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#1 Nov-28-2017 09:48:pm

Suckachsinheet
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Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 968

Moon

I know you have shared this several times, but I couldn't relocate it easily.

I was looking at the moon tonight and enjoying its energy. It is a quite temperate night for late November and I have always been drawn to the moonlight.

Most nations ascribe feminine energy to the moon, which is logical with its [apparent] influence on the female menstrual cycle. But the Lenape called the heavenly bodies (sun, moon and stars) elder brothers.

You shared some linguistic proofs for the moon being masculine previously. Can you refresh my memory? Anischi!


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#2 Nov-29-2017 08:27:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
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Re: Moon

Suckachsinheet wrote:

I know you have shared this several times, but I couldn't relocate it easily.

Most nations ascribe feminine energy to the moon, which is logical with its [apparent] influence on the female menstrual cycle. But the Lenape called the heavenly bodies (sun, moon and stars) elder brothers.

You shared some linguistic proofs for the moon being masculine previously. Can you refresh my memory? Anischi!

I think that came up when disussing my review of Treebeard's book:  Messages #20 & #21.  Probably, in other contexts, as well.

The overwhelming majority of Lenape traditionalists addressed the Moon as "Elder Brother."  Early on, a halo around the Moon was described as "the Moon builds a house"--a traditionally male occupation.  Captain Pipe (the younger) said that the Moon is the younger brother of the Sun.  This was circa 1820.  HOWEVER, there was an unorthodox view held by a minority which thought of the Moon as female.  Vernon Kinietz writes:  "All four of the modern [circa 1940] informants called the sun "brother."  All called the moon "brother," also, except J. W. [Joe Washington], who said it was known as grandmother, that she takes care of the weather, but is closest to the people."  [Kinietz, V., Delaware Culture Chronology, p.86]  Also, Isaac Johnny Cake [later, "Journeycake"] told Morgan that the Moon was the grandmother of the Great Spirit!  [Morgan, L.H., The Indian Journals 1859-62, p.65]


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#3 Nov-29-2017 11:13:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
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Re: Moon

I suppose I should edit my reviews which flatly state that the Moon wasn't called "grandmother," and explain that some few Delawares did think of the Moon that way; however, it doesn't appear that Messochwen Teme, LNP, TB, and others got this idea from the sources I referenced.  They seem to have associated the final syllable in the word, nipahum ("Moon"), with the Lenape vocative, "Huma" ('Grandmother'), used to address one's grandmother, and even changed the word, nipahum, to "Nipahuma," in order to create a false etymology to support their belief.  I think their belief came from a different source than the Delaware.  If they had known the information I just posted (above), they certainly would have come back at me with it, by now.  smile

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#4 Nov-30-2017 10:08:am

Suckachsinheet
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Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 968

Re: Moon

I was going to posit that Isaac Journeycake may have been influenced by sources from other nations. The Haudenosaunee call the moon "Grandmother". I find that interesting with regard to their original proximity to the Lenape; I would think that they would have had similar cosmologies.


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#5 Nov-30-2017 11:10:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
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Re: Moon

Suckachsinheet wrote:

I was going to posit that Isaac Journeycake may have been influenced by sources from other nations. The Haudenosaunee call the moon "Grandmother". I find that interesting with regard to their original proximity to the Lenape; I would think that they would have had similar cosmologies.

An astute observation.  Isaac Journeycake was a Christian modernist, and this seems to have come up in a discussion, with Journeycake, about Shawnee beliefs.  Here is Morgan's entry:

   "I am told that the Shawnee Female Great Spirit is in reality the moon, and is worshipped as our Grand Mother or something of that sort; and Isaac Johnny Cake who mentioned this [to] me also said that the Great Spirit of the Delawares was represented and believed to be a brother of the Sun, and that the Moon was the Grand Mother of the Great Spirit..."

This all seems kind of sketchy, to me. 

Joe Washington was a traditionalist, but known to feed misinformation, at times, to anthropologists, so ???  However, I can't disprove any of this, so the "Grandmother Moon" people have some material on which to "hang their hats."

It's difficult to show how much the Iroquois influenced the Lenape.  If they had any great influence on them, it sure doesn't show up in the Lenape language.

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#6 Nov-30-2017 12:14:pm

Suckachsinheet
Member
Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 968

Re: Moon

Their languages aren't even related, right?


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#7 Nov-30-2017 12:22:pm

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
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Re: Moon

Iroquoian and Algonquian are as dissimilar as English and Chinese.  Heckewelder learned that they had not one word in common, during his time.  I have found only one word for a species of turtle that they may have picked up in Canada--since it's in Luckenbach's vocabulary.  He wasn't in Canada until after 1800.  The word for "robin" is basically the same, although similar bird names are ubiquitous in the Northeast; and who knows which way the borrowing (if any) went.

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