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People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942


People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

People of the Big Voice tells the visual history of Ho-Chunk families at the turn of the twentieth century and beyond as depicted through the lens of Black River Falls, Wisconsin studio photographer, Charles Van Schaick. The family relationships between those who “sat for the photographer” are clearly visible in these images—sisters, friends, families, young couples—who appear and reappear to fill in a chronicle spanning from 1879 to 1942. Also included are candid shots of Ho-Chunk on the streets of Black River Falls, outside family dwellings, and at powwows. As author and Ho-Chunk tribal member Amy Lonetree writes, “A significant number of the images were taken just a few short years after the darkest, most devastating period for the Ho-Chunk. Invasion, diseases, warfare, forced assimilation, loss of land, and repeated forced removals from our beloved homelands left the Ho-Chunk people in a fight for their culture and their lives.”

The book includes three introductory essays (a biographical essay by Matthew Daniel Mason, a critical essay by Amy Lonetree, and a reflection by Tom Jones) and 300-plus duotone photographs and captions in gallery style. Unique to the project are the identifications in the captions, which were researched over many years with the help of tribal members and genealogists, and include both English and Ho-Chunk names.

Book News Annotation:

This book features more than three hundred photographs of native Wisconsin Ho-Chunk people by Black River Falls photographer Charles Van Schaick. The photos, taken between 1879 and 1942, include studio portraits and outdoor photos showing both traditional and modern activities. Studio photos are detailed duotone portraits with captions identifying subjects, family relationships, dates, and details about clothing, props, and ornamentation. These photos show family relationships and cultural changes. Accompanying essays discuss Ho-Chunk tradition, culture, and history. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Tom Jones (ChakShepSkaKah) is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and an assistant professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His work may be found in various collections, including the National Museum of the American Indian and the Chazen Museum of Art. Michael Schmudlach (WeeMauHaKah) serves on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Board of Curators and works as a general contractor specializing in custom building and historic preservation. Matthew Daniel Mason is an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and teaches courses in history and the history of photography at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. Amy Lonetree (MaHiSkaMonEWinKah) (Walking on White Cloud) is an enrolled citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and an assistant professor of American studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work focuses on the representation of Native American history and memory in national and tribal museums. In 2008 she coedited The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (University of Nebraska Press). George A. Greendeer (HoXingKah) (Deer Image in the Morning Mist) is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in two- and three-dimensional art. He has been the Ho-Chunk Nation’s tribal genealogist since 2000.

Product Details

Jones, Tom
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Greendeer, George A.
Schmudlach, Michael
Jones, Thomas L.
Mason, Matthew Daniel
Lonetree, Amy
Native American-General Native American Studies
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
11 x 8.5 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » Native American » Northeast

People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942 New Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Wisconsin Historical Society Press - English 9780870204760 Reviews:
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