13 Moons Turtle Island

The turtle’s back is a significant symbol used in Iroquoian media. It represents the creation of  Turtle Island also known as the continent of North America, on turtle’s back or more accurately the “Earth Grasper”,  from our Creation Story.  A closer look will reveal a pattern of thirteen individual segments on his back which represent each moon of the Iroquoian cycle of seasons.  These segments are named according to seasonal practices and natural environmental occurances e.g. Green Corn, Harvest etc.  Further to this there are twenty-eight platelets which form an edging around the shell. This is the number of days in the moon cycle. This “calendar” can be used to guide curriculum development across all subjects in education; and is a good organizational management tool as well. Oneida knowledge and traditions do have application in contemporary times, building these funds of knowledge into the structures of daily life make ways of doing things more  relevant to Oneida learners.

click on link below to see an enlarged version of the 13 moons on turtles back

13 moons on turtles back

Click on image below to watch Our Thirteen Grandmother Moons video