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Waxopįnįwįga (Sauk) Winneshiek (abt. 1790)

Waxopįnįwįga (Spirit Woman) Winneshiek formerly Sauk
Born about in Wisconsinmap
Daughter of and [mother unknown]
Wife of — married 1811 in Wisconsinmap
Descendants descendants
Died [date unknown] [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 3 Nov 2019
This page has been accessed 85 times.
Spirit Woman was Sauk.
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Spirit Woman was Ho-Chunk.


The name Wau-sho-pe-we-kaw is a distorted version of Jipson's Wa-ko-pee-nee-wee-ga, which itself is a less corrupted form of Waxopįnįwįga, the sho of the first and the ko of the second being attempts to render the palatal /k/ now represented by the letter /x/. Waxopįnįwįga comes from Waxopįnį, "Spirit"; -wį-, a feminine gender infix; and -ga, a definite article suffix used in personal names. The name, at least superficially, means, "Spirit Woman." However, the standard word for a Frenchman was Waxopįnį, or Waxopįnįska ("White Spirit"). So her name might also mean "French Woman," suggesting descent from that nationality.


"The 1857 annuity rolls (101) show the following consecutive heads of family: Nau he Kaw [or fourth-born son, probably Ben Winneshiek]; Winnoshik [Coming Thunder]; Hoon Kaw; Wau sho pe we kaw [Coming Thunder’s mother]. Hau kaw kaw [or third-born son, who was probably “Ha-ya-ka-kay,” brother of “Hoon kaw,” otherwise known as Short Wing]." (Waggoner, 47, nt. 94)

However, Jipson says on the testimony of Winneshiek descendants, "“The elder Winneshiek, Ma-wa-ra-ga … wife’s name was Wa-ko-pee-nee-wee-ga. She was said to have been a sister to White Cloud, the so-called Winnebago Prophet, of Black Hawk War fame.” (Jipson, 211)

Waggoner adds further (29b), "Winneshiek’s involvement was grounded in kinship, as his maternal grandfather was a Sauk man and his maternal uncle, White Cloud (known as 'the Winnebago Prophet'), was Black Hawk’s principal spokesperson. The Ho-Chunk’s avuncular kinship system imparts a close relationship between a mother’s son and her brother that entails obligations on both sides." This means that Spirit Woman's brother was White Cloud and that her father was Sauk.



Thank you Richard Dieterle for the initial research into and creation of this profile. See the original Change list.

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Comments: 2

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May I point out, ever so humbly, that you've made White Cloud Hochunk, but his sister, Sauk. Blah, blah, blah ... then something about a goose and a gander.
posted by Richard Dieterle
I asked about this on White Cloud's profile. While their father was Sauk, White Cloud identified himself as Ho-chunk.
posted by Jillaine Smith

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Categories: Sauk | Ho-Chunk