Dakota Moons

The moon is essential to life as we know it. Traditionally, the Dakota used the moon to determine the passing of time. A name was given to the moon each month to symbolize significant events that were important to survival and food gathering. Learn more about the Dakota moons!

Wiyawapi (Counting Moons)
Below are the twelve moons that the Mdewakaŋtuŋwaŋ Dakota observe throughout the year. Traditionally, the Dakota New Year (Ómaka Téca) starts in spring.

Maġa Okada WiGeese Egg Laying MoonWétu (Spring)
Wóżupi WiPlanting MoonBdoketu (Summer)
Ważuṡteca Ṡa WiStrawberry Ripening Moon
Caŋpa Sápa WiChokecherry Ripening Moon
Wasutuŋ WiWhen Things Ripen Moon
Psiŋhnaketu WiWild Rice Storing Moon
Wáżupi WiFinal Harvest MoonPtaŋyetu (Autumn)
Tahecapṡuŋ WiDeer Break Off Antlers MoonWaniyetu (Winter)
Caŋpopapi WiTree Popping Moon
Witeḣi WiTime of Hardship Moon
Wicata WiThe Raccoon Moon
Iṡta Wicayazaŋ WiSore Eyes Moon

Because the Dakota follow a thirteen lunar moon cycle, some years will have a thirteenth moon. It should also be noted that the seasons slightly shift when there are thirteen moons.

The thirteenth moon can be either of the following:

Wanicokaya WiMidwinter Moon
Bdokecokaya WiMidsummer Moon
Hocokata TI Tipi View

2300 Tiwahe Circle, Shakopee, MN 55372
Open Wednesday-Saturday from 9am-4:30 pm

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