ṈIṈENE – MOON OF THE CHILD
The face of the young man represents youth, a new beginning, the rebirth of the animal world, and the new edible shoots. This is the Saanich New Year. The moon’s yellow hair is the returning light to the world.
This is the time the Earth starts to move closer to the Sun once again. All things begin to warm up; everything in nature is being reborn. Although the cold, winds, and winter rains, are still with us there are some good days and this is the first sign that a new year has begun.
Some of the twine that had been made from nettles was now woven for reef net fishing. Each family group had a responsibility to produce a certain amount of net or the fishery and these parts would later be assembled. Because there was no hunting or fishing going on, people relied mainly on the fish and game that had been stored for the Winter. For those who would risk the rough seas, there was halibut fishing as the fish returned to their spawning grounds. This was also the season when fawns were born, so the new moon signaled the time to stop deer hunting.
The instruction of the children through the telling of tales helped to pass the long Winter nights. The longhouse ceremonial dances continued.