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#1 Dec-21-2017 10:29:am

Suckachsinheet
Member
Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 980

Seasonal terms

Forgive me if I didn't search hard enough...
Are there specific NU words for the summer and winter solstices (and the equinoxes)?
How did the Lenape refer to the lunar months (moons)?


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

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#2 Dec-21-2017 11:24:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4439

Re: Seasonal terms

There are no words for the solstices or equinoxes in any of the three extensively known dialects of Delaware.  There is no indication that the Lenape performed any observances of those events.  The year began in Spring--not when the equinox occurred, but when the shad began to run up the Delaware River--and four seasons were recognized:  Siquan ("It is Spring"); Nipen ("It is Summer"); Tachquoak ("It is Autumn"); Lowan ("It is Winter").  There are various names for the months of the year.

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#3 Dec-21-2017 07:29:pm

Suckachsinheet
Member
Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 980

Re: Seasonal terms

Anischi! I was wondering if they used descriptive names for the lunar cycles, as other nations did.


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

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#4 Dec-21-2017 09:28:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4439

Re: Seasonal terms

Yes.  They did.  I'll list the ones from the Moravians, tomorrow.  Our fellow forum member, Pepaxkang (Justin), has compiled the fullest list of all the various names for the months, in the three dialects of Delaware.  I tried to copy it onto here, but he used phonetic symbols that just won't reproduce on here.  But, as stated, I'll give those used by the Moravians.

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#5 Dec-22-2017 08:02:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4439

Re: Seasonal terms

Names of the Lenape months, as recorded by Zeisberger, are given, below.  The Lenape months don't correspond, exactly, to those of our calendar, but probably overlap; so, January is actually a period from the latter part of January to the first part of February, and so on with the others.  Heckewelder gives some different names, but only in English.

   Anixi Gischuch.   Ground-squirrel Month.  (January)

   Tsqualli Gischuch.   Frog Month.  (February)

   M’choamowi Gischuch.   Shad Month.  (March)

   Quitauweuhewi Gischuch.   {Spring} Month.  (April)

   Tauwinipen.   Opening-of-Summer.  (May)

   Kitschinipen.   Very-Summer.  (June)

   Jugatamoewi Gischuch.   Buzzing-bee Month.  (July)

   Sakauweuhewi Gischuch.   {Deer} Month.  (August)

   Kitschitachquoak.   Very-Autumn.  (September)

   Pooxit.   Vermin.  (October)

   Wini Gischuch.   Snowy Month.  (November)

   M’chakhocque.   When-the-trees-crack.  (December)

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#6 Dec-22-2017 10:39:pm

Suckachsinheet
Member
Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 980

Re: Seasonal terms

Interesting! I would have expected thirteen names associated with lunar cycles, rather than names associated with the sun (gischuch). Is it possible that this was an accomodation for the missionaries, who preferred their own calendar system?


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

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#7 Dec-23-2017 05:55:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4439

Re: Seasonal terms

The word, gischuch, actually means "Luminary," and can be applied to either the Sun or the Moon.  In this case, it is the Moon that is referenced.  Some scholars (e.g., Justin Wexler) think there must have been an intercalary month that was used every few years; but, what it's name might have been or where there might be a reference to it, I have no idea.  The only accommodation to the missionaries, here, was their attempt to assign the Lenape names to equivalent European months, which are not exact, as mentioned.

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