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.
Kawoni is the “Flower Moon” for the Cherokee. This is when plants first come out and flowers bloom. This is a time for new births and renewal. This is when plants can be gathered to replenish our medicines and herbs. The “Long Man”, the streams and rivers, swell and bring renewal and cleansing. This is a time we go to water and pay tribute to the Great Apportioner.
The Origin of Disease and Medicine
Note to readers of Native American Antiquity: This article marks a change. This year, the journal will change from weekly to monthly and will present facts on the art, archaeology, astronomy, history and culture in each article. I hope you enjoy the new format, wado (thanks), Courtney Miller.
For the ancient Cherokee, this time of the year was a time for personal reflection and purification through ritual and ceremony. It was a time of preparation for spring, repairing old tools and making new ones. It was a time when families moved into their “asi” or winter house and listened to stories told by the elders. The asi’s were conical clay houses partially submerged where the families could sit and sleep around the center fire to stay warm.
After 1630, Puritans began pouring in and setting up colonies around present-day Boston. These new colonists were only barely tolerant of other Christian denominations and viewed the natives as savages and heathens with little interest in friendship or trade. In 1637, they destroyed the Pequot and then in 1643 helped the Mohegan defeat the Narraganset. For the next thirty-five years, new settlers flowed in and pushed the natives westward. These new settlers had only contempt for the natives and saw them as standing in the way of progress. In addition to their aggression, the new settlers brought alcoholism and new epidemics to the natives again and again devastating populations.