Huhugam Heritage Center - Vashai Gakithag Mashath – Dry Grass Month/Moon

October 6, 2023 


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Huhugam Heritage Center



The name for this month refers to the time of year when the landscape and vegetation begins to dry out from the summer growing season.  Later on during this month, the Autumnal Equinox takes place and signifies the arrival of fall.  Days become shorter and nights longer.  This month marks the second full month of our children’s return back to in-person learning on many of our Community’s school campuses.  


In this article, we will talk about school items used in your daily school lessons. In your classrooms, you probably have some of these items in your desks and bookshelves.  We will go through these items and give hints as to what these O’otham words mean.  The first is Ha-mashchamtham, this person gives you instruction on a daily basis. Hashpakuḍ, you use this white liquid to bind things together.  Thapial-ki’ishpakuḍ, with this tool you cut things like paper and fabric. I-ma:sicthakuḍ, these items come in a box and are of many shades. 


Kosthal, this accessory you wear on your back to carry school books and other items. Kuinthakuḍ, with this tool, you measure things. Ohonakuḍ, you probably have several of these items in your desk, some contain graphite lead and others different colors of ink.  Thapial-si:shpakuḍ, with this small metal object, you temporarily bind sheets together.  I-wa:nakuḍ, this object is made of rubber and you use it to remove your mistakes.  Ohon, you probably have a lot of these in your classroom on a shelf, or in a drawer.  E-mashchamtham, this person learns things and they can be of any age. Thapial, some of these items have lines so you can write on them, others are blank so you can draw on them.


This month’s crossword puzzle will test your memory of school items used on a daily basis in your classrooms. We encourage you to learn and speak these O’otham words in your everyday lives.  Speak with an Elder or Speaker and learn how to say the words.  Words may be slightly different between villages.  See if you can match the O’otham word with its English name in the crossword puzzle.


A special Thank You to the Community Elders for sharing their knowledge of items used in the classroom.