The W̱SÁNEĆ 13 moon calendar, SḴÁU ȽTE, represents the natural laws of the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) people. The calendar depicts the four seasons, the W̱SÁNEĆ 13 moons and the culturally important plants, food, medicines, animals and marine life and illustrates the flow of activities that occurred when W̱SÁNEĆ people lived a traditional life linked to nature.
“It was not our way to separate these activities when we lived a traditional life because all was sacred to us. Our art, language, spirituality and our everyday activities were all one. In our homes and in our longhouses we continue to observe the wisdom of the past.”
~The Saanich Year, by Earl Claxton (YELḰÁTŦE) and John Elliott (STOLȻEȽ).
When you visit South Pender Island, you can see this representation of the 13 moon calendar and read the whole story. It is set on the site of an ancient village that archeological research confirms existed more than 4,000 years ago. Research also confirms this area contained the earliest known findings of the Northwest Coast tradition and a culture more complex than any known so far for the region.
This beautiful 13 moon calendar is a gift from W̱SÁNEĆ artist MENEŦIYE to illustrate the respect for the land and the interconnectedness of all living things. It is offered in the spirit of recognition and respect for the deep wisdom of W̱SÁNEĆ culture.