Mihšiiwia Kiilhswa (Elk Moon) is named for the Eastern American Elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis).  The Eastern Elk subspecies was hunted out in the state of Indiana by the 1840s and declared extinct in North America in 1880.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_American_Elk_-_John_J._Audubon

To the best of our knowledge, this month is associated with the fact that the Eastern Elk used to mate around this time of this year (August & September).  During mating season, the woodlands around the Wabash River would fill with the sounds of male Elk bugling, which attracts females of the species (click here to listen to a Western Elk bugle). The Eastern Elk’s close cousin, the Roosevelt or Western Elk, has been introduced to the woodlands east of the Mississippi, and so it is possible that in a few generations we may once again hear the bugling of Elk along the Wabash.

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wiihkoowia kiilhswa is the fourth lunar month of the Myaamia lunar calendar.  Like the other months named for birds, wiihkoowia kiilhswa is associated with the process of transition from pipoonwi (winter) into niipinwi (summer).  The month is named for wiihkoowia (Eastern Whip-poor-will – Antrostomus vociferus).

Caprimulgus_vociferusAAP065B

Around this time of year, Whip-poor-wills return from their winter nesting grounds around the Gulf of Mexico.  Historically, Whip-poor-wills nested throughout our traditional homelands along the Wabash River Valley.  Because these night birds nest on the ground, drastic changes in forest habitat have decreased populations of wiihkoowia in central Indiana.  The call of wiihkooowia is distinctive and was used to mark the beginning of planting time for Myaamia miincipi (Miami corn).  Corn that is planted during wiihkoowia kiilhswa is usually in the green corn stage by kiišinkwia kiilhswa (Green Corn Moon).

*image from wikimedia commons here

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cecaahkwa kiilhswa is the third lunar month of the Myaamia lunar calendar.  Like the other months named for birds, cecaahkwa kiilhswa is associated with the process of transition from pipoonwi (winter) into niipinwi (summer).  The month is named for cecaahkwa (Sandhill Crane – grus canadensis).

cecaahkwa

cecaahkwa (Sandhill Crane) performing a mating dance

Around this time of year, Sandhill Cranes return from their winter nesting grounds in what is today the state of Florida.  Historically, some cranes nested in our traditional homelands along the Wabash River Valley and some traveled to other nesting grounds throughout the midwest.  This moon marks an important moment of return, rebirth, and renewal for an animal, cecaahkwa, that is closely associated with Myaamia people.  Delaware and Iroqouis speaking peoples, who originally lived to our east and south, referred to the Myaamia as the “Twigh Twee” after the call of the Sandhill Crane.

Peace 3

Signature of Myaamia leader on Great Peace of 1701

In the past, Myaamia people would mark the edges of our lands by blazing the head of cecaahkwa into trees along major trails.  In 1701, a Myaamia leader signed a treaty with this very symbol.  Cecaahkwa remains a powerful symbol of Myaamia people and can still be found on the tribal seal of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

click here to return to Myaamia Ecology page

Mihšiiwia Kiilhswa (Elk Moon) is named for the Eastern American Elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis).  The Eastern Elk subspecies was hunted out in the state of Indiana by the 1840s and declared extinct in North America in 1880.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_American_Elk_-_John_J._Audubon

To the best of our knowledge, this month is associated with the fact that the Eastern Elk used to mate around this time of this year (August & September).  During mating season, the woodlands around the Wabash River would fill with the sounds of male Elk bugling, which is used to call out to females and warn off competing males (click here to listen to an Elk bugle).  The Eastern Elk’s close cousin, the Roosevelt or Western Elk, has been introduced to the woodlands east of the Mississippi, and so it is possible that in a few generations we may once again hear the bugling of Elk along the Wabash.

click here to return to Myaamia Ecology page

wiihkoowia kiilhswa is the fourth lunar month of the Myaamia lunar calendar.  Like the other months named for birds, wiihkoowia kiilhswa is associated with the process of transition from pipoonwi (winter) into niipinwi (summer).  The month is named for wiihkoowia (Eastern Whip-poor-will – Antrostomus vociferus).

Caprimulgus_vociferusAAP065B

Around this time of year, Whip-poor-wills return from their winter nesting grounds around the Gulf of Mexico.  Historically, Whip-poor-wills nested throughout our traditional homelands along the Wabash River Valley.  Because these night birds nest on the ground, drastic changes in forest habitat have decreased populations of wiihkoowia in central Indiana and in eastern Missouri near the contemporary home of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma..  The call of wiihkooowia is distinctive and was used to mark the beginning of planting time for Myaamia miincipi (Miami corn).  Corn that is planted during wiihkoowia kiilhswa is usually in the green corn stage by kiišiinkwia kiilhswa (Green Corn Moon).

*image from wikimedia commons here

click here to return to Myaamia Ecology page