OBJECT HISTORY: Potawatomi Beaded ‘Soldier Coat’

An elder spokesman for the Potawatomi Indians, Chief Simon Onanguisse Kahquados made a number of trips to Washington, D.C. in the early twentieth century in an effort to regain land that his people had lost through treaties with the United States government in the 1800s. Kahquados wore this coat on his last trip to Washington and also wore it on other important occasions, such as trips to the state capital in Madison where he often spent time researching and presenting information about his ancestry.

OBJECT HISTORY: Aztalan Fishing Weir

Fishing can take a lot of patience. A person could sit with their fishing pole for hours before they get a bite! Fishing weirs are time-saving technologies built in the water to trap fish. This fishing weir was created by the people who lived in the Early Mississippian settlement, Aztalan, sometime between the 10th and…

OBJECT HISTORY: A Hudson’s Bay Company Point Blanket Coat

This wool coat was constructed from a ‘point blanket’ made by the Hudson’s Bay Company, likely during the early 1920s. A Wausau businessman wore it at one of the town’s early Winter Frolics, an annual winter sports festival that attracted tourists from as far as Chicago. The businessman belonged to a group of local business…

Chief Kahquados

Chief Simon Onanguisse Kahquados was the last hereditary descendant in a long line of Potawatomi chiefs, his family being one of the oldest known Potawatomi inhabitants of Wisconsin. An engaging speaker, Kahquados often served as an interpreter and provided a wealth of information to the Wisconsin Historical Society regarding traditional Potawatomi culture and history.

OBJECT HISTORY: Cradleboard

Native Americans used cradleboards in North America to protect, carry, and entertain their babies. Cradleboards allowed women to keep babies close to their side. Women carried cradleboards on their backs. They also could rest them against a tree. The cradleboard protected babies from danger and kept them happy. Native tribes made cradleboards in many ways,…