13 Moons and Native Harvest Products

harvested food moons ojibwe turtle

13 Moons and Native Harvest Products

At Native Harvest, we are proud to bring you the taste of White Earth.

At White Earth Land Recovery Project, we are working to recover, revitalize, and preserve the knowledge of our land, people, and traditional foods. One of the projects we are working on focuses on the seasonal cycles of the 13 moons.

The White Earth Ojibwe people traditionally use the sun, moon, and stars to keep track of time. The turtle has 13 plates on her back, each representing a moon.

13 Ojibwe moons

Each Native Harvest product is connected to the people of White Earth and the landscape in a very meaningful way through legend, song, and ceremony. The harvesting and creation of each product occurs within a seasonal cycle that corresponds with one of the 13 moons.

We hope that you will enjoy the flavor of White Earth, and appreciate the rich history behind each Native Harvest product. The Ojibwe moons that correspond with the 12 months on the Gregorian calendar are as follows: 

Month                                  Ojibwe                                English

January                                Gichimanidoo-­‐giizis          Great Spirit Moon

February                             Namebini-­‐giizis                  Sucker Fish Moon

March                                   Onaabani-­‐giizis                  Hard Crust on the Snow

April                                      Iskigamizige-­‐giizis            Maple Sap Boiling Moon

May                                       Zaagibagaa-­‐giizis             Budding Moon

June                                       Ode’imini-­‐giizis                  Strawberry Moon

July                                        Aabita-­‐niibino-­‐giizis         Mid-­‐summer Moon

August                                  Manoominike-­‐giizis          Ricing Moon

September                          Waatebagaa-­‐giizis            Leaves Changing Color Moon

October                                Binaakwii-­‐giizis                 Falling Leaves Moon

November                           Gashkadino-­‐giizis              Freezing Moon

December                            Manidoo-­‐giizisoons           Little Spirit Moon

 

A key difference between the Gregorian calendar and the Ojibwe lunar calendar, is that the moon name and time of year is location specific. For example, April, known as the Moon of the Boiling sap, or Iskigamizige-giizis in White Earth, is known as Popogami-giizis, Broken Snowshoe Moon in Ontario, Canada and other locations. Canadian Ojibwe people may even have different names for the moons. Each moon is important because it signifies the time of year that certain legends, songs, ceremonies, and activities take place. Our ancestors knew that knowledge of the 13 moons was necessary for survival.

As we continue to learn about the 13 moons that correspond with the traditional foods at White Earth, we will do our best to share the story of these products and why they are special.


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