reside in the forests of northern Wisconsin, Michigan and south-
ern Ontario and the bands which make up the Mascoutens,
or Prairie division. Tlie Forest Potawatomi still, to some ex-
tent, retain what the writer is inclined to regard as an archaic,
simple, non-intensive Algonkian culture, closely related to that
of the northern Ojibway and Cree.
The Prairie Potawotomi.
Their social organization is not so complex, their art is not
so highly developed, and their manufactures are far ruder
than those of the Prairie Band. There has, however, always
been some intercourse, and even intermarriage between the two,
yet they regard each other as separate, and both divisions feel
that the interests of the Forest Potawatomi lie rather with their
old time associates, the Ottawa, Ojibwa, and, to a lesser extent,
the Menomini, than with the Mascoutens. There are some run-
away Prairie Potawatomi settled in Wisconsin, especially at
and near Arpin, but these must not be confounded with the
true Forest Potawatomi, many of whom have always dwelt in
the state, as did their ancestors before them, and have never
roamed the Prairies of Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas. ' '
The writer points out the resemblance of the artifacts found
on known Potawatomi sites along the west shore of Lake Michi-
gan in Wisconsin, and numerous specimens of which are*.- to
be seen today in the public museums at Green Bay, Madison
and Milwaukee and in many private collections, to those found
on prehistoric Algonkian sites in central and western New York
and southern Ontario. He believes that the old home of the
historic Algonkian tribes of Wisconsin was in central and
western New York. "In their westward wanderings, it .ap-
pears that after the downfall of the Iroquois confederacy, that
the southern division of the Potawatomi, even then called
Mascoutens, and the Kickapoo, moved southward in a body to
the prairies of Illinois and Indiana. Here, over the protest of
the surviving Illinois, the Miami and Peoria, they took over
large sections of country.
Ten divisions of the Prairie Potawatomi are enumerated.
Of these the Muskodaniniuk, or Prairie Band, formerly dwelt
about the southern end of Lake Michigan, with headquarters
at Chicago, but ranged at least as far north as Milwaukee. The
Shishipani, Duck Band, were also around Chicago, the Muski-
gwani, Sunfish Band, were located about the Muskego lakes,
in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, and the Kanwa tho, Pan-
ther Band, had its headquarters at Milwaukee. Other bands
were located in Indiana, Michigan and Canada. The Prairie
Potawatomi were divided into twenty-three gentes grouped in
six weak phratries.
Several interesting chapters in the monograph are devoted
162 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST. Vol. 4, No. 2
to a consideration of the social life of the Potawatomi, child-
birth, fasting, training of girls, marriage, war customs, and
to their ceremonial activities.
The student interested in Potawatomi history and ethnology
is also referred to to the section devoted to this tribe in the
Handbook of American Indians, Part 2, and to the monograph,
"The Potawatomi," published by Publius V. Lawson, in The
Wisconsin Archeologist, v. 19 no. 2.
MEETING OF SEVERAL STATE SOCIETIES
A joint meeting of the Wisconsin Archeological Society, the
"Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, the Wis-
consin Museums Conference, and the Winnebago County Ar-
cheological and Historical Society, was, by invitation of the
last named society, held at the Oshkosh State Normal School,
on Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11. There was a good
attendance of members of all of the societies. Professor Leon
J. Cole, president of the Academy, presided at all of the meet-
ings except that of the Museums Conference, which was con-
ducted by President Arthur C. Neville. Twelve papers were
presented during the Friday morning and afternoon sessions.
Of notable interest among these were illustrated papers by
Prof. L. J. Cole on "An Unusual Agricultural Museum ;" by
W. I. Lyon on "Progress in Bird Banding", and by Albert
E. Fuller on "The Orchids of Wisconsin."
A round table discussion of museum topics lead by Mrs.
Arthur C. Neville and Miss Deborah B. Martin closed the morn-
The papers presented at the Saturday morning session were
by Huron H. Smith on "The Flowers of Shakespeare's Garden,"
by H. E. Cole on "The Wisconsin Military Road," by Gene
Sturtevant on "Extracts from the Letter Book of Judge James
Duane Doty", by George Overton on "Indian Remains in Win-
nebago County", by E. A. Clemens on "Development of a
Typical Wisconsin Rural Community", and by Charles E'.
