Monday, December 17, 2007

Back Again from the break.

Well, Good to see anyone who has been even remotely taking interest in this blog. I just got back from yet another meeting, and was introduced to another indigenous marvel: the Blackfeet Calendar Stick. This tool is used to mark time in months, as well as keeping track of nights, (Very important if you have a lunar calendar as well) and wind direction. Basically you need 12 meter long sticks, each with a feather tied to the top, each stick has colored bands, (the sticks I have researched since then have 15 black bands on say a green based stick.) To use, you wait until the sun is at its highest point and mark the shadow length on a piece of rawhide or buckskin. You should have longer shadow length in the winter (Can you guess why?) and shorter shadows in the summer. 3 sticks by 29 nights (OK, 30 days as well) makes for a quarter year, so marking vernal and autumnal equinox and summer and winter solstice should be pretty easy. The Blackfeet also use wind direction as a marker for the time of year. The way the wind blows and the intensity also make up a component of what amounts to a portable weather station. Different weather comes on different winds in Blackfeet country. Probably most everywhere has this sort of weather. We here in the Mission valley don't have as much ground wind, but you can tell from which direction the storms come from how bad they are going to be. Until next time.

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