Moccasin Tracks is a radio show featuring “pre-american” ie: Original Peoples perspectives and music (traditional and contemporary) live interviews ,news including National Native News (nv1.org). We often say we are holding space for the indigenous perspective. It is the work of decolonizing and reindigenizing with Earth as Mother and all life as family that inspires Moccasin Tracks. We acknowledge the area we broadcast from as N’Dakinna, the ancestral homeland of the Abenaki Peoples. Rebroadcasts include First Voices Radio with host Tiokasin Ghosthorse http://www.firstvoicesindigenousradio.org (Pacifica Radio Network) and National Native News with host Antonia Gonzalas from Native Voice One (NV1.org) We are currently on air with WRUV FM Burlington at 90.1FM and wruv.org where show is archived week to week Fridays Noon-2PM.
Find Moccasin Tracks page on Facebook.com
We are also creating and archiving events with the various Abenaki Bands, individuals and support groups with the Onion River Access Media where we have produced editions of Moccasin Tracks for Vermont cable TV. (www.orcamedia.net)
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org New Music with Crazy Flute and interview with Jack Crazy Flute Listen here:https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb2/episodes/2018-12-28T09_29_54-08_00 and here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/communityradiowithdeb/episodes/2019-01-19T05_41_04-08_00 we play music by Crazy Flute too!
https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb2/episodes/2018-11-26T04_27_14-08_00 In this podcast Chenae Bullock gifts us with story about her Canoe Journey and local organizing to protect ancestors, land and water.
https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb2/episodes/2019-01-06T04_56_52-08_00 In this podcast we are visited by Hears Crow who shares story and storytelling opportunities.
https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb4/episodes/2019-02-02T07_25_33-08_00 Evan Pritchard join us on air for lots of stories..
We also had a wonderful conversation with journalist, author Tracy Hentz and you can go here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/communityradiowithdeb/episodes/2019-01-19T04_54_00-08_00
For the month of Feb we have guests confirmed Jimi Brink (Abenaki) on Feb 15 as well as Bird Runningwater to talk about the Indigenous Program from Sundance Institute. We’re also hoping to talk with storyteller Darlene Kascak (Schaghticoke). Melissa Otis will join us March 1 to talk about her recently published book,”Rural Indigenousness A History of Iroquoian And Algonquin Peoples Of The Adirondacks”. And we are working on a program to highlight Teen Dating Violence and Domestic Violence possibly Feb 22. Tune in Fridays from noon-2PM(EST) at wruv.org and 90.1FM locally. Thank-you WRUV FM Burlington for hosting Moccasin Tracks and making archives!
Bonus: from 1937 Wisconsin Archeologist
W&er Monster Inhabited Lakes of Wisconsin 27
WATER MONSTER INHABITED LAKES AND STREAMS OF WISCONSIN
Dorothy Moulding Brown
In Wisconsin Indian Place Legends, a booklet recently published by the Folklore Section of the Wisconsin Federal Writers’ Project, there are a number of aboriginal legends connected with the Wisconsin and Rock Rivers and Lakes Winnebago, Koshkonong, Green, Thunder, and other lakes in which water monsters figure more or less prominently. No one knows how old some of these myths may be. Doubtless, most of them go back into the past for a hundred years, several hundred years, or an even longer period of time. All of our Wisconsin tribesmen appear to have firmly believed that in the many lakes and water courses in their tribal domains and hunting grounds all over Wisconsin there were present animal water demons of a very fierce and destructive nature.
Some of these mythical water monsters were huge snakes, great turtles, monster fish, bears, beavers, or pan- ther-like animals, the latter often known by the name of water spirits.
These water animals lived in dens or lairs at the bottoms of lakes and streams and the very superstitious red men believed them responsible for many of the water phenomena such as storms on water, waterspouts, rapids, and whirl- pools. They were responsible for the overturning of birch- bark or dugout canoes and for the drowning of swimmers. Such victims were often carried down by the water mon- sters into their dens and there devoured or ‘imprisoned, their bodies to be later released. .Such beliefs are still cur- rent among many Indians in W,isconsin. .
In @assingby or over waters’ believed or known to be inhabited by these water spiri’ts, Indian canoemen paused to cast handfuls of kinnikinnik, or Indian tobacco, upon their surfaces to quiet and obtain the good will of these denizens. Such strange proceedings have been mentioned
28 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST Vol. 17, No.2 by early French fur traders and other travelers and were
also told to other white men by the Indians themselves.
Among other lakes and streams-not already mentioned -which these water monsters were known to inhabit were Lac du Flambeau, the Chain o’ Lakes at Waupaca, Shawano Lake, Okauchee Lake, Poygan Lake, and Devils Lake. Ac- cording to the Chippewa Indians an evil spirit lodges in the waters of Manitowish River, hence its name.
