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Paniwasąga Pani Blanc Ho-Chunk

Chief Paniwasąga Pani Blanc Ho-Chunk
Born [date unknown] in Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in the Baraboo area of Sauk County, Wisconsin, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 24 Aug 2019
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Paniwasąga Ho-Chunk is a part of Wisconsin history.
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Paniwasąga was Ho-Chunk.
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Paniwasąga Ho-Chunk is Notable.




Pani is a loan word from Algonquian languages that means "slave." It is also the term for a Pawnee. This individual, however, was a person of note, the son of White Crow, whose name is variously rendered as Pania Blanc, "Pawnee," Paneewasaka, "Pony Blaw," Vane Blanc, and "White Pawnee." As to the name Paniwasąga, it is unclear how it is to be analyzed. Pani, as noted, means Pawnee, the name of an Indian tribe to the west. The syllable means, "pale, white." However, wasą means, "to be jealous of"; yet the translation of this name in both French and English is not "Jealous of the Pawnees," but "White Pawnee." So the element -wa- is of obscure meaning.


"This devotion to dress and appearance seemed not altogether out of place in a youthful dandy; but we had likewise an old one of the same stamp. Pawnee Blanc, or the White Pawnee, surpassed his younger competitor [the nephew of Four Legs], if possible, in attention to his personal attractions. Upon the present occasion he appeared in all his finery, and went through the customary salutations with an air of solemn dignity, then walked, as did the others, into the parlor (for I had received them in the hall), where they all seated themselves upon the floor. ... Pawnee was among the happy number remembered in the distribution; so, donning at once his new costume, and tying a few additional bunches of gay-colored ribbons to a long spear, that was always his baton of ceremony, he came at once, followed by an admiring train, chiefly of women, to pay me a visit of state. The solemn gravity of his countenance, as he motioned away those who would approach too near and finger his newly-received finery — the dignity with which he strutted along, edging this way and that to avoid any possible contact from homely, every-day wardrobes — augured well for a continuance of propriety and self-respect, and a due consideration of the good opinion of all around." (Kinzie, 82-83)


Paniwasąga, the son of White Crow, was also known as "Vane Blanc." It was said that he had "fought bravely and openly beside Pierre Poquette at the battle of Wisconsin Heights." Pawnee Blanc, "a notable chief," was murdered by an early settler of the Baraboo region named "Abraham Wood," probably in the spring of 1839. Wood ran a "grog shop," and Pawnee Blanc, unable to purchase any liquor, attempted to gain some at knife point, whereupon Wood struck him in the head with a stick, killing him. He narrowly escaped lynching by the Indians gathered outside. In Green Bay, however, no indictment was returned against him.


"The Pawnee was buried in a large conical mound some five or six feet high, at what is now the city end of the Wisconsin-river bridge — just across the river from where our house was afterwards located (near 43.537573, -89.474118). These ancient earthworks were frequently selected as burial places by the Indians, because of their prominence in the landscape. I never heard the Winnebagoes talk about the origin of these mounds. I presume that they have always taken them to be of natural formation. Their name for them is "hchi-a-shoke" [xeoš’ók], which simply means, "a small rising of ground." This particular mound has lately been graded down, in street improvements, but whether the Pawnee's bones were found in it or not I do not know." (Paquette, 431-432)


  • Juliette Augusta McGill Kinzie, Wau-Bun, The "Early Day" in the North-west (Chicago & New York: Rand, McNally & Company, 1873 [1856]).
  • "Additions and Corrections," Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, X (1888): 496.
  • Milo M. Quaife, "The First Settler of Baraboo," The Wisconsin Magazine of History, 1 (1917): 319-321 [321].
  • de la Ronde, "Personal Narrative," Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, VII (1876) 345-365 [360].
  • Moses Paquette, "The Wisconsin Winnebago," Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, XII (1892): 399-433 [429].


Thank you Richard Dieterle for the research into and creation of this profile. See his contributions to this profile.

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Comments: 2

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[Comment Deleted]
posted by Richard Dieterle
deleted by Richard Dieterle
If he used the name "Pani Blanc" then it could go in the preferred name field instead of the middle name field. I usually avoid putting European-language names as preferred unless I know for a fact that the person actually used it by choice. Still might be questionable whether it was actually liked by the person or just used because it made life simpler when interacting with whites. You seem to have great information on these folks, so you should just use your best judgement as to which field is better.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes

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