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Return to 13 Moons

 

CENTÁWEN - THE COHO SALMON RETURN TO EARTH (August)

The Coho Salmon returns to the Earth. The illustration shows the face of the Coho and the human together. The face of the Coho/human is to remind the Saanich Peoples that the salmon were human at one time. The swift running tide picture illustrates where the salmon travel. The camp is the home away from permanent home for the Saanich Peoples.

 

CONNECTIONS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

August derives its name from the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. In most northern countries this is the time for summer holidays, fairs, fetes and festivals. The moon marks the arrival of the Coho Salmon.

WEATHER

The first rains begin and break the drought of the summer. Water flow in the streams, rivers and creeks increases. This enables the salmon that have gathered in the inlets, to begin their spawning journey.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES

This was a good moon for cod fishing. Traditionally the sea urchins were used as bait for Tommy Cod and the Tommy Cod was used as bait for the larger Ling Cod. Ling Cod could be lured to the surface with bait alone and speared since they were so anxious to protect their nests, that they would take a hook without the bait. As the weather cooled, the rains came and the forest was renewed once again. Deer Hunting began. This was also a good month to harvest the Hog Fennel (KEXMIN) which was used in a variety of First Nations medicines.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • What are differences between Coho, Sockeye, Humpback and Dog Salmon?
  • How can you tell if a fish is fresh or not?
  • This is a time for harvesting plants for medicines. Can you think of any plants that produce medicines?
 
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Lester B. Pearson College