Ayaapeensa Kiilhswa (Young Buck Moon) is one of two lunar months named for White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). To the best of our knowledge, this month is associated with the beginning of the rut (breeding cycle) for White-tailed Deer.

DSK220 28

ayaapeensa (young White-tailed buck)*

In some years, the younger males lose their antlers by the end of this month.  Today, there is a lot of variation within the White-tailed Deer populations regarding when bucks drop their antlers. It appears that historically, the young White-tailed Deer bucks dropped their antlers first. The loss of antlers marks the end of the rut (the breeding cycle) for these younger male deer.

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*photo from Michigan State University – http://deer.fw.msu.edu/management/history.php/


19 kiiyolia kiilhswa (2017)

October 10, 2017

noonki kaahkiihkwe tikawi teehkanki (75) tikawi aalahkwahki ahsenisiipionki. meemeekwa-hka kati piitilanwi noonki peehkonteeki.

noonki peehkonteeki napale neepiki (peemineeta).

taaniši kiišikahki niiyaaha apiyani?

neemani-nko kati aakalaahšimaataweenki? toohkinanto mihtahkiši.
(For English, click below)

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We Remember the Myaamia Forced Removal

aya eeweemilakakoki (Hello my relatives), 171 years ago today, the United States government began the forced removal of Myaamia people from our historic homelands in the Wabash River Valley. On October 6, 1846, Myaamia people boarded canal boats near Iihkipihsinonki (“the Straight Place,” near Peru, Indiana) and on the next day loading concluded near Kiihkayonki (Fort Wayne, Indiana). All told, in just over a month of forced travel, over 320 Myaamia people were moved via canals and rivers to Kanza Landing (Kansas City, Missouri) in the Unorganized Indian Territory. At least seven Myaamia people died on the journey and many more died over the following winter. Two babies were also born on the nearly month-long journey. This forced removal fragmented the Miami Nation, as five family leaders retained the right to receive their treaty annuities in Indiana and thereby remained behind on individual or family reserves in the state. As we sit together under the full moon of kiiyolia kiilhswa and celebrate the fall harvest, we should all take a moment and reflect on this very difficult journey and remember the Myaamia people who suffered being separated from their homes and their families in the fall of 1846. It is through their struggles that the Miami Nation endured on a new national land base west of the Mihsi-siipiiwi (Mississippi River). If you would like to read more about Myaamia Aancihseeciki (the Myaamia Forced Removal), follow this link to download “A Cultural Exploration of the Myaamia Removal Route.”

6 kiiyolia kiilhswa (2017)

September 27, 2017

noonki kaahkiihkwe ceeliteeki (88) tikawi aalahkwahki ahsenisiipionki.

noonki peehkonteeki napale waawiyiisita (keešaakosita).

taaniši kiišikahki niiyaaha apiyani?

neemani-nko kati aakalaahšimaataweenki? toohkinanto mihtahkiši.
(For English, click below)

Read the rest of this entry »

Kiiyolia kiilhswa ‘Smokey Burning Moon’ is one of two moons focused on the cultural fires that Myaamia people used to shape their environment.  Historically, grass and underbrush were dry enough during this month for the burning of larger and hotter fires. Myaamia people regularly burned the woods and prairies in the regions around their villages. These fires benefited the larger trees of the hardwood forests of our homelands and the mammals and birds who lived there.


The Beech-Maple and Oak-Hickory forests of our traditional homelands often appeared “park-like” to Euro-American settlers, but these healthy hardwood forests were the result of regular burning from both human lit fires and lightning strikes. Over 1000’s of years, the trees and understory – shrubs, bushes, flowers, fungi, and ferns – of these forests evolved to prefer environments that experienced regular burns.

Today, many forest management experts agree that the absence of fire has negatively affected the health of hardwood trees and greatly changed the understory species present in these forests.

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