Full moon names: somewhat bogus but fun.

  • Thread starter jim mcnamara
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In summary, the conversation is aboutNative American names for the month of January, and how these names are not the same as the names of January in the Gregorian calendar.
  • #1

jim mcnamara

Happy Snow Moon - whatever that is. Why?

Have you noticed the plethora of "moon names" we are bombarded with - usually applied to the full moon?

As an example these names are asserted to be "Native American" names for 12 months

Re: the list above -- I think somebody either was duped by a well meaning Native American or it was completely fabricated. 12 month names is not equal to 13 month names.

Why? Lunar calendar vs Gregorian calendars, for instance.

We lived with two different tribes for many years. They spoke unrelated languages:Keres, Navajo My kids spoke one or both.

Folks there keep a lunar calendar which is basically 13 months, and gets adjusted using the Spring Equinox1. Of course the names were different, completely different meanings from language to language. There are different language-centric names for months.

The month of year that mostly corresponds to April, translated from one of the languages to English: "moon when ponies shed". Which is interesting. Until the Spanish let Europeans horses loose in North America circa 1550AD, the last "pony" had lived an died about 12000ya.

So all of this stuff about "moon names" if taken as a fun thing is okay. It seems to have run amok on the internet. How unexpected o_O

1sun calendar at Fajada Butte which uses "daggers of the sun" to keep track of equinoxes and solstices:
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  • #2
jim mcnamara said:
Folks there keep a lunar calendar which is basically 13 months, and gets adjusted using the Spring Equinox1.
A lunar calendar of 13 months would track 13 months regardless of the Spring Equinox. I didn't find "13 months" mentioned on the reference. What are you talking about?
  • #3
When I was a child, this was my favourite poem:

The Moon (1885)
Robert Louis Stevenson

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.
  • #4
@Helios - see this example:
Hopefully it will open correctly for you.
From the above discussing the Teton Sioux calendar this is partial screenshot:

Screenshot_2021-02-28 1984JHAS 15 1C - 1984JHAS 15 1C.png
  • #5
The PF graphics engine bit me on this.

What you said was correct for the Western take on calendars. The point I'm trying to make is that they truncated a month or whatever it took or they deemed necessary to get the year to work out. It was based on Full moons. So the calendar was dubbed "lunar" by Alfonso Ortiz who was a Native American anthropologist.

Try "indigenouspeople.net Alfonso Ortiz" to see some photos of him.

His definition. If you do not like it okay. Look at what I pasted. Teton Sioux calendar keeping in the post above.

I cannot find a link for the lunar "fix" I was talking about.
  • #6
Calendars that reckon the year by counting lunar months are called luni-solar. Calendars that reckon a fixed number of months are lunar calendars. It is more usual to say that a common year ( luni-solar ) has 12 months with leap months added than a 13 month year that is truncated, because the year equals about 12.368 months.
With a 12 month year, the moon moves 11 days earlier. I would guess that, with a spring equinox new year, that they watched for whether the 12th full moon occurred before the equinox, in order to add an extra month.

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