No-gin-kah Winneshiek
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Nójįga Winneshiek (1850 - 1920)

Nójįga (No-gin-kah) "Little Winneshiek" Winneshiek
Born [location unknown]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died at about age 70 [location unknown]
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Profile last modified | Created 20 Oct 2019
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No-gin-kah was Ho-Chunk.



Little Winneshiek was born in 1850. He is the son of Coming Thunder Winneshiek.


No-gin-kah is for Nójįga, "He who Hits a Tree," a personal name in the Thunderbird Clan. It refers to the propensity of the Thunderbirds to strike trees with their thunder weapons. (Radin) It derives from no, an older form of , "tree, wood"; , "to strike; to be hard"; and -ga, a definite article suffix used for personal names.


"No-gin-kah (meaning, Striking Tree and Younger Winneshiek) is the youngest son of Chief Winneshiek, or Coming Thunder. He is seventy years old and is still living in Wisconsin. He is more commonly known as Little Winneshiek. No-gin-kah says, 'John Winneshiek and I are the only sons of Chief Winneshiek living and his other descendants produced by our deceased brothers and sisters diverge into a very large family'." (Hexom, 47)

"He was a believer in the old Winnebago religion and is said to have mistrusted the whites. He had a small farm and during the summer months, could be seen in his field cultivating his crops, with a horse and cultivator and clad only in a blanket which reached to his knees." (Jipson, 222)


Waggoner (47, nt. 94) says, "Hounka was likely Coming Thunder Winneshiek’s brother, not son. Winneshiek’s father, who died in 1848, was Chief Mawaragah Winneshiek. He had four sons, only two of whom were well known: Coming Thunder, the eldest, and Short Wing. His other sons were probably Hounka or “Hoon kaw” and Ben Winneshiek. Coming Thunder in turn had three sons whose English names were John, George, and Little Winneshiek. Hughes thought that George might have been Hounka, but I disagree, because he was too young. 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.


"He further states that, 'The medals issued to Winnebago chiefs by the United States Government are lost, the one described by Geo. W. Kingsley was lost by one of my elder brothers. I have only one medal in my possession, on which is engraved King George the 3d and Latin inscriptions [this medal, (with the exception of a slight variation in size) conforms to a description of the one issued by the British military authorities in 1778]'." (Hexom, 47; Jipson, 222)


He died Sept. 22, 1920. (Jipson, 222)


  • Charles Philip Hexom, Indian History of Winneshiek County (Decorah, Iowa: A. K. Bailey and Son, Inc., 1913).
  • Paul Radin, Personal Reminiscences of a Winnebago Indian, Journal of American Folk-Lore, 26, #102 (1913): 293-318 [300-303]. Informant: Sam Blowsnake, Thunderbird Clan.
  • 1904 Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M595, 692 rolls); Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Roll: M595_663; Page: 1; Line: 1; Agency: Winnebago.
  • Norton William Jipson, Story of the Winnebagoes (Chicago: The Chicago Historical Society, 1923). This is an unpublished typescript.
  • Receipt Roll, Winnebago 1857, Box 5, Winnebago Agency, RG75, NARA–Central Plains.
  • Linda M. Waggoner, "Sibley’s Winnebago Prisoners: Deconstructing Race and Recovering Kinship in the Dakota War of 1862," Great Plains Quarterly (2013).


Thank you Richard Dieterle for the initial research into and creation of this profile.

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Categories: Ho-Chunk