Perhaps a little known fact is that the Native Americans gave every full moon a name. Each month’s moon had a name associated with something important that was happening during that month, for instance July’s full moon, which has just passed, was known as the Full Buck Moon to certain tribes:The Full Buck Moon July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.
Different tribes had different names depending on what was happening around them. Jeremy Bruchac and Jonathon London (yes, the Froggy Jonathon London) created a book of beautiful poems and paintings for each of the thirteen moons that occur during the year. It’s called Thirteen Moons On Turtle’s Back: A Year of Native American Moons. Each page offers a beautiful picture to illustrate a story from a different Native American tribe that explains how each moon got its name. This book is not new (it was published in 1992) but we recently ordered a new copy for the Lee Road branch, so you can order it for yourself as well. Why is it on a turtle’s back? I hear you reasonably question. The answer is so interesting that you really should get the book and read about it for yourself, but I’ll give you a hint that just like the names of the moons, it is based on the natural world.
When I learned about the full moon’s names, it gave new meaning to two songs and artists I’ve loved for a long time that I’ve included here for your enjoyment:
Nick Drake’s Pink Moon (name for the April moon)
and Neil Young’s Harvest Moon (October)