Cycle of Gifts
The Nez Perce named the seasons of the year according to events in the lifecycles of the plants and animals upon which they depended: flowers (March) were succeeded by ripening roots (April), root-based bread (May), and the arrival of salmon (June), and eels (July). As they spoke the name of each harvest or animal, Nez Perce people were reminded of the Creator’s direct support for their community.
Anthropologist Herbert Spinden spent the summer of 1907 in Idaho, compiling information about the traditional culture of the Nez Perce Indians. His work was supported by Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.
André Michaux. “American Larch,” in North American Sylva, 1853.
to read Spinden's list of plants and animals associated with each month.