(See History at bottom for more background)
Then the pandemic hit. It meant many sacrifices were made to protect our community including social gatherings in 2020, especially since Native communities, were one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.
Now in 2021, with our community having reached a vaccination rate of around 71% (for those 16 and above), a drive-in outdoor movie was chosen with safety in mind. "Bago Pride 2021" will be showing Disney's The Little Mermaid on the Winnebago LED screen on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 5:30pm.
Funds raised will go toward decorations, snacks and eating utensils etc., and toward food catering in the event that Bago Pride is not approved for other charitable donations applied for. (Will update the status on June 15, 2021) Any extra funds will go toward next year's planning for Bago Pride 2022.
Pįnagigi (Thank you in HoChunk) for contributing to Bago Pride!
The HoChunk word for “Two-spirit” is tejacowiga, meaning “Blue Lake Woman.” During a vision quest, if a man was blessed by the moon, he would have to “take up the skirt.” Teją́čowįga were considered holy and had gifts of prophecy, healing, and artistry. They were said to be good at gambling and are the cleverest people.
Some historical individuals instead went by the name Čoranažįga meaning Standing in The Blue, very similar to the name of tejacowiga. One of the meanings of nąǧirak or the word for soul, is one’s reflection in the water. In water, all directions are reversed for somebody’s appearance. In the culture, left is considered female and right male, down is female and up is male. As Hochunk “Two-Spirit” souls are reversed, this is considered especially holy. The moon is associated with water, and stands on the margins, and the ocean is considered to be at the ends of their world. They are the blue oceans at the ends of the world, of deep calm and reflection.
The word šįąge (Shiange) was likely traditionally used without prejudice, since the man in the moon has the name Šiągega.Šįąge is one that is blessed by the moon. The use of it as a derogatory meaning “fag” comes from white-shaming of traditional HoChunk belief systems.
Note: The Winnebago (HoChunk) also were known to have famed women warriors who stepped out of the feminine role temporarily or permanently to fight in battles.
Photo of Blue Lake Woman (Back, middle wearing shawl and woman's earring) from City Pages.
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