Winnebago Arrival Myth

Contributed by Richard L. Dieterle

On account of his vision, a great Menominee chief commanded that all manner of supplies be assembled at a white sand beach on Lake Michigan. And when all this had been done and set in order, as the sun reached its zenith the vision came to life: in the pure blue sky of the eastern horizon a single dark cloud began to form and move irresistibly toward them. It was a great flock of ravens — not at all ordinary blackbirds — but spirit birds with rainbow plumage of iridescent colors.

The instant that the first of these landed, he materialized into a naked, kneeling man. The Menominee chief said to his people, "Give this man clothing, for he is a chief." And the others landed in like fashion, and were given great hospitality. They were the Winnebago nation, and that is how they came to Red Banks.