Cho-non-ka-honk-ka is for Čonąkehųka, from Čo-nąke, an old name for the Bear Clan, literally meaning, "Blue Back"; hųk, "chief"; and -ka, a definite article suffix used in personal names. The name therefore means, "Bear Clan Chief," a name of that clan given to first born males.
According to the 1910 census (family 304), he was born in South Dakota. The 1900 census records Oliver as having been a widower, so it may be that he married quite young, but his first wife (unknown name) died shortly thereafter. A marriage certificate shows that he married Jessie White (Greenhair) on 26 January 1901, when she was 19 years old. This census had originally recorded the years of marriage between Oliver and Emma Rave to have been 14 (1896), but this was crossed out, and 3 entered instead. This means that they were married in 1907.
"Oliver was born in 1879. He lived in Winnebago nearly all his life. His Winnebago name is Cho-non-ka-honk-ka, meaning 'Bear Clan Chief.' In 1907 he was employed to secure information for Dr. Paul Radin of the United States Bureau of Ethnology, a position which he held for four years. He collected practically all the information for Dr. Radin’s book on the Winnebagoes, and during the period accompanied Dr. Radin to New York and Washington. He is probably the best informed man now living on the subjects of Winnebago religion, mythology and folk-lore." (Jipson, 257)
"Oliver laMere, Angel DeCora's cousin, wrote several books and articles concerning Winnebago mythology and legends, including Winnebago Stories published in 1928. His article, "Winnebago Legends-the Thunder, the Eagle, and War Clans," was published in The Wisconsin Archaeologist of 1922. During his career he was an interpreter, a Winnebago tribal councilman, and vice president of the Grand Council of North American Indians. He was also a member of the Society of American Indians, as was Angel, and came to know and admire her in that context. On the occasion of her death in 1919, he prepared a memorial calendar in her honor." (McAnulty, 144)
He is buried at Saint Augustine Mission Cemetery, Winnebago, Thurston County, Nebraska, USA. (Find a Grave)
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