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Pų́zakexètega Big Sand (abt. 1768 - bef. 1832)

Pų́zakexètega Big Sand
Born about in Wisconsin, British North Americamap
Son of and [mother unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died before before about age 64 in Wisconsinmap
Profile last modified | Created 19 Jun 2020
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Pų́zakexètega was Ho-Chunk.


Pų́zakexètega was born about 1768. He was the son of Unknown Black Otter.


Pų́zakexètega means "Big Sand," or "Big Sandbar," a name attested in the Wolf Clan, but consist with being a name in the Waterspirit Clan. It is from pų́zake, "sand, sandbar"; xete, "big. large, old"; and -ga, a definite article suffix used in personal names.


Big Sand married the sister of Thunderbird, but they had no children. His mother apparently died while giving birth to Black Otter, so he and his wife raised him. ("Black Otter's Warpath")

Military Record

"Then, one time, while the boy [Black Otter] and his brother and ever[y]body was sleeping, a man came to them at night. They had come to invite him to go on a war path. He saw that his brother got up and prepared, so he got up and prepared himself. They had invited only his brother, but when his brother left, he just went along with him. His brother just took along his war club, and Black Otter took his bow and arrows. It was late when this man came, but they traveled quite a long distance that night. Then as they went along, they heard many cries of different animals and birds on all sides; red foxes and squirrels and others. Then, in the direction they were going, they heard the howl of a wolf. So, soon, they came where the wolf was. After they reached this place they built a big fire and they counted all the warriors who were present; and from there they left and went on until daylight, and covered some distance. Then they had something to eat when they had stopped.

After that, as they went along, Big Sand walked along beside Black Otter, talking with him. This party was called Tōčą́ksįk (a small war-party). As they were going along, Big Sand told the little brother that they did not know how they would come out, whether they would be all killed or whether some would come back alive. And he also told that if most of the war party were killed and only one lived, it would be himself, Big Sand. He also said that if there were three who returned, he would be one of them. He told his little brother that his wife would be alone while they were away, so he sent the little boy back to stay with her. He walked along a little way, then he told the little boy that it was believed by the people that no two brothers should go together on a small war-path. And he told him the Šųgépaga (Dog Head) was going on a path in the spring, then everyone would go, and that he could go with them at that time. So they went on a little further, and then Black Otter turned back. ... late in the fall Big Sand came back from the war-path, very greatly emaciated. ("Black Otter's Warpath")

Big Sand did take both his young brothers, Ną̄ǧíga and Black Otter, with him in the great warparty that nearly rubbed out a Missouria village located on an island in the Missouri River. Big Sand did not distinguish himself in the battle, but his brother Black Otter won First War Honors which redounded to a considerable extent on him. They made Big Sand's wife an honorary sister, and she paraded in the victory ceremonies with the bone and bead belt that symbolized the First War honor. ("Black Otter's Warpath")


It is likely that he passed away before 1832, as he is not mentioned in Kinzie's Census Rolls.


  • Frank Weinhold, "Black Otter's Narrative: Wisconsin Native Recollections Relating to Pre-History of the Lewis-Clark Expedition," 1-27, in The Encyclopedia of Hočąk (Winnebago) Mythology.
  • Abel Green, "Black Otter's Warpath," trs. by Mitchell Red Cloud, Sr., Richard Dieterle, The Encyclopedia of Hočąk (Winnebago) Mythology
  • "Winnebago Village List, compiled by John H. Kinzie," in Richard Dieterle, The Encyclopedia of Hočąk (Winnebago) Mythology.
This profile was created by Richard L Dieterle on 19 June 2020.

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Categories: Ho-Chunk