Leader of the Chicago area Ho-Chunk delegation, John Dall will present a lecture on Ho-Chunk History and Culture at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian on Sunday, February 8 from 2:00-3:00pm. The cost is $10 for Members/ $12 Non-members. Tribal Members are free. Teachers can earn CPDU credits.
Ho-Chunk Elders say that history begins with the creation of all things on earth. Ho-Chunk means “People of the Big Voice,” or “People of the Sacred Language.” The Ho-Chunk people have remained one of the strongest indigenous Nations in the United States and occupied lands in Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Illinois. The Ho-Chunk held title to more than ten million acres of the finest land in America.
The Chicago area Ho-Chunk delegation built a ciporoke (Chee-poe-doe-kay) lodge on the museum’s west lawn in September 2014. The ciporoke is a temporary structure much like a tent. The design of the ciporoke has not changed in over 1000 years because the construction method worked for numerous Woodland indigenous cultures for centuries. The men would gather the ironwood poles and bury them about 12 inches into the ground. The poles were then bent over and joined to the poles from the opposite side. Historically, the women and youth fasten the poles with basswood cordage. Today, twine is used to tie the poles.
Mr. Dall will discuss in detail how the ciporoke plays an active role in Ho-Chunk tribal culture today and will also talk more about its design and historical context. A ciporoke tour will follow the lecture.
John Dall is a graphic designer, community outreach leader, tribal legislator, teacher and public speaker. He is the founding officer of the Chicago area Ho-Chunk delegation, and has been an elected representative of the Ho-Chunk nation. Currently, he is the co-chair of the board of housing commissioners for the Ho-Chunk Community Housing and Development Agency. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the American Indian Center of Chicago.