September: Harvest Moon


Just as the Romans felt the need to name the months of their calendar and we today feel the need to continue with those names as an easier way of marking the passage of time, so the Native American peoples also named the divisions of their calendars.  Based on the moon’s cycles, each full moon had a name, and the association for the month would last until the next full moon.

September is the month when the main harvest is taken in.  It’s also when nut trees drop their fruits–acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts, and more.  September is generally a markedly cooler month.  This is when many animals of the plains, such as buffalo, elk, etc. grow their winter coat to prepare for the coming cold.  Stocking up for the cold season is the main activity of this month.  The September 2010 full moon is September 23.

The names of the moons give evidence for what each tribal culture considered to be important during that time period, either the influence of the weather, or which animals were prominent, or when their staple crops would grow, or when they could gather ripened food.

Abenaki- Corn Maker Moon

Algonquin– Middle Between Harvest and Eating Corn

Anishnaabe- Rice Moon

Arapaho- Geese Shedding Their Feathers

Cherokee– Nut Moon

Cheyenne–Drying Grass Moon

Choctaw– Mulberry Moon; Little Chestnut Moon

Comanche– Paperman Moon

Cree– Snow Goose Moon

Creek- Little Chestnut Moon

Dakota Sioux–Moon When the Calves Grow Hair

Haida– Ice Moon

Hopi– Moon of Full Harvest

Kalapuya– End of Summer

Lakota– Moon of the Brown Leaves

Mohawk– Time of Much Freshness

Omaha–Moon When the Deer Paw the Earth

Pueblo–Moon When the Corn is Taken In

Shawnee- Papaw Moon

Shoshone– Fall

Sioux- Calves Grow Hair

Tlingit–Big Moon

Wishram–Her Acorns Moon

Zuni–Corn is Harvested

Farmer’s Almanac says this month’s moon is also known as Corn Moon, or Harvest Moon.

*I’m not an expert on Native American culture or practices, though I have been interested and studying some of their practices/traditions for many years.  The subject of the Moon Names is a recent area of interest.  Any errors contained in this post are entirely my own, and I apologize for my inadequate intelligence.*

Sources: Farmer’s Almanac, Llewellyn 2010 Witches Datebook, Western Washington University Planetarium

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One response to “September: Harvest Moon

  1. i just saw the moon on that feature..it was so creepy looking at it….

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