The Hard Face Moon of November

moon through pines

Today, November 12, 2019, at 8:37 A.M. the Moon became full again in my neighborhood. Commonly called the Beaver Moon, this was the Ful Moon that signaled for some Indian tribes and Colonists it was time to set beaver traps before swamps and rivers froze in order to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. For some people, the name meant that beavers were now actively preparing for winter.

There is no standard agreed-upon list of names for the monthly Full Moons and tat is especially trie among the Indian tribes of the Americas.

For example, the Cheyenne names for the Full Moons are often listed as the months of the Colonists calendar. That is why there may be two Moon names for one of our months.

Hard Face Moon is a name used by Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.

On November 29, 1864, a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped along Sand Creek in the southeastern Colorado Territory was attacked by the Colorado Territory militia. An estimated 150 to 200 Native Americans were killed, nearly all of them elderly men, women, and children.

Nancy Oswald uses the Sand Creek massacre as the climax for her historical novel, Hard Face Moon, which is the story of a young Cheyenne coming-of-age warrior, thirteen-year-old mute Hides Inside.  The story connects the earth and sky and the Cheyenne people, and it looks at one of the most shameful events in the history of the American West.”

Chief Black Kettle thought that by being peaceful with the whites he would be under the protection of the U. S. Army. The decision is not popular with his people, and the members of the Dog Soldier Society vowed to keep on fighting the whites.

The Sand Creek Massacre occurred in late November and probably was associated with the Hard Face Moon in their history.

Most of us have been told as children about the “Man in the Moon” and we can sometimes see a “face” in the Moon, especially when it is full. So, it is not surprising that people may have seen that face as a changing one.

While November is called by the Cheyenne He’koneneéše’he (Hard Face Moon) there are other months that use that “face” naming. February (He’konénehesó-eše’he) is called the Little Hard Face Moon. March is Heše’évenéhe-éše’he Dirt Face Moon, and October is Heše’kévénestseeše’he Dirt In The Face Moon.

But I find multiple names for the months/moons, such as October also being called Se’ma’omeveéše’he Starting To Freeze Moon.

In England this month was often the Harvest Moon, arriving a month or two later than in the U.S.

In the past, I have written about the November Full Moon as being called Hunters Moon, Snow Moon, (a name used by others for December and February) Sleeping Moon Before the Dark MoonFrost Moon, Trading Moon, Sleeping Moon (Celtic), Moon When Water Freezes and the Sassafras Moon.

In Paradelle this month, by this Full Moon we have had frost, a bit of snow, and no large bodies of water freezing . And that is why no one name for a monthly Full Moon can really apply to all places every year. Personally, I like the variety.

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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