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See Bascom Hall’s new Ho-Chunk Nation banners before the end of the month

As part of its 175th anniversary, UW-Madison is celebrating the Ho-Chunk Nation with a new Bascom Hall banner.

Bascom Hall with Abe Lincoln statue in foreground

“Seed by Seed” was unveiled as part of UW-Madison’s 175th anniversary celebration. | Photo by 608today

UW-Madison is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, and part of that celebration includes the commission of some new decor for Bascom Hall.

During the month of November, three large banners are donning the face of Bascom Hall to celebrate the Ho-Chunk Nation.

The triptych piece of art titled “Seed by Seed” draws inspiration from traditional bandolier patterns, basketry, and the use of natural fibers.

Here’s what some of the banner’s elements represent:

Close-up of Ho-Chunk banner

Take a closer look at Bascom’s new banners. | Photo by 608today

  • Two water spirits are depicted on the center banner, touching tails. Fun fact: There is a double-tailed water spirit effigy mound right around the corner on Observatory Hill
  • Above each water spirit are abstract Ws, a nod to UW-Madison
  • The green rings on the outer banners represent Madison’s four lakes — Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa
  • Patches within those green rings symbolize the different colors that reflect on the lakes throughout the day
  • Across the bottom of the entire piece are symbols of the 12 Ho-Chunk clans — Thunder, Warrior, Eagle, Pigeon, Bear, Buffalo, Deer, Wolf, Elk, Fish, Water Spirit, and Snake

While the banners will come down at the end of the month, they will return in the spring as part of Bascom Hall’s regular banner rotation.

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