Huhugam Heritage Center: Auppa I’ivakithak Mashath
The name for this month refers to the budding of the Auppa (Fremont’s Cottonwood) later this month. This occurrence reminds O’otham that spring is a few months away. Many O’otham have been talking about the weather lately, it seems as we had just experienced another ju:k (rain) system as it had passed through our community.
We have experienced a few mornings when we had gone outside our homes for that drive to work and had to contend with gev (snow/frost) on our vehicle windshields. It had taken some time for those heaters to melt that frost off of those windshields. We had recorded a low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit at the Huhugam Heritage Center.
As we travel throughout our community we can see the effects of that gev had on many of those plants. One location where that gev effect is very apparent is at Ñui Kosh (Buzzard’s Roost) by Aji in Santan District. Many of those ha:hag (leaves) on the auppa has turned yellow and gray and had started to drop off those auppa.
The shrubs underneath had turned brown from gev damage. But, not to worry all of those different plants will spring back to life as the weather warms up. On other occasions we had to drive through dense patches of s-ku:bsig (fog) in order to get to work and school. Of course we had experienced many days when the chevag (clouds) had covered those skies all day.
On some of those days the chevag had been accompanied by hevel (wind) and will drizzle. O’otham calls this light rainfall si:bañ. Remember to be mindful as we drive through those weather elements and keep an eye out for our children as they wait for their buses at those bus stops alongside those roads. This month’s crossword will feature weather elements. We encourage you to learn these words and use them in your everyday lives.