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First Peoples

All communities have stories that describe their beginning. These stories connect the community to the world at large, and they establish the foundations for group behavior and unity. This traditional history is carefully nurtured, guarded, and passed from one generation to the next, for it serves as the soul of the community. Traditional stories incorporate factual accounts of events and the creative interpretations necessary to engage community members and weave diverse narratives into a coherent whole. Inappropriate behavior is identified and the punishments prescribed; appropriate behavior is extolled and the rewards detailed. These stories prepare individuals for membership in their... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: Ojibwe Place Names in Wisconsin, ca. 1890  Ojibwe Place Names in Wisconsin, ca. 1890
Link to article: Ancient copper mines are discovered in 1848  Ancient copper mines are discovered in 1848
Link to article: Menominee Vocabulary, 1893  Menominee Vocabulary, 1893
Link to artifacts: Copper tools from Northern Wisconsin, 4000-1,200 B.C.  Copper tools from Northern Wisconsin, 4000-1,200 B.C.
Link to artifacts: An Oneota ceramic vessel, ca. 1500-1625  An Oneota ceramic vessel, ca. 1500-1625
Link to book: Statistics on government schools for Indians, 1899  Statistics on government schools for Indians, 1899
Link to book: A Ho-Chunk grammar textbook, 1945  A Ho-Chunk grammar textbook, 1945
Link to book: A speech by Brothertown Indian leader Samsom Occom, 1771  A speech by Brothertown Indian leader Samsom Occom, 1771
Link to book: A guide to the Mohican language, 1789  A guide to the Mohican language, 1789
Link to book: The language spoken by the Brothertown Indians when Europeans arrived in America  The language spoken by the Brothertown Indians when Europeans arrived in America
Link to book: A modern dictionary of the Menominee language  A modern dictionary of the Menominee language
Link to book: A life of Jesus in Ottawa, 1837  A life of Jesus in Ottawa, 1837
Link to book: A religious primer in Mohican, 1818  A religious primer in Mohican, 1818
Link to book: An Oneida prayer-book, 1816  An Oneida prayer-book, 1816
Link to book: A missionary's speech in Oneida, 1815.  A missionary's speech in Oneida, 1815.
Link to book: An Oneida spelling book for children, 1820  An Oneida spelling book for children, 1820
Link to book: The language of the Brothertown Indians' ancestors, 1722  The language of the Brothertown Indians' ancestors, 1722
Link to book: Fr. Baraga's 1853 Ojibwe Dictionary  Fr. Baraga's 1853 Ojibwe Dictionary
Link to book: The sports and games of Indians  The sports and games of Indians
Link to book: The first book printed in Wisconsin, an Ojibwe almanac  The first book printed in Wisconsin, an Ojibwe almanac
Link to book: Report on the Menominee at Termination, 1958  Report on the Menominee at Termination, 1958
Link to book: An Early Archaeological Report on the Old Copper Culture  An Early Archaeological Report on the Old Copper Culture
Link to images: 5,000-year-old tools from Crawford County.  5,000-year-old tools from Crawford County.
Link to manuscript: A Long Ho-Chunk Vocabulary, 1880  A Long Ho-Chunk Vocabulary, 1880
Link to manuscript: Brief Ho-Chunk Language Vocabularies, 1830-1930  Brief Ho-Chunk Language Vocabularies, 1830-1930
Link to manuscript: Frank Bridgman's Menominee vocabulary, 1878  Frank Bridgman's Menominee vocabulary, 1878
Link to manuscript: The creation narrative of the Ho-Chunk Indians, recorded about 1850.  The creation narrative of the Ho-Chunk Indians, recorded about 1850.
Link to manuscript: American Indian language manuscripts at the Wisconsin Historical Society, 2010  American Indian language manuscripts at the Wisconsin Historical Society, 2010
Link to manuscript: Alfred Bridgman's English-Menominee word list from the 1870s  Alfred Bridgman's English-Menominee word list from the 1870s
Link to manuscript: Brief Potawatomi Language Vocabularies, 1920-1932.  Brief Potawatomi Language Vocabularies, 1920-1932.

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to article: The creation narrative of the Menominee Indians, from their Web site  The creation narrative of the Menominee Indians, from their Web site
Link to artifacts: The traditional Menominee clan system  The traditional Menominee clan system
Link to book: William Pidgeon proposes a vanished race in 1852.  William Pidgeon proposes a vanished race in 1852.

Related Links

Visit our archaeology Web pages
Read about our "People of the Woodlands" museum exhibition
Visit the Web site of the Menominee Indian Tribe
Visit the Web site of the Ho-chunk Nation
The Boaz Mastodon, from the Univ. of Wisconsin Geology Museum
The best book on Wisconsin's Indian mounds, by WHS archaeologists
Discover the standard book about Wisconsin Indians, by Patty Loew
Learn about the monographs in our Museum's Archaeology Research Series
Discover classroom resources available from our Office of School Services
Read about excavation of a Paleoindian campsite in Price Co.
More about the Crow Hollow site in Crawford County
Search our catalogs for materials on this topic that aren't yet available online.
Borrow books about this topic through our interlibrary loan service
Borrow manuscripts about this topic through our Area Research Center network.
A recent article on ancient copper mining in Northern Wisconsin
Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
Arrange a tour on this topic at our Museum

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