Brown on "Wisconsin Archeological Researches, 1912-1925."
A visit was made by those in attendance at the meeting to
the home in the fine Sawyer mansion of the recently organized
Stone Balls. 163
Oshkosh Public museum. Here Curator N. J. Behncke and others
addressed the guests. The excellent collections in this
museum were greatly admired.
The annual dinner of the societies was held at the Athearn
hotel on Friday evening, about one hundred ladies and gentle-
men being present. Following the dinner an adjournment was
taken to the assembly room of the City high school where illustra-
ted lectures were delivered by Mr. Alonzo W. Pond on "Delv-
ing Back in History", and by Dr. S. A. Barrett on "Filming
the Moose on Isle Roy ale 7'
Throughout the two days of this very successful meeting
members of the Winnebago County Archeological Society did
everything possible for the comfort and entertainment of their
In many Wisconsin collections of Indian stone implements
there are to be seen a few, or numbers, of stone balls of vari-
ous sizes most of which were collected from Indian village sites.
The number of these in the collections of the State Historical
museum is quite large, these smooth, spherical or ovoid stones
ranging in size from one to five inches. Most are from two to
two and one-half inches in diameter. They are waterworn
stones collected by their former aboriginal owners from the
beds of streams and from gravel deposits. Rarely do they
show any trace of aboriginal modification.
Among Wisconsin collectors the probable manner in which
such stones were used by the early Indians has always been
in doubt. A few show marks indicating their probable use
as hand hammers. A small number have accompanied burials
in mounds. Some students of Wisconsin archeology have ad-
vanced the idea that these smooth, round stones may have been
employed by the early Indians in playing some rolling game.
Ethnologists have not, however, reported the former existence
of any such sport among the local tribes.
The Dakota of the Plains formerly enclosed round stones in
a piece of rawhide which they attached to a wooden handle
and used as a war club. Armstrong states that the Sioux and
Ojibwa used stone-headed clubs in some of their battles in north-
164 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST. - Vol. 4, No. 3
ern Wisconsin. The wooden ball-headed war clubs of the Chip-
pewa, Meiiomini, Potawatomi and Ojibwa of Wisconsin are prob-
ably modern representations of these former stone-headed clubs.
The wooden ball is said to represent the thunderbolts pi the
Thunderers or war gods.
Skinner says: "The (Menomim) elders speak of a type of
w r ar club, a specimen of which I once saw, owned by Kine' sa.
This was a slungshot, made by covering a small, heavy, round
stone with rawhide, and attaching it loosely by a thong to a
short leather-covered handle of wood about six inches long.
The weapon was carried by a thong which was slipped over
the wrist. As the Menomini regard pebbles and similar small
concretions as thunderbolts, or eggs, such weapons as the slung-
shot are no' doubt supposed to have additional value, in that
they struck the enemy with the power of the lightning. The
writer has seen stone-headed clubs, but longer handled, among
The Menomini and Chippewa sometimes keep round stones,
which they believe to be eggs dropped by the thunderbirds-, in
their wigwams and houses as charms against lightning strokes.
In the Milwaukee Public museum there are a number of such
stones which were collected among 'the Menomini near Keshena.
The Winnebago say that the shattered condition of the rocks
about Devils Lake is due to the eggs dropped by the Thunders
in a conflict with the water spirits inhabiting the depths of this
beautiful Wisconsin lake.
A wooden ball-headed war club in the State Historical muse-
um forms one of the contents of an old Winnebago war bundle.
Its carved head is said to represent the otter who is shown
holding a wooden ball, said to represent the earth, in his jaws.
INDIAN NAMES OF OUR WISCONSIN LAKES
Owing to the failure of former historians and map makers to
collect and preserve them the interesting and significant names
of a very large number of our beautiful Wisconsin lakes are to-
day unknown. This is greatly to be regretted. The Wisconsin
Indian tribes had names for all or nearly all of these bodies of
water, large and small. It is important that the aboriginal
Indian Names of Our Wisconsin Lakes. 165
designations of as many as possible of these lakes should be re-
covered from well-informed members of present tribes of the
state before it is too late. The same applies to the streams,
springs, hills, valleys and other physiographical features of the
state. The names of old Indian village sites and trails should
also be recovered wherever possible.
