Kųnųsepka Dark First Son
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Kųnųsepka Dark First Son (abt. 1770 - aft. 1839)

Kųnųsepka "Co-no-saip-kah" Dark First Son
Born about [location unknown]
Son of and [mother unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died after after about age 69 [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 24 Nov 2019
This page has been accessed 199 times.
Kųnųsepka was Ho-Chunk.



"Stephen Mack of Pecatonic, Winebago County, State of Illinois being sworn saith that he has been married about ten years, that his wife is named Hononegah, and that she is of three fourths or full Winebago blood That the father of Sd woman was named Blacksmith and resided at or near the four Lakes, and has been dead about 18 years. Deponent has been unable to ascertain fully whether Sd Blacksmith was a half, or a full Blood Wiinebago, but knows that he was at least half — The mother of Deponent’s wife was a full Blood Winebago woman, has been dead Several years — Deponent’s wife has one sister and three Uncles now living in the vicinity of this place [Prairie du Chien]. The Uncles names are Co-no saip kah (or Little Black), Es tche e she sheek, and Ho ro hon kak — the sisters name is We hun see gah." (Waggoner, 25a)

"Ho, no, we, gah had been brought up, as deponent believes, & heard, by her Uncles, of whom Co-no-ship-kah is now the only survivor, as deponent [Narcisse Levaque] believes …" (Waggoner, 28a)

"Deponent (Stephen Mack) further saith, that ... The said Ho. no. ne. gah was left a orphan at a young age: & was brought up by her uncles, one of whom was Co. no. shep. kah." (Waggoner, 29a)

"Deponent (Oliver Armel) is acquainted with Mrs. Mack, the Wife of said Stephen, and knows her to be a Winnebago Woman of full blood … He knew Mrs. Mack before her marriage; she was an orphan living with her uncles, and of pure, unmixed Winnebago blood, as he always heard among the said Indians." (Waggoner, 30a)


Co-no-ship-kah is for Kųnųsepka, from Kųnų, a birth order name for the first son; sep, "dark, black"; and -ka, a definite article suffix used in personal names. The name means, "Dark First Son," and may refer to his complexion, as is probably the case with his niece, "Brown Second Daughter."


Inasmuch as his brother's name is Xorahųka, an attested Eagle Clan name, Kųnųsepka is also a member of this clan, since membership is patrilineal.


Kųnųsepka had two brothers: Hišjahįšišika, “Bad Eyelashes”; and Xorahųka, “Bald Eagle Chief.” Since the Kųnų in his name means "First Born Son," it follows that the other two are his younger brothers, whom he nevertheless outlived. Hocąk culture has the avunculate in which nieces and nephews have their strongest bond with their maternal uncles. Brothers also guard the welfare of their sisters. It is with them that their nieces would live should their parents die. Xųnųnįka's mother, Hīnū́gā, was the first born daughter and may have been older than any of her brothers, and therefore she may have been the first among her siblings to have died.


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Categories: Ho-Chunk