Mąxiwiga was born about 1851 according to the 1905 Indian census. His wife, however, was born ca. 1867. If his mother had been born around 1840-45, she would have been too young to have had him as a child. His brothers were born in 1863 and 1868, so Thundercloud may have exaggerated his age by about a decade. By 1930, he had declared himself to have been born in 1838. Such exaggeration was commonplace on the frontier by both Indians and pioneers.
"Thundercloud" is a unitary name and no Anglo name is supplied in the 1905 or 1912 censuses. It is meant to translate his Hocąk name of Ma Zhee Wee Kah, which is for Mąxiwiga, from mąxiwi, "cloud" (-ga is a definite article suffix used in personal names). So the name Mąxiwiga actually just means "Cloud." Jasper Blowsnake remarks that "Wągížą Mąxíwiga higaírenąⁿ, Mąhįxētē hit’é ražᵋra Thunder-Cloud higaíreną." (Radin, Pers. Rem. 303) A nearly literal translation would be: "A man that they call 'Cloud' is called in the Big Knife tongue by the name 'Thundercloud'."
The name Moheek, short for the Moheka of the 1937 census, appears to mean, "He Arrived on Earth", from mo, and archaic form of mą, "earth, ground, land"; hī , "to arrive going, to get there"; and -ga, a definite article suffix used in personal names. This may reference his shamanistic claim to have come to earth many times by cyclical rebirth.
Thundercloud had the following children with his wife Annie (b. 1867):
He also had a child Daniel (b. 1890) with Maggie, who was later to be the wife of his brother Henry. (1930 census)
It was generally believed that Thundercloud had been blessed with extraordinary powers by the Spirits, and these included not only medical mastery, but powers that might be used in wizardry. As a consequence, he was not only respected for his skill as a doctor, but feared for his magical powers to effect ill. People accepted the idea that he had remembered past lives and previous journeys to the realm of Earthmaker, and that he had the power to bring four men with him after death to the Creator's paradise. So many vied for his favor. However, once the Native American Church became established, people ceased to view his powers in any positive terms, and for the remainder of his life, Thundercloud was feared as a wizard (waką́wąx) who could kill people by covert action at a distance. (Radin, 306-313)
He and his wife Annie are both recorded in the 1937 census, so they both lived beyond that date.
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Mąxiwiga is 29 degrees from Sitting Bull Lakota, 21 degrees from Joseph Brant, 12 degrees from Hąboguwįga De Carrie, 25 degrees from Sequoyah Gist, 27 degrees from Wilma Mankiller, 30 degrees from Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt Nez Perce, 21 degrees from Gertrude Bonnin, 33 degrees from SiʔAɬ Suquamish, 24 degrees from Houston Teehee, 18 degrees from Jim Thorpe and 38 degrees from I. Caruso on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.