Hageman wins Riha eagle naming contest
Friday, July 25, 2014 11:01 AM
A new eagle carving along Water St. will be named in the spirit of the Winnebago.
Name contest winner Andy Hageman (holding daughter, Sofia) with Frank Riha and the recently carved eagle.
Andy Hageman, assistant professor of English at Luther College, submitted the winning entry of Ha´pamani´r, the title of the spirit chief of the Eagle Clan of the Winnebago.
The contest, sponsored by Frank and Jo Riha, was held to name the eagle carving which adorns their yard at Leytze’s Corner at the west end of Water St. The Riha’s recently commissioned Pat Doyle of Floyd to carve the eagle after a century-old spruce tree died in their yard.
Pronounced HA’ pa MA’ NEE’ ra, this spirit was vital to the Winnebago ‘Medicine Rite’(ceremony) after the spirit descended to the earth, landed in a tree, died, then rose again.
Hageman said his grandparents, Carl and Eleanor Nichols, gave him a book of Winnebago legends when he was a child. In the book was the story of the spirit chief of the Eagle Clan.
“The story of He Who Walks Upon the Light parallels nicely the tree that has died and then risen again in the form of an eagle,” said Hageman.
Contest sponsors Frank and Jo Riha agreed, choosing Hageman’s entry among approximately 40 submissions. Hageman received $50 in Chamber dollars for his winning suggestion.
Other contest submissions ranged from traditional Norwegian to basic fun.
Patriotic submissions included: Vigilance, Liberty, Sentinel, Freedom, The Eagle – forever vigilant, Majestic, Captured Image and Brave.
Some Scandinavian-influenced choices included: Valholl, Thor, Ernold, Arne, Arvid, Tjeen (21) and ørn (Norwegian for eagle).
Other notable entries included Bob (for Bob Anderson), Nos Red Nabob (Bob Anderson backward), D-corah, D-1, Chief Waukon Decorah and more.
The Rihas said they chose Hageman’s entry because it truly captured the story of the tree which is reincarnated and comes back as an eagle.
He also wished to thank Lori Stanley, professor of anthropology at Luther College, for helping with the pronunciation of the Winnebago name.
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