The traditional calender for the Lakota was based on the moons cycles. A year was divided into 13 moons with each moon being 28 days long. Traditionally, the Lakota calender started in spring, since spring time symbolizes the start of new life (plants, animals).
While amongst the Lakota there many different names for each new moon, below are the most commonly used names and their corresponding month in the Western calender.
Pȟeží Tȟó Wí (April) The moon of green grass
Čhaƞwápe Tȟó Wí (May) The moon of green leaves
Thíƞpsiƞla Itkáȟča Wí (June) The moon when turnips are in blossom
Čhaƞpȟá Sápa Wí (July) The moon when chokecherry’s are black
Wasútȟuƞ Wí (August) The moon of ripeness
Čhaƞwápe Ǧí Wí (September) The moon of brown leaves
Čhaƞwápe Kasná Wí (October) The moon of falling leaves
Waníyetu Wí (November) The winter moon
Tȟahé Kapšúƞ Wí (December) The moon when deer shed their antlers
Wiótheȟika Wí (January) The moon when the sun is scarce
Cȟaƞnápȟopa Wí (February) The moon of popping trees
Ištáwičhayazaƞ Wí (March) The moon of sore eyes
Great information. my great grandmother was a lakota. I’m very proud of her. want to learn all I can of lakota traditional way of life. Rocky
Waste lo! That is good. Your Grandmother would be proud that you are learning the Lakota language.
So where’s the 13th moon??
Michelle, there are many different names for that moon. We decided to just post the 12 moons along with their related month in the Western calender.
I wouldn’t even know how to begin to pronounce each of the month. How can I learn it without sound?
The words are written out phonically. Certain letters may have a designation to make a certain sound (this is why we included sound).
Oh, thank you!
Pilamaya. I haven’t spoken my native language in years. My mother died in 1995 and was the one I spoke to. I want to brush up so I can teach my son. He has asked me several time to teach him. I would like to get language DVDs and books to help me. If you could point me in the right direction I would be very greatful.
You can find a lot of audio materials and video materials on Lakota here: http://www.llcbookstore.com/
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