OCTOBER: Harvest Moon Duninudi Time of traditional “Harvest Festival” Nowatequa when the people give thanks to all the living things of the fields and earth that helped them live, and to the “Apportioner” Unethlana. Cheno i-equa or “Great Moon” Festival is customarily held at this time.
Fruits and nuts were gathered from the trees and bushes during this moon. Many of them were put in breads for crunch and flavor. Hunting was stepped up to prepare for fall and winter. The Ripe Corn Festival was celebrated to honor Selu, First Woman, and The Apportioner, as well, for providing a fertile harvest.
By the time of the Fruit Moon, Galoni [August], the green corn has started to ripen. No corn is eaten until after the Green Corn Festival. “The Green Corn Ceremony was traditionally celebrated during late June or early July for about four days. The dates scheduled for the celebration depended upon the time the first corn ripened. The ceremony was held in the middle of the ceremonial grounds. Included in the rituals were the stomp dance, feather dance and buffalo dances.
The moon of the ripe corn is a time for celebrating the bountiful treasures given to us by Asgaya Galvlati, the “Apportioner”. The “Green Corn Dance” was once celebrated at this time. And it is traditionally the start of the stick ball games known as the Anetsa, or “Little Brother of War.”
In the old days, the women spent many hours of the day weaving clothes and baskets, crafting pottery, and grinding corn in the plazas of their villages. They passed the time singing songs, gossiping, laughing and sharing skills and stories. They were happy, productive times. Feather Smith, a guide at the Diligwa Village, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, explained the Cherokee crafts in these videos from the Native American Antiquity article “Great Sites, Part 6: The Cherokee Crafts.“
For the ancestors, Tihuluhiyi [June], the Green Corn Moon, signals the emergence of plants in the fields and the first sign of “corn in tassel”. With the beginning of summer, it was a time to repair the Council House and build or repair new homes. Note: The Green Corn Moon should not be confused with the Green Corn Ceremony that happens in August (Galoni: The Fruit Moon).