Kē-Hvse, “Mulberry Month”

The calendar year in Mvskoke country winds down with a couple of months named for edible fruits: kē, "mulberry," and kvco, "blackberry." And like only one other month in cokv-walv Mvskoke (Hotvlē-Hvse, “Wind Month"), their traditional names include the word for "month" itself, presumably to avoid confusion between each month and its namesake. The remaining … Continue reading Kē-Hvse, “Mulberry Month”

Hotvlē-Hvse, “Wind Month”

The last month of the winter season brings blustery weather to Mvskoke lands, an annual turn as predictable in Indian Territory as it was in the old country. Today this is still the windiest part of the year in northern Alabama and Georgia, and anyone now living in eastern Oklahoma knows it's the time of … Continue reading Hotvlē-Hvse, “Wind Month”

Rvfo ‘Cuse, “Winter’s Younger Brother”

Last month I took the arrival of "Big Winter" as an occasion for exploring seasonal divisions in cokv-walv Mvskoke. This time-honored calendar synthesizes the astronomical and ecological knowledge our agrarian forebears found to be useful. Based on evidence from the Mvskoke language, from Muskogean oral tradition, and from other indigenous and scientific calendars around the … Continue reading Rvfo ‘Cuse, “Winter’s Younger Brother”

Rvfo-Rakko, “Big Winter”

The ancient Mvskoke calendar is grounded in astronomical observations. Each new year, for example, begins with posketv, the ceremony known in English as Green Corn, traditionally held around summer solstice. And the sequence of twelve hvse approximates the number of lunar months occurring in an annual period. So cokv-walv Mvskoke is structured by the sun's … Continue reading Rvfo-Rakko, “Big Winter”