Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The Winter Solstice Begins a Season of Storytelling and Ceremony

 

December 22, 2021

"The Snow Snake Game," by Ernest P. Smith (Seneca, 1907–1975). Tonawanda Reservation, New York. Indian Arts and Crafts Board Headquarters Collection, Department of the Interior, at the National Museum of the American Indian. 26/2224

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21 will be the year's day of least sunlight, when the sun takes its lowest, shortest path across the sky. North of the Arctic Circle, it will be the midpoint of the period of darkness, when even twilight doesn't reach the horizon. As we did before the solar eclipse in August, this December we asked our Native friends to share traditions they've heard about the winter solstice. Their answers highlight winter as a time for storytelling.

Editor's Note: This article first appeared on the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian's website in Dec. 2017. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Ojibwe (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe): This description of winter in many Native communities was prepared by the Indian Land Tenure Foundation/Lessons of Our Land as background for teachers:

https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/the-winter-solstice-begins-a-season-of-storytelling-and-ceremony

 

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