Just like children sleepin’

Perhaps a little known fact is that the Native Americans gave every full moon a name. Each month’s moon had a name associated with  something important that was happening during that month, for instance July’s full moon, which has just passed, was known as the Full Buck Moon to certain tribes:

The Full Buck Moon July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

Different tribes had different names depending on what was happening around them. Jeremy Bruchac and Jonathon London (yes, the Froggy Jonathon London) created a book of beautiful poems and paintings for each of the thirteen moons that occur during the year.  It’s called Thirteen Moons On Turtle’s Back: A Year of Native American Moons. Each page offers a beautiful picture to illustrate a story from a different Native American tribe that explains how each moon got its name.  This book is not new (it was published in 1992) but we recently ordered a new copy for the Lee Road branch, so you can order it for yourself as well.  Why is it on a turtle’s back? I hear you reasonably question.  The answer is so interesting that you really should get the book and read about it for yourself, but I’ll give you a hint that just like the names of the moons, it is based on the natural world.

When I learned about the full moon’s names, it gave new meaning to two songs and artists I’ve loved for a long time that I’ve included here for your enjoyment:

Nick Drake’s Pink Moon (name for the April moon)

and Neil Young’s Harvest Moon (October)

One comment on “Just like children sleepin’

  1. Your post makes me think of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, which is balanced on the backs of four humongous elephants that stand on the back on an even bigger turtle.

    And I thought you might also be interested to know that Harvest Moon is the favorite song of Karl (who gave the dance lesson at Peninsula on the night you went to your first contra). I like it too – it’s a lovely song.

    Layers within layers….

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