Cokv-Walv Mvskoke Redux

The reliable return of summer solstice means the end of one year and the beginning of another in Mvskoke country. Like other indigenous Americans, Mvskoke people "survived by knowing their natural environment well and making direct use of its surpluses. It was a land of abundance, but that abundance was only available to those who … Continue reading Cokv-Walv Mvskoke Redux

Tasahce-Rakko, “Big Spring”

The dominant culture in North America tends to make a big deal out of the vernal equinox, around March 20, when night and day are about equal in length. Among those who define seasonal change according to strictly astronomical criteria, this marks the beginning of spring—a welcome relief from the cold and dreary conditions of … Continue reading Tasahce-Rakko, “Big Spring”

Tasahcuce, “Little Spring”

In the spring Mvskoke people lightly turn to thoughts of love and wild onions, if not necessarily in that order. Writing at the gloomy close of the nineteenth century, Mvskoke poet Alexander Posey was glad to hear "a lone bird sing" amid the "frosty winds" of winter's end, announcing "the warm smile of Spring." Posey … Continue reading Tasahcuce, “Little Spring”

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”