Hashninnak A̱ya

The first moon cycle of this year’s autumn season began with the new moon on September 30. It was a rare beginning to the season in Choctawland because the new moon was also a black moon, or the second new moon of a month. It was a Friday at 7:11pm when the new moon cycle began here, and a lot of us were at the Choctaw Central homecoming football game that night.

That moon just hit its stride the past couple of days with a powerful super moon weekend (Oct. 15-16). The moon was full or near full at 99% both Saturday and Sunday nights, and as it is close enough to Earth to be considered a supermoon, both nights it cast wonderful moon shadows. Just for this, it got plenty of press and most news outlets also pointed out that in local lore the October moon is considered the Hunter’s moon.

Now let’s consider the moon from the ancient Choctaw calendar. Knowing, sort of, that the Choctaw had lunar months, and each moon and month had a name, what was the Choctaw name of the first moon cycle of autumn?

Just as any lunar calendar is very complicated, so is the Choctaw calendar, so we’ll see where this question takes us in the next few posts.

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