Ho-Chunks focused on using the lakes and rivers for fishing, hunting animals in the prairies or forests, and gathering wild rice, tree sap, nuts, and berries. After the Europeans came, they mostly depended on subsistence farming. What did people do on a regular basis? Children would mostly go to school, do chores, and for fun they would play with corn husk dolls and play games. Some kids would like to hunt, fish, or camp outdoors. Men would hunt or go to war to protect their families. Women did farming, cooking, cleaning, and took care of the children. (Ho-Chunk houses) What were there relationships with the tribes surrounding them? The Ho-Chunk tribe was a very peaceful group that did not like to fight. They shared similar characteristics with their surrounding tribes which included the Ojibwe and Potawatomi, Dakota Sioux, and the Menominee. With these shared characteristics, all of the tribes were good neighbors and stayed peaceful. What happened when the Europeans came? French explorer, Jean Nicolet, discovered the Ho-Chunk tribe. The French called the Ho-Chunks “Winnebago”, which means “Stinking Water” because lived along smelly marshes and spring die-offs of fish. They suffered diseases, famine, and defeat against their European enemies which reduced their population from 5,000 people, to less than 1,000. Once they started accepting the fact that they had to trade with the Europeans, their population increased. They signed their first peace and loyalty treaty with the Americans in 1816. (Nicolet's landing at Green Bay) CULTURAL ASPECTS What kind of clothing did they wear?

Men wore breechclout and leggings, sometimes with a shirt. The women wore deer-skin tunic dresses. For shoes, they wore moccasins, and if it was cold they wore buffalo coats. What is a popular Ho-Chunk dish? Ho-Chunk Fry Bread – Fry Bread is pretty self-explanatory. It is the basic Ho-Chunk bread recipe, cut into thin strips, and fried. It can be served with soup or also used as a dessert, covered with honey, cinnamon, or sugar. How do they celebrate life? The Ho-Chunk Indians have a huge celebration when it’s someone’s birthday. Anybody can come to the party that is part of the tribe. The parties last all through the day and into the night. The birthday boy or girl can eat whatever they like and it will be made for them. A special cake is made that is shown to all of the guests and it is considered a huge honor to cut the cake. There is also a traditional “hand game” played at birthday parties. An adult holds either a bone or stone in his or her hands and the children all try to guess where it is. FAMOUS PEOPLE Red Bird – He was one of the most friendly and trusted Ho-Chunk chiefs.
Glory of the Morning – She was the last known women chief of the Ho-Chunk tribe.
Mountain Wolf Women – She wrote an autobiography and also there is a book written about her based on her autobiography. Both books describe life as a girl in the Ho-Chunk tribe.
Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. – He was a Ho-Chunk man that was a corporal in the US Army. He received the Medal of Honor on April 4, 1951 for spotting Chinese communist forces and giving alarm before anybody knew they were there. RED BIRD Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. Ho-Chunks Today A volunteer group called Wisconsin Winnebago Acting Business Committee has really improved the life of the Ho-Chunks in the past 50 years. With their help, the Ho-Chunk have their own constitution, hundreds of acres of tribal trust land in areas such as Black River Falls, Wisconsin Dells, Tomah, Wisconsin Rapids, and Wittenberg, historical site protection, and much more. They have also changed their name to the Ho-Chunk Nation. Currently the population is around 6,560. One current issue right now is that the Ho-Chunk tribe wants to change its intergovernmental agreement with the Shawano County for Sheriff’s Department Services. The Public Safety Committee doesn’t want to change the agreement because they claim they feel it’s “A path they do not want to go down”. (Where Ho-Chunks are located today in Wisconsin) I HOPE YOU LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE HO-CHUNK INDIANS! Sources: •http://www.mpm.edu/wirp/icw-150.html
•http://www.ho-chunknation.com/?PageId=28 Random Fact!

The Ho-Chunk Indians are also called the Winnebago.
Winnebago means "stinking water" and was a name given to the Ho-Chunk Indians by the French because they lived by smelly marsh areas and spring die-offs of fish.
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