A Long Ho-Chunk Vocabulary, 1880

Vocabulary of the Winnebago Indians

The creator of this vocabulary, Thomas George (1842-1929), grew up with Ho-Chunk children around his father's trading post at New Lisbon, Juneau Co. In 1880 John W. Powell, Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology, distributed 150 pages of forms with his Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages, asking readers to gather American Indian language vocabularies. George used a copy of Powell's forms and, assisted by Ho-Chunk friends Big Bear, of Friendship, Wis., and Big Thunder, collected the roughly 70 pages of terms listed here. They are followed by ca. 25 pages of other manuscript notes on Ho-Chunk terms, and manuscript notes made by Lyman C. Draper about George and his sources that were found in the volume. We have also included Powell's preface outlining the project to gather Native American word lists. This is one of several works on American Indian languages to be found at Turning Points in Wisconsin History. Readers should note that this is a historical document rather than a modern one, and that it was produced by a white observer rather than a native speaker; students wishing to study the language should rely on materials produced by the tribal language office.

Related Topics: Early Native Peoples
Explorers, Traders, and Settlers
First Peoples
Colonialism Transforms Indian Life
Treaty Councils, from Prairie du Chien to Madeline Island
Indians in the 20th Century
Creator: George, Thomas J.
Pub Data: Unpublished manuscript, "Vocabulary of the Winnebago Indians," U.S. Mss 2F in the Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Citation: George, Thomas J. "Vocabulary of the Winnebago Indians." U.S. Mss 2F in the Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1654; Visited on: 2/7/2023