The water panthers, called by the Winnebago, Wakteci, have been described as huge, long-tailed animals with horns on their heads, large fiery eyes, and powerful jaws and claws. At night they came out on the river or lake banks. “Only a few Indians have ever seen them and some persons have become demented by seeing them.”
When Earthmaker created the world he thrust four of these water spirits through it to keep the globe from re- volving and.to quiet it.
On the north shore of Lake Mendota, opposite Gover- nors Island at Madison, is a known Indian den of a group of these underwater panthers. They have been held re- sponsible for a number of drownings which have taken place here in recent years–of both Indians and white men.
These water spirits do not always remain a t this station; some of them roam about the lake searching for possible victims.
It is believed that at Mendota originated the Madison legend that for some unknown reason Lake Mendota muat each year possess the bodies of drowned white persons, Some of these were reported to have been students of the Uni- versity of Wisconsin. On old Indian who makes more or less of a busine~sof finding the bodies of drowned persons is said to have recovered several here.
The tale is told of a monster fish that lives in the deep water off Maple Bluff. This fish is supposed to be an Indian who at one time killed, roasted, and ate a spirit raccoon which he and another native had hunted, following its tracks from the northern shore of Lake Monona. For this rash act this unfortunate Indian, venturing into the
Water Monster Inhabited Lakes of Wisconsin 29 water because of a great thirst which &me upon him, was
transformed into a huge fish.
On still dark nights this monster disports itself in the water below the Bluff and may be heard beating its war drum and singing its war song. For years no Indian of the early Winnebago Tenney Park village, known as Cheedah, would venture very near this place a t any time. Those who did nearly always met with some accident.
In Wisconsin Indian legendary lore “the powerful thun- derbirds” and the water spirits were often at war with each other. Devils Lake obtained its evil name Tawahcunchuk- dahCacred Lake–from a battle of this nature which once took place here. The Thunderers shot their “arrows”
(thunderbolts) down into the water and the water spirits threw great columns of water and jagged boulders into the air to combat their enemies. Thus the rocky bluffs surrounding this beautifur lake were rent and tumbled about as they now are.
A young Indian hunter who ventured near was promised a reward by the water spirits if he would shoot and kill some of the Thunderers, but the Thunderers also promised him a reward if he would destroy some of the water mon- sters. Not wishing to offend either spirit band, the young hunter wisely departed from the scene.
In Potawatomi and Winnebago Indian days a terrible water monster in the form of a fish ranged over the whole course of the Rock River, from the vicinity of present Beloit to the foot of Lake Koshkonong.
In the early spring the presence of this terror was known by the manner in which he had, in a mad rage, broken up the ice in the stream. Some Indians believe that he still occasionally reappears in his old haunts along this river.
A Menomini legend of Sturgeon Bay tells of two Indian girls who, while playing on the sands, were lured down into the waters of the Bay by a big hairy snake. Their father found their footprints on the sandy shore and guessed what had happened to his daughters. With the help of Manabus
30 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST Vol. 17. No. 2
and the Thunderers the girls were released from the wig- wam of the monster and safely returned to their sorrowing parents.
In Lake Winnebago there lived a very large fish, prob- ably a sturgeon, with a large appetite for moose, elk, and deer. It caught these in the channel of the lake inlet and devoured horns, hide, hoofs, and all. One day some Win- nebago found this large fish floating on the surface of the water; it was dead. Searching for the cause, they found the branching antler of an elk protruding from its side. The fish swallowed the elk but had been unable to digest the antler.
Inhabiting Lake Koshkonong was a water monster of great power and terrible form. Two Indian boys once set out on this lake in canoes. The canoes were capsized and later the bodies of the boys were found floating in the lake. There was white clay in their ears and nostrils, a sure Indian sign that the water monster had caught and drawned them.
At Green Lake “more than a thousand years ago” a Sioux war party which had come by canoe to attack the Winnebago villages was destroyed by water spirits friendly- to the Winnebago. The latter caused the canoes to be caught in a large whirlpool which they created and to be sucked down into the lake. Thus the Winnebago villages were saved.
A huge serpent formed the bed of the Wisconsin River by wriggling down from the forests of Northern Wisconsin toward the Mississippi River. All other serpents fled be- fore this monster. The large serpent in his course burst through walls of solid rock forming the Wisconsin Dells.
In Thunder Lake a Thunder bird is imprisoned by a water spirit who vanquished him during a struggle while the bird was trying to carry him a~way. The bird is still there.
In a lake near Peshtigo is the den of a great white bear, the king of all bears. This lake, the Indians believe, is the window of a nearby mountain. Through this window the