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Date:7/28/2014 9:28:02 AM
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Moons of the Year Pt III
The other day I discussed the Siouan terms for the moons. Tonight I've listed the Abenaki and Ojibwe. Both are Eastern First Nations belonging to the Algonquin language group. I chose the Abenaki simply because my direct Trottier ancestors settled next to (and among) the Abenaki for over 200 years and if there's any Indian blood in Lauren's and my veins, it's most likely Abenaki. (The Trottier surname is listed in their tribal rolls.)

ABENAKI

JANUARY Alamikos Greetings Maker Moon
FEBRUARY Piaôdagos Makes Branches Fall In Pieces Moon
MARCH Mozokas Moose Hunter Moon
MID-MARCH Sigwankas Spring Season Maker Moon
APRIL Sogalikas Sugar Maker Moon
MAY Kikas Field Maker Moon
JUNE Nokahigas Hoer Moon
JULY Temaskikos Grass Cutter Moon
AUGUST Temezôwas Cutter Moon
SEPTEMBER Skamonkas Corn Maker Moon
OCTOBER Penibagos Leaf Falling Moon
NOVEMBER Mzatanos Freezing River maker Moon
DECEMBER Pebonkas Winter Maker Moon

You'll notice that February references the same tree-shattering cold that the Dakota names in December. I've included the Ojibwe month names because they apply best to the climate of N.E. Wisconsin, although the run of the suckers in our area occurs in April. I like the name for April, as by then, any hard-used snowshoe would've been worn out by then. I find that these month names are spot-on as far as describing our world here, although I am intrigued by the December term "Small Spirits Moon" and January's "Great Spirit Moon." I confess that I do not know the significance of those terms but if I ever stumble across them, you can bet that I will post it.

ANISHNAABE (CHIPPEWA, OJIBWE):

JANUARY - Gichi-manidoo-giizis GREAT SPIRIT MOON
FEBRUARY - Namebini-giizis SUCKER MOON
MARCH - Bebookwaadaagame-giizis(oog) SNOW CRUST MOON
APRIL - Iskigamizige-giizis(oog) BROKEN SNOWSHOW MOON
MAY - Waabigwani-giizis BLOSSOM MOON
JUNE - Ode'imini-giizis STRAWBERRY MOON
JULY - Aabita-niibino-giizis RASPBERRY MOON
AUGUST - Miini-giizis BERRY MOON
SEPTEMBER - Manoominike-giizis RICE MOON
OCTOBER - Binaakwe-giizis FALLING LEAVES MOON
NOVEMBER - Gashkadino-giizis(oog) FREEZING MOON
DECEMBER - Manidoo-gizisoons SMALL SPIRITS MOON

Linguistic note: Please notice January's name. "Gichi-manidoo" corresponds to "Gitchi Manitou," the Great Spirit." Also notice September's name, "Manoominike-gizis, RICE MOON. This corresponds to the name of our local First Nation, the Menominees, "The Wild Rice People."

So there you have it, the names our First Nations brethren used to describe their year. What names would you use to identify the months of the year? I must also confess that my names would sound cynical, such as, "The Mosquitoes Drive You Crazy" moon or "The Freeze Your Butt Off" moon, not to mention "The Seasonal Affective Disorder Moon" (November). I leave it up to you to ponder what names would apply to the moons in your neck of the woods throughout the year. --Ga
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