Four Legs

by Big Bear and Big Thunder

narrated by Thomas J. George

"Thunder Speaker -- Indn. name of Old Dandy -- his earlier name in the prime of life Hoo-tcope-kah [Hujopka] -- or Four-Legs: After a noted speech of great power he [acquired] the name of Thunder Speaker -- He was the most noted hero of his tribe -- in many fights -- once in [the] town of Lemonweis 4 [miles] from Mauston S.E., he hid in [a] tree for 3 days to evade U. S. soldiers searching to capture him. About 5 feet 10 1/2 ins. high -- weighing about 190 lbs., broad shoulders, muscular. He was the orator of his tribe -- [he] had no equal."1

Four Legs' Village on Doty Island, 1830

Commentary. "Thunder Speaker" — the attempts to render the name "Thunder Speaker" in Hocąk were unintelligible. One version is Cun-cah-ychei-kah (for Wakąjait’eka ?).

"Lemonweis" — this is Lemonweir.

Links: ...

Stories: about famous Hocąk warriors and warleaders: How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, The Masaxe War (Hogimasąga), Wazųka, Great Walker's Warpath (Great Walker), Great Walker's Medicine (Great Walker, Smoke Walker, Dog Head, Small Snake), Šųgepaga (Dog Head), The Warbundle Maker (Dog Head), Black Otter’s Sacrifice to a Thunder, Black Otter's Warpath (Dog Head, Black Otter), The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara (Smoke Walker, Dog Head, Small Snake), Big Thunder Teaches Cap’ósgaga the Warpath (Big Thunder, Cap’ósgaga), The Osage Massacre (Big Thunder, Cap’ósgaga), The Fox-Hocąk War (Cap’ósgaga), The Origin of Big Canoe's Name, White Thunder's Warpath, The Man who Fought against Forty (Mącosepka), Yellow Thunder and the Lore of Lost Canyon, The Hills of La Crosse (Yellow Thunder), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Fighting Retreat, Mitchell Red Cloud, jr. Wins the Medal of Honor (Mitchell Red Cloud, jr.), How Jarrot Got His Name, Jerrot's Temperance Pledge — A Poem, Jarrot's Aborted Raid, Jarrot and His Friends Saved from Starvation, They Owe a Bullet (Pawnee Shooter).


1 Thomas J. George, Winnebago Vocabulary, 4989 Winnebago (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, 1885) p. 96. Informants: Big Bear of Friendship, Wisconsin, and Big Thunder.