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Little Decora (abt. 1766 - 1836)

Little "Cha-ge-ka-ka" Decora
Born about in Wisconsin, New Francemap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Lower Barribault [Baraboo] Village, No. 1, Caledonia, Columbia, Wisconsin Territory, United Statesmap
Profile manager: Sue Otness private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 1 Sep 2019
This page has been accessed 302 times.
Little was Ho-Chunk.



Chagekaka's name in Catholic church records was John Decorah. His daughter, Angelique's records show Jno. Decorah as her father.


The attempted phonetic rendering of his Hocąk name Cha-ge-ka-ka is ambiguous. If the initial Cha is understood, as it often is, as an /ē/ and not an /a/ in its pronunciation, giving us Cegekaga, then the name could mean "Young New One" or "Young First One". It can be derived from cēk, "first, new", heka, "young", and -ga, a definite article suffix used in personal names. Heka is a rare word, and phonetic /a/ is more often rendered /a/ than it is /ē/. So the result must be considered speculative. However, it may explain the origins of the name "Little".

Succession and Death

"In 1836, the Indians had the misfortune of losing the best of their chiefs, Scha-chip-ka-ka [Čaxšépsgaga], or De-kau-ry. His death occurred April 20, at the age of ninety, at his village ... He was succeeded by his son, called by the whites Little De-kau-ry, whose Indian name was Cha-ge-ka-ka; and he did not long survive, dying six months after his father. He was succeeded by his brother, Ho-pe-ne-scha-ka [Xopį́nįskága], or White French." (de la Ronde, 355-356)


  • John T. de la Ronde, "Personal Narrative," Wisconsin Historical Collections, 7 (1876): 345-365.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Little by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Little:

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D  >  Decora  >  Little Decora

Categories: Ho-Chunk