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Yellow Head
(around 1750 - after 1830) U.S.A.

Yellow Head

Manitoba Chippewa two-spirit<


Ozaw-wen-dib (= The Yellow Head), recorded variously as Oza Windib, Ozaawindib, O-zaw-wen-dib, O-zaw-wan-dib, Ozawondib, etc., was a male Chippewa who lived as a woman and had many husbands. He was the son of Ojibwe Chief Wesh-ko-bug (= The Sweet). He was an Ojibwe warrior who lived in the early 19th century and was described as an ayaakwe ("agokwa" in literature)—what a modern Ojibwe would describe as a niizh manidoowag (two-spirit)

In John Tanner's, The Falcon, A Narrative of the Captivity & Adventures of John Tanner (1830), Tanner describes his encounter with this person about 1800:

"...Some time in the course of this winter, there came to our lodge one of the sons of the celebrated Ojibbeway chief, called Wesh-ko-bug, who lived at Leech Lake. This man was one of those who make themselves women, and are called women by the Indians.

There are several of this sort among most, if not all the Indian tribes. They are commonly called A-go-kwa, a word which is expressive of their condition. This creature, called Ozaw-wen-dib, was now near fifty years old and had lived with many husbands."

John Tanner gives also the description of the two-spirit Ozaw-wen-dib's attempt to seduce him. Tanner reported that after rejecting repeated advances by Ozaawindib, Ozaawindib was still determined to win Tanner's heart. Ozaawindib disappeared for a few days and returned to camp with much needed fresh meat. However, even after bringing much needed fresh meat to the camp, Ozaawindib was still rejected by Tanner. Ozaawindib became the third wife of Chief Wenji-dotaagan as the solution to Ozaawindib's courtship efforts toward Tanner.

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, who knew Ozaawindib personally, reports that Ozaawindib was very courageous in battle. Schoolcraft also reports Ozaawindib was a principal Pillager Chippewa for the Cass Lake Band. He also states:

"At the mouth of River Broula I encountered Ozawondib, or Yellow Head, and Mainotagooz, or the Handsome Enunciator, two Chippewas from the Cassinian source of the Mississippi, being on their way to visit me at the seat of the agency. They reported that the Indians of Leech Lake had raised a war-party, and gone out against the Sioux of the Plains. Both these Indians returned with me to Cass Lake. The former afterward guided me from that remote point to the source of this river."

Yellow Head was killed with "Wolf's Father" by a Dakota while hunting at the mouth of Hay River.


Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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