mahkwa kiilhswa ‘Black Bear Moon’

Mahkwa Kiilhswa ‘Black Bear Moon’ is one of two lunar months named for mahkwa ‘American black bear (Ursus americanus).’ It typically occurs between late December and early February on the Gregorian calendar. To the best of our knowledge, this month is associated with mature females giving birth to their cubs. Female bears have a litter of cubs every 2 years, and litters range from 1-5 cubs. Following birth, cubs stay with their mother for 1-2 years. Mahkooki ‘American black bears’ were an important source of food for Myaamiaki ‘Miami people,’ with bear tenderloin being a particular delicacy. Mahkwa also plays a prominent role in Myaamia aalhsoohkaana ‘Winter Stories.’

Female American black bear (Ursus americanus) with her cub

You can learn more about American black bears by visiting Wikipedia