Indian Names on Wisconsin's Map
"Of all the states of the American union, none has a name that has been spelled in more ways, or interpreted more variously, than Wisconsin. Among the spellings listed are Mesconsin, Meskousing, Mishkonsing, Ouisconsens, Ouisconsin, Ouisconsing, Ouiscousing, Ouiskonsin, Owisconsing, Quisconsing, Weeskonsan, Wisconsan, Wisconsin, Wishkonsing, and Wiskonsin. The name has been attributed to the French, Menominee, Ojibwa, Potawatami, Sauk-Fox, and Winnebago languages."
Place names are cultural artifacts that tell us as much about how people lived as do relics dug from the ground, writes Virgil Vogel, one of America's foremost authorities on place names. They are historical records from which the location and migration of people, plants, and animals can be charted. Onalaska and Aztalan, not surprisingly, are place names transplanted to Wisconsin from the far north and south. Some names tell of topographic features that have long since disappeared or are little noticed today. Beaver Dam once had an Indian name meaning just that; Sheboygan, "big pipe" in Ojibwa, described the shape of a river bend. Other names are vestiges of ancient languages nowhere else recorded. Some commemorate historic events: Winneconne is believed by many to mean "place of the skulls."
The Indian names of Wisconsin's towns, rivers, and lakes reveal the minds of the Indian peoples, their cosmic views, their values, their relation to their environment , and their ways of life and convey as well something of the history of their white invaders.
Virgil Vogel's thirty years of research into Native American influence on geographical names has resulted in an absorbing account that illuminates the history and culture of Wisconsin Indians. Vogel tells his story thematically—names from the spirit world, names of trails and portages, French-Indian personal names, tribal names, and so on—to show that place names are part of a larger cultural and natural world. In recovering the history and meaning of these names, he has restored an important and colorful part of America's heritage.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Literary and Legendary Names
The Spirit World
Ethnicity Gender Rank Occupation and Age
Names from Fauna
Names from Flora
Names from South of the Border
Other editions - View all
aboriginal Algonquian American Indians Baraga Bayfield County Black Hawk called Carver Chicago chief Chippewa Creek Dakota Dane County Decorah Dictionary Dodge County Father Flambeau Forest County Fox River French Gard and Sorden Geographical Names Green Bay Handbook of American Hiawatha Historical Society History Hodge Huron Illinois Indian names Indian Place Names Indian Treaties Indian Tribes Iowa Iroquois Island Jipson Kappler Kuhm Lake Superior land Langlade Marinette Marinette County meaning Menomini Indians Milwaukee Minnesota Mississippi names in Wisconsin Narrative Nicollet North Oconto County Ojibwa Ojibwa name Ojibwa word Ojibway Nation Oneida County origin Oshkosh Otchipwe Language Ottawa Park Polk County Portage Potawatomi Prairie Rock Sauk Sauk County Sawyer County Schoolcraft Shawano Shawano County signifies Sioux Skinner spelled Swanton term tion town Township tribal name Vernon County Verwyst Vilas County village Washburn County Washington Waupaca William Winneshiek Wisconsin Place Names Wisconsin River wrote York