This is an important and valuable work in which many mem-
bers and friends of the Wisconsin Archeological Society may
assist. It is hoped that all will render such assistance whenever
the opportunity offers. It was not until about two years ago
that the old Winnebago names of the four Madison lakes were
recovered with the aid of a former member of the society. A list
of the early Menomini names of former village and camp sites
of members of this tribe on the shores of Green Bay and in the
Fox River valley were collected by another member and have
been published in a recent issue of the Wisconsin Archeologist.
Names and information collected should be sent to Secretary
Charles E. Brown, at Madison, where it may be preserved for
future use in the society's files.
Dr. Lawrence Martin says of our Wisconsin lakes : ' * The
total number is not known, but it reaches into the thousands.
Of these the largest is Lake Winnebago. The other lakes fall in
four groups. ' ' The first group includes the scattered, moderate-
sized lakes in eastern and southern Wisconsin. These include
the four-lake group of the Yahara river near Madison, Mendota,
Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa, as well as Lakes Koshkonong,
Geneva, Beaver, Puckaway, Poygan and Shawano, the Oconomo-
woc and Waupaca groups, and many others.
"The second group, including many hundreds of small lakes,
lie in the highland lake district of northern Wisconsin, chiefly
in Vilas, Oneida and Iron counties. All of these lakes are
small, but there are few parts of the world where so large a
portion of the total area is occupied by lakes.
"The third group is in northwestern Wisconsin, especially in
Washburn, Burnett, Polk, Barron, and Sawyer counties. These,
like the second group, are small lakes, very close together.
' ' Lastly we have Lake St. Croix and Lake Pep in long narrow
bodies of water interrupting respectively the courses of the St.
Croix and Mississippi Rivers. Allied to them are the hundreds
of small flood-plain lakes of the Mississippi bottomlands."*
The Physical Geography of Wisconsin.
166 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST. Vol. 4, No. 3
RELIGION OF THE WISCONSIN MENOMINI
' ' The present religion of the Menomini is a complex of ancient
and modern beliefs, many of which seem confused and con-
tradictory. But when examined with attention to the extraneous
influences brought to bear on the tribe within historic times,
these readily emerge from their obscurity. From the writings of
the Jesuits and other early French adventurers, and from
modern tribal practices and traditions, in many cases virtually
identical with those found in vogue by the first white chroni-
clers, it becomes apparent that the tribe has always possessed
a mass of concepts concerning the universe, which may be stat-
ed briefly as follows :
"The earth is believed to be an island, floating in an illimit-
able ocean, separating the two halves of the universe into an
upper and a lower portion, regarded as the abode of the benevo-
lent and the malevolent powers, respectively. Each portion is
divided into four superimposed tiers, inhabited by supernatural
beings, the power of whom increases in ratio to their remoteness
from the earth. In the highest tier above the earth resides the
deity to whom all others are subordinate. The testimony of the
early writers is unanimous that this being was the Sun, but he
is now, probably through missionary influence, personified as
Ihe Great Spirit (Mate Haw a. tuk), leaving the Sun in an
"Beneath the supreme being, in descending order, some say
clustered about a cylindrical opening in the heavens, are the tiers
of bird-like deities. First, in the empyrean, come the Thunder-
birds, gods of war. Associated with these, in some manner not
apparent, is the Morning Star. Next comes the realm of the
Golden or War Eagles, and the White Swan; and last, in the
stratum that touches the earth, birds of all species, headed by the
Bald Eagles and various hawks, kites, and swallows. All of
these birds, regardless of stratum, are servants and messengers
of the Great Spirit, any existing species named being thought to
be earthly representatives of the Thunderers.
* ' Except for the Sun and the Morning Star, little attention is
paid to the heavenly bodies. The Moon is regarded as possessed
of power, but it is not important. There are also certain minor
sacred personages who shall dwell in the sky-country, among
Religion of the Wisconsin Menomini. 167
whom are several sisters who preside over the destinies of women,
and to whom various colors are appropriate. Their place in the
heavenly strata is not fixed.
1 ' Beneath the earth, there is, the lowest tier, the Great White
Bear with a long copper tail, who, in addition to being the chief
and patron of all earthly bears and the traditional ancestor of
the Menomini tribe, is the principal power for evil. He has, as
a servant, a mythical hairless bear. Next, in ascending order,
is the great Underground Panther, who figures extensively in
the demonology of the Central Algonkian and Southern Siouan
tribes. He is represented on earth by the panther and the lynx.
