Myth & Lore

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Thirteen Moons On A Turtle's Back
By Kevin Nadjiwon on Facebook


Many Native Americans share the knowledge of the thirteen moons on a turtle’s back. As children they are taught to examine the segments on the back of every turtle. There are thirteen large segments which represent the thirteen moons which make up the lunar year. By counting the smaller segments around the lower edge of the shell, you will find there are 28, which represents the 28 days between new moons. Every group of Native Americans has names for the thirteen moons and there are stories to go with each new moon.

The names of the moons and the stories that accompany them vary from one group to another, but each is descriptive of the season in which the new moon appears.

The Human Body carries the same calendar as follows:
2 shoulder, 2 elbow, 2 wrist joints = 6
2 hip, 2 knees, 2 ankle joints = 6
universal neck joint= 1
Total 13

10 fingers 10 toes
8 directions(east, west, south, north, sky, earth, inner and outer)
Total 28

The Turtle is also 6 pointed star
(Head, 2 Top/2 Lower flippers and Tail)
[*Sacred Star of David and other sacred geometry]
Human Beings are made of Air, Fire, Water, Earth and the Elements of the Universe and Sparked to Life By The Dream of The Creator and have a dream destiny yet to be revealed with the Universe.

The Medicine of Turtle is “Mother Earth.” Turtle Clan are made up of the intellectuals, wise people and are often called “star gazers” because they are known for their constant pursuit of meditation and philosophy. They solve the problems within the nation. The turtle is the leader of the fish clan. In this clan we have different types of fish such as migrating, territorial, bottom feeders, top eaters, late spanners, early spanners.


Brief History of the Anishinaabek

In the beginning, Gizhemanidoo created the universe as we know it today. He created Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth and Father Sky. And on the earth he created all things, living and nonliving. He created life in the earth, on the earth, in the sky and in the water. He created the plants, rivers, four-legged and winged creatures, and the swimmers. After this was done, he created one of the greatest mysteries of all – the four seasons – to bring harmony and balance to all.

After all creation was complete, he created man. After he created the first Anishinaabe, he came to him in a dream and instructed him that he was to name all things in the language that he gave him, Anishinaabemowin. So the first man went about on his journey and named all things he saw – all the animals, insects, birds and fish – however long this took. Afterward, he spoke to the Creator Gizhemanidoo in his dream and said, “I have finished what you have told me to do.” Then the Creator Gizhemanidoo spoke back to him and said, “Yes, you have indeed done so, and now it is time for me to give you your name. Your name shall be Nanabozho, and whenever your people meet and greet one another, they will say a part of your name. That is why whenever the Anishinaabe people greet one another, they say the word Bozhoo.

In Anishinaabe culture, we are taught that a piece of mother earth was put on the turtle's back after the great flood. Nanabozho saw that the back of the turtle had thirteen sections, which he compared to the thirteen moons of the year.

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