July 10, 2012

The UW—Madison "worked with the Ho-Chunk Nation on a name for this facility, because this area was home to the Ho-Chunk for thousands of years."

The new residence hall, on the shore of Lake Mendota, will be called "Dejope," which means "4 lakes." The Ho-Chunk Nation passed a resolution approving of the use of the word on the ground that "it is in the best interest of the Nation to support and promote the education of its members and the education of others about the Ho-Chunk Nation."
The residence hall will have features that recognize the influence and importance of tribal culture and of the lakes.

A fire circle will be located on the building’s north side facing the lake, with bronze plaques representing the 11 Indian Nations in Wisconsin. Inside, on the first floor, embedded in the terrazzo floor, will be images of four of the campus effigy mound groups; Observatory Hill, Willow Drive, Picnic Point and Eagle Heights....
Here's the Wikipedia article about the Ho-Chunk, AKA Winnebago:
The term "Winnebago" originally came from an exonym, that is, a name given to the people by the neighboring Algonquian-speaking tribes.... This name has been variously translated as, "people of the stinking water," "people of the filthy water," "people of the stagnant water'" and "people of the smelly waters."

The Algonquian words do not have the negative overtones attached to the French word puant and the English word "stinky." The French translated and shortened the name to simply les puants (or les puans), which was translated into English as "the Stinkards." Many researchers believe that the waters referred to were either stagnant waters of Green Bay or the aromatic, algae-filled waters of the rivers or lakes where the Winnebago were living in the mid-17th century....

Ho-Chunk is the tribe's name for itself, or autonym.... Translations include: "the fish eaters," "the trout people," "the big fish people", "the big speech people," "the people of the big voice," "the people of the parent speech", and "the people of the original language." Current elders say it means, "the people of the big voice" or "the people of the sacred language."

34 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

"aromatic, algae-filled waters of the rivers or lakes "

Whoever wrote that lives in a cubicle. I've seen a lot of algae filled waters and none of them have been 'aromatic' in the pleasant sense.

One other thought: firepit by a living dorm. That's a great idea.

On the upside, I never knew the word "exonym" before. Neat.

_XC

Rusty said...

I take umbrage with,"thousands of years".





And if you don't have an umbrage I'll take a nice cheese danish.

Expat(ish) said...

@Rusty - why do you need an umbrage, is it raining?

I'll be here for thousands of years, try the aromatic algae.

-XC

PS - Is "Ho-Chunk" really better than "Winnebago?"

m stone said...

"People of the stinking water" is better than "your mother wears combat boots."

Those Algonquians. What scamps.

chickelit said...

How long before some undergraduate inebriate dubs that dorm "blow-chunk"?

edutcher said...

Hate to say it, but Ho-Chunk sounds like a hefty hooker.

Or a chocolate chip cookie at Howard Johnson's.

(how many people under 50 know that name, I wonder)

Sorun said...

The Algonquian words do not have the negative overtones attached to the French word puant and the English word "stinky."

The Algonquian language has 47 words for "mosquito" but nothing for "stinky."

Patrick said...

Well, they need a place to house all of those student loan checks, I mean students.

chickelit said...

The term "Winnebago" originally came from an exonym, that is, a name given to the people by the neighboring Algonquian-speaking tribes.... This name has been variously translated as, "people of the stinking water," "people of the filthy water," "people of the stagnant water'" and "people of the smelly waters."

That whole fascinating story (of which I was previously aware) sort of pokes a stick in the eye of those who say the lakes' eutrophication problems are entirely man-made.

FedkaTheConvict said...

The Ho-Chunk Nation passed a resolution approving of the use of the word on the ground that "it is in the best interest of the Nation to support and promote the education of its members and the education of others about the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Yeah, but how about chipping in with some of that casino money.

traditionalguy said...

My guess is that this offensive tribal name originally referred to chunky whores, and the Algonquins wanting their young braves to keep clear of the stinky whores around the Lake Mendota fish camps started calling them the Winnebago Doublewides. What does Wikipedea know?