Next is the White Deer, prominent in the origin myth of the
Medicine Dance. Last of all, close to the earth, and often visible
to its inhabitants, is the Horned Hairy Serpent so generally
found in North American mythology. "The earth itself is
peopled by a myriad of fantastic hobgoblins. Cannibal giants
dwell in the icy region of the north ; a malevolent living
skeleton, with death-dealing eyes, haunts the forests after night-
fall. Similar to him, but less terrible, is a mysterious person
bearing a sacred bundle upon his back, who, like the Wandering
Jew, is doomed to travel ceaselessly in expiation of some for-
gotten sin. He wrestles with Indians from time to time, and, if
he is overcome, grants his conqueror long life ; if he is the victor,
the days of the vanquished are numbered.
' ' A race of pygmies inhabits remote rocky fastnesses. A well-
disposed elf smites people on the head with a soft warclub,
causing sleep. Flying heads and skulls, of varying intentions
towards the race of men, exist and there is a mysterious man who
follows and molests belated travelers. Rocks, ponds and hills
have their fancied denizens. All species of animals are ruled by
supernatural chiefs, mostly dwelling underground, and these,
with the Powers of the Underworld, show themselves on earth
from time to time. In swamp-holes, lakes, and rivers, under
waterfalls, and in lonely hills may be found stray horned snakes,
bears, panthers, and, in modern times, dogs, hogs, and horses.
Wringing their living from a reluctant earth filled with such
marvelous and often dangerous beings, menaced by the
imaginary forces of the Underworld, what wonder that the
earliest traceable religious observances among the Menomini and
their neighbors are those of propitiation and supplication of the
Evil Forces. True, the Good Gods are not forgotten for in-
168 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST. Vol. 4, No. 3
stance, it is believed that" only the incessant warfare waged by
the Thunderers upon the Powers Below prevents their constant
appearance on earth to the bane of men ; but, working on the
theory that it was wise to placate that which they could in no
wise combat, the elders dedicated the greatest part of the
sacrifices of antiquity to the Nether Gods. At an early date,
however, we find that sacred objects and rites, supposed to have
been given in dreams to individuals for the benefit of the tribe,
were known. Chief of these articles were the war-bundles,
strong charms for offense and defense. Certain men who
succeeded in getting 1 en repport with the deities, for example,
members of the Wd bano cult, who are prophets, seers, and
jugglers, through the aid of the Morning Star, or of the Je 'sako
wuk, who are doctors and diviners through supernatural visions,
came to be recognized, as did sorcerers, who obtained personal
benefits from the Powers of Evil in return for harassing their
"The matter of getting into communication with the deities,
or some of them, was the private concern of every individual of
the tribe, male or female, and was accomplished by fasting, and
thus "incubating" or artifically inducing, dream-revelations
when at the age of puberty. In this way were the war and
hunting bundles obtained, as well as personal charms, fetishes,
and the rituals of various loosely organized cults, as the * ' Buffalo
Dance", and the extinct "Thunder Society".
"Sacrifices of food, clothing, dogs, and, especially, tobacco,
were and are constantly made to all supernatural powers, ac-
companying petitions for various gifts and blessings. Tobacco
is supposed to be highly prized by all the deities, and no prayer
is complete without it. Such an offering must be made to all
medicine-bags or bundles on displaying, opening, or disturbing
"No request for information of the esoteric sort addressed to
the elders is valid without being accompanied with the herb.
Tobacco is sacrificed by placing it on or near the object to which
it is offered, by throwing it in the air, if the recipient addressed
is one of the Powers Above, or burying it in the earth if he is
one of the Underworld Gods. It is often smoked, and the pipe
or its fumes proffered, but is almost never cast on the fire for
incense. Traceable to an early beginning, founded on the fore-
going beliefs, and intimately associated with the tribal origin and
Museum Robberies. 169
and little-understood society called the Mitd win. In the
cosmogonic myth we are told that the Great Spirit (Sun) created
the earth and caused it to spring up on itself personified as a
woman ("our grandmother"), and that she eventually became
miraculously pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. The
daughter in turn conceived, some say through the agency of the
Four Winds, but she was torn asunder in childbirth, having
previously borne a being known as the Great Hare (Mate
Wa'pus, since corrupted into Ma 'nabus), a wolf, also known as
Na' patao, an anthropomorphic personage, and a flint stone, the
latter issuing naturally and causing her death. Some versions
of the myth make her also the mother of all animal kind.
