Native American Moon Names

Native American Moon Names

With the coming of spring, we at AIANTA decided to do a little moongazing.

Obviously, with 573 federally recognized tribes, Native Hawaiians and even more state-recognized tribes throughout the country there is a nearly limitless supply of moon names. Here are just a few:

Please note, the months below are rough approximations of when each moon will appear. The concept of months only occurred post-colonization and most of these Tribal translations pre-date colonization and generally reflect the seasonality of lunar phases. Moon phases, in fact, were used as measurements of time.

Also, in the Mahican Dialect, ʔ signifies a glottal stop and ã is nasal tone, similar to the French aaaw.

January

Great Spirit Moon Gichimanidoo-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Start of the Winter Moon Maajii-bibooni-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
New Winter Moon Oshki-bibooni-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Ice Moon Muhe Nuti (moo-hay noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Windy Month Dunolvtanv Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Winter Moon Ukiuq Inupiat Language, North Slope, Alaska
Cracking Tree Moon Putheʔnaawe Mtokw Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
Someone’s Ears are Freezing Moon Teyakohuhtya’ks Oneida
Waning Moon Tahch’awɛka Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Nisgówakneh Seneca

February

Suckerfish Moon Namebini-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Eagle Moon Migizi-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
When the Bear Cubs are Born Moon Makoonsag-gaa-nitaawaadi-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
First Flower Moon Siwekure Araskehe Nuti (sihway-koo-ray ah-rahs-kay-hay noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Hungry Month Kagali Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Deep Snow Moon Muxaʔtaawe Osãane Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
Midwinter Moon Tsha’tekohselha Oneida
Little Sister of the Waning Moon Tahch’awɛka Tehekuma Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Nis’ah Seneca

March

Hard Crust on the Snow Moon Onaabani-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Snowshoe Breaking Moon Bebookwedaagime-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Crow Moon Aandego-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Goose Moon Nika-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Sugar Making Moon Ziinsibaakwadooke-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Wind Moon Hiiye Nuti (hee-yay noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Strawberry/First Leaves Month Anvyi Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Spring Moon Upinagasraq Inupiat Language, North Slope, Alaska
Crow Moon Kãʔkãʔkoowe Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
The Day is Cut in Two Moon Tewehnislya’ks Oneida
Hackberry Month Komelitahch’a Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Niyó’not’à:h Seneca

April

Sugarbushing Moon Iskigamizige-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Frog Moon Omakakiiwi-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Snowshoe Breaking Moon Bobookwedaagime-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Loon Moon Maango-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Bear a Child Moon YitAruwakrere Nuti (ying-taroo-wah-kray-ray noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Duck/Bird Month kawonuhi Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Grass & Geese Moon Othkeethkwun wãak Pkwaaxowãpthowuk Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
It’s Thundering Moon Wasakayutese Oneida
Planting Moon Tahch’atapa Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  O’nót’ah Seneca

May

Budding Moon Zaagibagaa-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Flowering Moon Waabigoni-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Flowering Moon Waswwgone-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Snake Moon Ya? Nuti (ya(q) noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Planting Month anisgvti Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Summer Moon Upinagaaq Inupiat Language, North Slope, Alaska
Planting Moon Aʔkeʔaat Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
They Plant Moon Latiy^thos Oneida
Dancing Moon Tahch’ahipu Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Ganö́’gat Seneca

June

Strawberry Moon Odemiini-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Gardening Moon Gitige-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Flowering Moon Waawano-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
River Moon Iswa Nuti (ees-wong noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
They Are Arriving/Plants in Garden are Sprouting Month dehaluyi Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Moon of Birthing Ignivik Inupiat Language, North Slope, Alaska
Strawberry Moon Otaʔeemeene Neepãuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
Strawberry Moon Aw^hihte Oneida
Summer Moon Tihikatahch’a Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Yáikneh Seneca

July

Halfway Sumer Moon Abitaa-niibini-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Blueberry Moon Miini-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Raspberry Moon Miskomini-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Flying Moon Baashkawe’o-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Thunderstorm Moon Hiyeswa Tiriri Nuti (hihyay-swong tihrihrih noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Corn in Tassel Month guyegwoni Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Honey Bee Moon Ãamowaawe Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
String Bean Moon Ohyotsheli Oneida
Little Sister of the Summer Moon Tihikatahch’a Tehekuma Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Sáísgekneh Seneca

August

Ricing Moon Manoominike-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Blackberry Moon Odatagaagomini giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Flying Moon Basikwa’o giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Dry Moon Yiraha? Nuti (yihrah-hah(q) noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
End of Fruit Month galoni Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Corn Moon Skumoone Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
New or Fresh Corn Moon On^tase Oneida
Hot Moon Tahch’aruwina Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Gëdë́’ökneh Seneca

September

Leaves Turning Moon Waatebagaa-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Corn Moon Mandaamini giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Moose Moon Moozo giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Gourd Moon Wade Nuti (wah-day noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Nut Month dulisdini Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Fall Moon Ukiuqsraq Inupiat Language, North Slope, Alaska
Falling Leaf Moon Poneʔna-wueepukw Neepaʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
Someone Harvests Moon Yey^thokwas Oneida
Little Sister of the Hot Moon Tahch’aruwina Tehekuma Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
Hayë́:neah Seneca

October

Falling Leaves Moon Binaakwe-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Harvest Moon (gather) Atkuwa Nuti (aht-koo-wah noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Harvest Month duninvdi Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Someone Stores Food Moon Yutekhway^he Oneida
Hunting Moon Paʔpeepmãat Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
Hunting Moon Tahch’awɛra Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Gä́nohdo’k’ah Seneca

November

Freezing Over Moon Gashkadino-Giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Whitefish Moon Adikomemi-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
They Give Thanks Moon Tehut^nuhelatuhe Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Leaf Fall Moon Yapa Huktugere Nuti (yah-pah hook-too-gay-ray noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Hunter Month nvdadegwa Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
First Snow Moon Sãapeewe Osãane Neepãʔuk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
Little Winter Moon Tahch’asap’aratohku Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Gahsá’kneh Seneca

December

Little Spirit Moon Manidoo-Giizisoons Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Big Winter Moon Gichi-bibooni-giizis Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
Storytelling Moon (I will tell you) Hiinaiwi Nuti (hee-ee-nah-ihwih noong-tee) Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
Snow Month vsgiyi Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Dead of Winter Moon Ukiugraq Inupiat Language, North Slope, Alaska
Long Night Moon Kwne tpoʔkut Neepãʔk Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin
It’s a Long Night Moon Wahsutes Oneida
Winter Moon Tahch’asap’ara Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  Joto:h Seneca

Moon

Moon Muha Northern Paiute, Nevada
Content, Corrections and Additions

The words and phrases in this post were provided by members of the various tribes listed and we offer our deepest thanks for all who assisted us with this story, with a special shout out to Gerry J. at Seneca Nation of Indians for going above and beyond.

Spellings and translations may vary. Some words may be missing accents or symbols due to limited characters on a keyboard. We’re happy to add your language and/or hear corrections and suggestions on spellings and translations, so please contact us at info@aianta.org.

We’re happy to add your language and/or hear corrections and suggestions on spellings and translations, so feel free to contact us at info@aianta.org.

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