The more Wisconsin changes the more it stays the same.

chickelit said...

I've said it here before and I'll say it again: given their natural blessings, Madisonians should be leading the way in deriving energy from lake algae.

BarryD said...

There have been ho chunks at pretty much every co-ed school as long as they've existed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

So when do we members of the Bo-Hunk Nation get a dorm honoring us?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Paul Zrimsek said...

So when do we members of the Bo-Hunk Nation get a dorm honoring us?

____________________________________

This Bo-Hunk is wondering too.

Scott said...

One of the hottest guys I ever met was Ho-Chunk.

Ho-wah!

Calypso Facto said...

Current elders say it means, "the people of the big voice" or "the people of the sacred language."

Or maybe people of the make shit up as we go along language"?

Chuck66 said...

This sounds like a good idea. But I wonder if the NCAA will ban Wisconsin from post season play now.

MadisonMan said...

Dejope is the name of the Bingo Parlor out on the Interstate. As such, it's stupid to name the dorm after it as well.

I'm sure the Office of Diversity on Campus was involved in this, trying oh-so-desperately to justify their salaries.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

edutcher said...
Hate to say it, but Ho-Chunk sounds like a hefty hooker.

Or a chocolate chip cookie at Howard Johnson's.

(how many people under 50 know that name, I wonder)


I for one do and I'm only 48!

And now I'm jonesing for some fried clams & orange sherbert, you bastard!

MadisonMan said...

Why not call it Four Lakes dorm? Would that be too difficult?

A Dope from Dejope.

Isn't this supposed to be the Jock Dorm?

Mary Martha said...

Will they also have slot machines and bingo?

'Dejope!' is the name of the mini casino that greets visitors from the south along the expressway (just before the beltline). I imagine that is also named by the local indians who also own it.

Quaestor said...

Rusty wrote:
I take umbrage with,"thousands of years".

Add me to the umbrage list, but give me a strudel instead.

This area contains many archaeological sites, evidence of the thousands of years that the Ho-Chunk and other American Indians have lived around these four lakes.

Not so. There is evidence that somebody with a neolithic culture lived in the area, but to identify them as members of the modern tribe is silly. Try that in any intellectually honest venue and you'd get laughed off the podium and get a cream pie in the face to boot. That an institution of higher learning would allow that wording in it's press statements is shameful. But what else can one expect from one of PC's founding establishments?

Kenneth Burns said...

That casino is called Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison now, not Dejope.

MadisonMan said...

I look forward to undergrads pulling up to the casino and asking to be shown to their dorm room.

Rusty said...

"Dejope" Winnebago for, sucker.

ndspinelli said...

I bet you won't be able to smoke in the dorm.

Quaestor said...

I bet you won't be able to smoke in the dorm.

Zing!

rhhardin said...

No matter how politically correct it may try to be, Indian stuff is always risible in American culture.

It's a case of "We choose to be backward."

The references always point at that.

On the other hand, it's a good test of the power of the university administration's control of the dialog.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

They are really struggling to put a nice gloss on "puant."
Here is the synonym list from a French dictionary:

Synonyms (French) for "puant":
nauséabond · nauséeux · fétide · fade · répugnant · infect · dégoûtant · rebutant · sale · malpropre · immoral · malodorant · croupissant · empesté · malsain · repoussant · immonde · ignoble · pestilentiel


This is way beyond "your mother wears combat boots."

James Pawlak said...

Well, it's better than naming a building after a Female Black politician who was rejected by the voters.
In the interests of balance I suggest a "William T. Sherman" hall with the mottor "I saw some good Indians...." in tiles in its entry way.

Leora said...

Somehow it makes me think of the Hewkawi tribe on F Troop. According to their chief, they got their name when they were on the prairie in the tall grass and they kept jumping up and yelling "Where the Heck Are We."

raf said...

Why is it okay to name a building after an Indian tribe, but not a sports team?