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Return to 13 Moons

 

WEXES - MOON OF THE FROG (Mid February to Mid March)

The frog on the face of the moon represents DOLUANW - the Keeper of the Sacred Season. It is time to gather foods and medicine. The Saanich People place cedar boughs in the water close to the shore, so that the herring will lay roe on them.

CONNECTIONS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

February derives its name from the Latin word 'februarius' which means to purify. The Saanich People, like the Romans, designated this month to sacredness and purification.  March derives its name from Mars, the Roman god of War. The Anglo Saxons called it the 'Hlyd Monath - the loud and stormy month'.  

For the Saanich Peoples, this moon in particular was significant because the frog acts as a witness and a messenger to them. The frog announced the Sacred Season of Plenty. Because the frog was honoured as the Keeper of the Sacred Season, it was often presented on totem poles and in artwork to show that an important event had occurred.

During this moon, the wonder of nature repeats an amazing process: Mother Earth warms up and the hibernating frog wakes from its winter sleep, announcing the coming of spring.

WEATHER

As the Northern Hemisphere moves closer to the Sun, the more the Earth warms. Rains diminish and more sunshine is evident.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES

This moon was especially welcomed because it signalled that the ocean had become safer to travel on and it was time to put the canoes back into the water. Herring and herring roe, a source of food, were collected by placing cedar branches along the shore for the herring to lay their eggs upon. Herring was also dried into a delicacy called QELEJ and stored for future use. The earliest runs of herring were into Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

The appearance of the frog was a sign to end the activities of Winter ceremonial dances and move outdoors to prepare for the season when the Salmon people would return.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Who or what do you honour in your life?
  • What signals does nature give us to start or end things?
  • In what ways do you and your family prepare for spring?

 

 
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Lester B. Pearson College