Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
O'iyokiphiyA Omaka Theca Yelo!
The Joyous Season Of The New Earth Is Here!
by Dakota Wind
GREAT PLAINS - In the span of a few weeks, the ice has broken on the Missouri River and melted away, the song birds have returned, the first rainfall has cleansed the air and earth, and the trees have begun to bud new leaves.

The wind has changed too. It smells somehow different, warm and clean. The Lakota call this spring wind Niya Awichableze, the Enlightening Breath. It is the first spring wind upon which the Tasiyagnunpa, western meadowlark, returns.

"O'iyokiphiyA Omaka Theca Yelo! [The joyous season of the new earth is here!]," sings the western meadowlark. This is the song that starts Wetu, the Spring season. The meadowlark has been singing in the new year for about a month, and has been recently joined by the cooing of the wakinyela, the mourning dove.

This is the start of the Lakota new year. According to Leroy Curley, "The meadowlark is the forerunner who announces a new season, a new earth and the beginning of the Lakota New Year."

Curley believed that the meadowlark was the smartest bird, "Tasiyagnunpa, the smartest bird stays within the regions where it is always springtime, and that is why, without the meadowlark, there would not be quite the same Omaka Theca."

In the Lakota calendar there are thirteen months, each numbering about twenty-eight days. This month, or moon, is called Magaksica Agli Wi, the Moon When Geese Return.

This year, the day following the night of the full moon, or April 15, 2014, marked the beginning of the new year for the Lakota. The Lakota record their history on Waniyetu Wowapi, the winter count. Each spring, the thiyospaye, extended families, who kept winter counts, would gather and determine how to remember the year with a name and an image. The Waniyetu Wowapi Ta Waposta Gi, the Brown Hat Winter Count, recorded pictographic history, reaches back to AD 901.

But how far back does the archaeological record of the Lakota reach? Ask any Lakota, and he or she will be quick to tell you, "We've always been here."

In 2010, Curley offered this wonderful summary on his thoughts about how long the Lakota have been here: "In verbal and symbolic Thituwa Lakota history, the medicine wheel built of large boulders in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming and the other sacred circle built near Sioux Valley, Manitoba, Canada show carbon-dating at 20 to 40,000 years old of man-made structures. Thus this new year is Lakota Year 40,010 as most nearly the correct annual record of our Thituwa Lakota history in this region of the world."

"In the alternative star knowledge and in the sacred Lakota language, the Lakota people and the Tasiyagnunpa have always been here," Curley concluded.

pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2014 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999 - 2014 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!