Winnebago / Ho-Chunk (Hoocąk / Hocąk)

Winnebago, or Ho-Chunk, is a Siouan language spoken in parts of Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois and Minnesota in the USA. According to the 2000 census there are 1,650 Ho-chunk people, and there are thought to be 100 speakers of Ho-chunk. The language is also known as Hocak Wazijaci, Hochank or Hochunk.

The Ho-Chunk speakers call themselves Hotcągara. Speakers of this language in Nebraska call themselves Winnebago and are recognised as a separate tribe. The name Winnebago comes from the Sauk and Fox word Oinepegi and means something like "filthy/fetid water" [source].

The Ho-Chunk alphabet

The Ho-Chunk, or Winnebago, alphabet was adapted from the Fox syllabary, which was invented in the 1870s. The first row of Latin letters are those used by the Hocąk Wazijaci Haci Language and Culture Program, those in the second row are used by Paul Radin.

Ho-Chunk alphabet

Latin alphabet for Ho-Chunk (Hocąk Wowagaz)

This alphabet was adopted as the official writing system of the Ho-Chunk Nation in July 1994.

Latin alphabet for Ho-Chunk


Download an alphabet chart for Ho-Chunk (Excel)

Sample text in Ho-Chunk (The Lord's Prayer)

  1. Egi deshesge gikarajra wawiaje: Hianjniwira wangregi shanagre rash hashinira wakanjank-ningigirekjena.
  2. Hungma hashinira hiraijikjawina, woshga hashinira manegi uinekjena wangregi jasge hinankhi shesge manegi hirekjena.
  3. Hamb de-e waisgabduj harniwira hunkuwianje ningikarajwina.
  4. Egi washa woishana warniwira waigit´unawire, washa hingishana warniwira wagit´untawira shesge.
  5. Egi inke washa woishana uwahieja hunutiwinina, eshi wowonkjega eja hingijirawige khishibwiwine. Hungmara Ne-hashinigaja egi homashjara Ne-hashinigaja, egi hoishagra Ne-hashinigaja manegusra, Amen.


Information about Ho-Chunk / Winnebago | Tower of Babel


Information about the Winnebago language'e.html

The Encyclopedia of Hotcąk Mythology - information about the Hotcąk people and language:

Websites of the Ho-chunk (Hotcąk) Nation

Hocak Worak - Newsletter of the Ho-Chunk Nation (in English)

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Siouan languages

Assiniboine, Biloxi, Chiwere, Crow, Dakota, Hidatsa, Lakota, Mandan, Omaha, Osage, Quapaw, Stoney, Tutelo, Winnebago / Ho-Chunk

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21

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