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Folk Literature as an Ethnohistorical Device: The Interrelationships between Winnebago Folk Tales and Wisconsin Habitat

Beatrice A. Bigony
Ethnohistory
Vol. 29, No. 3 (Summer, 1982), pp. 155-180
Published by: Duke University Press
DOI: 10.2307/481182
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/481182
Page Count: 26
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Folk Literature as an Ethnohistorical Device: The Interrelationships between Winnebago Folk Tales and Wisconsin Habitat
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Abstract

What is the interplay between a people's folk literature and the natural environment in which they live? Can a people's folk literature be utilized to place these people in time and space? This article analyzes the interrelationships between Winnebago folk tales and Winnebago Wisconsin habitat, concluding that the Winnebago were residents of Wisconsin as early as the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Furthermore, such an analysis indicates that the strong correlations between oral history traditions and historical records make the study of folk literature an invaluable aid in ethnohistorical reconstructions.

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