"Of the children, the Great Hare, who rarely appears except
in human form, is by far the most important, for he alone is
imbued with the power of the Great Spirit. He proceeded to
prepare the world for its coming occupancy by human tenants
through a series of tremendous and heroic deeds, including the
recreation of the earth after the flood.
"Although it seems difficult to reconcile the character of the
timorous and foolish hare with that of the great earth-making
Culture God, child of the primal forces, if we accept Brinton's
t^pothesis that among Algonkians the name of the hero was
originally compounded not with the word wa' pus, a hare, but
with wa' pan, meaning dawn, east, or light I have here employed
the Menomini native terms), and has since become confused by
oral descent through generations until it has assumed its present
form, we have a native conception of a heroic demigod." (A.
Skinner, Material Culture of the Menomini, in Indian Indian
Notes and Monographs, Museum of the American Indian.)
On or about April 28 thieves gained access to several locked
cases in the exhibition halls of the State Historical museum,
at Madison, and succeeded in stealing Indian stone, copper and
trade implements, ornaments and trade jewelry, and a number
of wood and ivory carvings from European and Oriental coun-
tries. The thieves, two young Chicago Polish American col-
lector-dealers, were traced to that city, where, with the assist-
170 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST. Vol. 4, No. 3
ance of the local detective bureau all but a few of the stolen
specimens were recovered from antique and curio shops and
collectors to whom they had been sold for small sums by the
thieves. Photographs and descriptions of the thieves were ob-
tained and the men are being sought for by the police.
These young men have been previously imprisoned in a Wis-
consin institution for similar robberies of Wisconsin and Illi-
nois museums. They are also suspected of a number of other
recent thefts from museums and antique shops. One of the
men formerly held a minor position in a Chicago museum,
being discharged for stealing from that institution. Both men
frequently advertised under various names and Chicago ad-
dresses in collectors' journals both offering to sell and pur-
chase Indian relics and other curios. At least one well-known
collector has been defrauded by submitting to them on approval
objects which he wished to sell. These were never returned.
They are also known to have had recent dealings with certain
supposedly reputable collectors. It is to be wondered at that
certain curio shops in Chicago and the Middle West will make
purchases of objects, which they must know to be stolen, from
such men as these. An investigation of some of these shops
appears to indicate that they also should be under police sur-
veillance as well as the pawn shops of our cities.
In their travels these two young robbers have ranged as far
east as Philadelphia.
The historical and other museums of the Middle West are
warned to be on the lookout for these young men. Robberies
have also recently occurred at the state museum at Nashville,
Tennessee, and the museum at Kalamazoo, Michigan. At the
former institution a number of valuable large bird shaped
pipes and large discoidals were taken, and at the latter a num-
ber of bird stones and other archeological specimens of worth.
The Masonic museum at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also recently
suffered from the depredations of thieves. Archeologists and
collectors are asked to lend their assistance in checking these
thefts of specimens from public institutions. They are asked
not to purchase specimens from persons whom they do not know.
The assistance of the American Museums Association has been
requested in capturing and assisting in the prosecution of thieves
of this character.
Museum Robberies. 17 i
The State Historical museum of Wisconsin reports that among
the stolen objects which it has not yet recovered are a large
silver George III Indian medal, two copper pikes with one
hooked extremity eleven and fourteen inches in length, a double-
barred silver cross, a silver snuff box with an ornamental cover
and a socketted copper spearpoint with a bent blade. All of
these specimens can be identified. Other objects include a
Norwegian gilt brooch with circular pendants, a small silver
vase with cloissonne ornamentation, a painted porcelain brooch
set with brilliants, carved wood and ivory netsukes from Japan,
and a mosaic cross ornament from Italy.
172 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST. Vol. 4, No. 3
President Dr. E. J. W. Notz conducted the meeting of the Wisconsin
Archeological Society which was held in the Trustee hall of the Mil-
waukee Public museum, on Monday evening, April 20. There were
fifty members and visitors in attendance.