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The Saga of the Whittled Hodag

“The Saga of the Whittled Hodag” was produced by 371 Productions for the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Appearing in The Milwaukee Music Video Show, this fantastical sung story tells of a whittled Hodag that came to life when “The Thief” snatches him from his creator. Written and performed by Jim White (Thief) and Paul Fonfara (Carnival Barker), the song and visuals are inspired by the life and work of Wisconsin visionary artist Levi Fisher Ames (John Michael Kohler Arts Center collection) and the tall tales he would sing with his family band about the hundreds of real and mythic creatures he would carve out of wood. One of those specimens was the Hodag, a creature of Wisconsin folklore thought to have originated in Rhinelander, WI.