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Hinųga Yellow Thunder (abt. 1800)

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Hinųga Yellow Thunder
Born about in Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died [date unknown] in Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 21 Feb 2020 | Created 25 Aug 2019
This page has been accessed 19 times.
Hinųga Yellow Thunder was a Native American and member of the Ho-Chunk tribe.

Biography

Hinųga is a birth-order name given to the first female child born to a family.

The biography of Yellow Thunder's eldest daughter has become legendary. Her story is shared by both the Dakota and the Hočągara. The Dakota give the background of this story. Witcheain, the daughter of Waubasha, a chief among the Dakota, was infatuated with the warrior Chaska. Chaska attempted to flee her affections, and was given asylum among the Hočągara. The warriors of Remnechee's, Chaska's father, and Wabasha met to fight the issue out, when through the magical power of the chief priest, whom Witcheain had enlisted, a terrible explosion was caused that cast a large region of Remnechee's land far downstream on the Mississippi. Soon Witcheain with a band of warriors arrived in the Hočąk village.

"Just above the present landing, at the mouth of the La Crosse river, known to ancient Dah-ko-tahs as Chapa-cah-pu-tay, or "Beaver Alder" stream, from the growth of tag-alder on the branch and the work of beaver cuttings, the party discovered the smoke of an Indian camp on the branch that entered at North La Crosse or the Fifth ward of to-day. Paddling up the sluggish lake of the Minnie Sappah or "black water" of Black river, they came to a large encampment of the Ho-chunga-rah [Hočągara] or Winnebago tribe, who, when asked if Chaska [Ćaské] was there, acknowledged that he had been, but was then at the camp of Yellow Thunder, to the east of the present village of Onalaska. Thither with due haste the enamored maiden repaired, and found her inconstant Chaska paying court to the most prominent charms of He-noo-gah [Hinųga] Yellow Thunder's oldest daughter. He-noo-gah was famous for her beautifully rounded breasts, and although she affected a modesty not her own, by covering them with Indian lace, woven from the strong fibre of the wild linen of the west, a kind of asclepias [milkweed], the gauzy material only piqued the curiosity of Chaska, who, in an unguarded moment, was making some allusion to the symmetry of her form, when Witch-e-ain broke in upon their privacy. With distended nostrils and flashing eyes, she hurled herself upon the yielding form of He-noo-gah, as if to rend her into fragments, but bethinking herself in time of a word-charm given her before her departure from Ouse-shoots-cah [Usšučka], or Rem-nee-che, by the venerated priest, to be used only in an emergency where she herself was in danger, she ceased her attack, and then in scornful menace told He-noo-gah that from that time on her breasts, lauded by Chaska and her people, should leave her to adorn two peaks which she pointed out and named Wah-kan-ka-ma-ma [Wakáñka-mamá], or "Old Woman's Breasts," for you shall soon wither. But the Winnebagoes, after failing in their incantations to overcome the magic of Witcheain, called in admiring remembrance of their own He-noo-gah's perfect symmetry, E-nook-wah-ze-rah [Hinųkwazera], meaning the "Woman's Mountain Breasts."

Chaska, for the time being, at least, gave up his dream of marital reformation, and took Witcheain as wife, and for some time after, the Wah-pa-sha [Wapaśa] band continued to be known as the Ki-yuk-sah band of Sioux, or those who disregarded relationship, as contrary to all customs of the Dahkotahs, they married their cousins.

He-noo-gah never married, but lived in retirement, after her misfortune, for it is true of the Winnebagoes, even today, that only the most perfect and physically vigorous, can hope to marry a chieftain, and to insure a perfect genealogical transmission, a female lodge is maintained, with especial duties assigned to it. The moon houses are also under the care and inspection of women of the lodge, and if there are any irregularities, they are at once reported to parties interested, and with power to compel reformation.

Yellow Thunder was pacified upon being assured by his own medicine men that Chaska was not to blame for the misfortune that had befallen his oldest daughter, and that he himself should prosper in his reign. The priests' words were verified, for his younger daughter married into Dah-kotah families, which cemented a strong alliance, and Chaska, in time succeeding to the title and name of Wah-pa-sha, proved himself friendly to the Winnebago people."

Sources

  • Dr. Lafayette Houghton Bunnell, Winona and its Environs on the Mississippi in Ancient and Modern Days (Winona, Minnesota: Jones & Kroeger, 1897) 113, 115-117.


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Categories: Ho-Chunk