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:
- 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.