MC Crane - Hi Resolution-comp

Icon of the Myaamia Center at Miami University

cecaahkwa kiilhswa is the third lunar month of the Myaamia lunar calendar.  Like the other months named for birds, cecaahkwa kiilhswa is associated with the process of transition from pipoonwi (winter) into niipinwi (summer).  The month is named for cecaahkwa (Sandhill Crane – grus canadensis).

cecaahkwa

cecaahkwa (Sandhill Crane) performing a mating dance

Around this time of year, Sandhill Cranes return from their winter nesting grounds in what is today the state of Florida.  Historically, some cranes nested in our traditional homelands along the Wabash River Valley and some traveled to other nesting grounds throughout the midwest. This moon marks an important moment of return, rebirth, and renewal for an animal, cecaahkwa, that is closely associated with Myaamia people.  Delaware and Iroqouis speaking peoples, who originally lived to our east and south, referred to the Myaamia as the “Twigh Twee” after the call of the Sandhill Crane.

Peace 3

Signature of Myaamia leader on Great Peace of 1701

In the past, Myaamia people would mark the edges of our lands by blazing the head of cecaahkwa into trees along major trails.  In 1701, a Myaamia leader signed a treaty with this very symbol.  Cecaahkwa remains a powerful symbol of Myaamia people and can still be found on the tribal seal of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

Seal of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Seal of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

click here to return to Myaamia Ecology page

Mihšiiwia Kiilhswa (Elk Moon) is named for the Eastern American Elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis). In the 1400s, it is estimated that the Eastern Elk had the greatest range of any hoofed species in North America. But this dispersed and large population diminished quickly in the years following European settlement. By the 1840s, no Eastern Elk subspecies could be found in the state of Indiana and the subspecies was declared extinct in North America in 1880. Eastern Elk were larger than Roosevelt Elk, which are found out west in the United States. Adult Eastern Elk males could weigh as much as 1000 pounds and often grew to five feet tall at the shoulder.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_American_Elk_-_John_J._Audubon

To the best of our knowledge, this month is associated with the fact that the Eastern Elk used to mate around this time of this year (August & September). During mating season, the woodlands around the Wabash River would fill with the sounds of male Elk bugling, which is used to call out to females and warn off competing males (click here to listen to an Elk bugle). The Eastern Elk’s close cousin, the Roosevelt Elk, has been introduced to the woodlands east of the Mississippi, and so it is possible that in a few generations we may once again hear the bugling of Elk along the Wabash.

click here to return to Myaamia Ecology page

MC Crane - Hi Resolution-comp

Icon of the Myaamia Center at Miami University

cecaahkwa kiilhswa is the third lunar month of the Myaamia lunar calendar.  Like the other months named for birds, cecaahkwa kiilhswa is associated with the process of transition from pipoonwi (winter) into niipinwi (summer).  The month is named for cecaahkwa (Sandhill Crane – grus canadensis).

cecaahkwa

cecaahkwa (Sandhill Crane) performing a mating dance

Around this time of year, Sandhill Cranes return from their winter nesting grounds in what is today the state of Florida.  Historically, some cranes nested in our traditional homelands along the Wabash River Valley and some traveled to other nesting grounds throughout the midwest. This moon marks an important moment of return, rebirth, and renewal for an animal, cecaahkwa, that is closely associated with Myaamia people.  Delaware and Iroqouis speaking peoples, who originally lived to our east and south, referred to the Myaamia as the “Twigh Twee” after the call of the Sandhill Crane.

Peace 3

Signature of Myaamia leader on Great Peace of 1701

In the past, Myaamia people would mark the edges of our lands by blazing the head of cecaahkwa into trees along major trails.  In 1701, a Myaamia leader signed a treaty with this very symbol.  Cecaahkwa remains a powerful symbol of Myaamia people and can still be found on the tribal seal of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

Seal of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Seal of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

click here to return to Myaamia Ecology page

Over time, Myaamia people have lived in a wide variety dwelling types. The traditional home of the Myaamia is called wiikiaami (click to hear pronuncation).  A wiikiaami is a domed structure that could be covered in cattail reed mats or bark depending on the season. Often these were also lined with bulrush mats, which were decorated. The layers of mats created an insulated space, which kept these dwellings warm and dry. Wiikiaami is often called a wigwam in English. Today, wiikiaami is a word that Myaamia people can use for any house or dwelling.

kiikapwa wiikiaami

This Kickapoo wiikiaami is like those still built by Myaamia people. The image shows the layers of cattail mats used to keep homes warm and dry.

wiikiaami 2011

This wiikiaami was built by Myaamia people as a part of the Eewansaapita youth program in 2011. The cattail mats were provided by Dani Tippman. The group did not have enough to cover the roof, so a canvas tarp was used instead.

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Mihšiiwia Kiilhswa (Elk Moon) is named for the Eastern American Elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis). In the 1400s, it is estimated that the Eastern Elk had the greatest range of any hoofed species in North America. But this dispersed and large population diminished quickly in the years following European settlement. By the 1840s, no Eastern Elk subspecies could be found in the state of Indiana and the subspecies was declared extinct in North America in 1880. Eastern Elk were larger than Roosevelt Elk, which are found out west in the United States. Adult Eastern Elk males could weigh as much as 1000 pounds and often grew to five feet tall at the shoulder.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_American_Elk_-_John_J._Audubon

To the best of our knowledge, this month is associated with the fact that the Eastern Elk used to mate around this time of this year (August & September). During mating season, the woodlands around the Wabash River would fill with the sounds of male Elk bugling, which is used to call out to females and warn off competing males (click here to listen to an Elk bugle). The Eastern Elk’s close cousin, the Roosevelt Elk, has been introduced to the woodlands east of the Mississippi, and so it is possible that in a few generations we may once again hear the bugling of Elk along the Wabash.

click here to return to Myaamia Ecology page