Names for the Months in 1835
In 1835, William Fraser Tolmie, a physician and fur trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort McLoughlin in McLoughlin Bay (our Old Town) recorded the following: “names of the moons – Haeeltzuk”
December | Chyquileel | Sun retuins to N.
January | Nygunachgshych
February | Neequnach | Sea water turbid
March | Tsooashascum | Herring spawn
April | Shincunagh | Bark stripping begins
May | Tilwunagh | Bark beaten for bklt making
June | Skeetlunagh | Salmon spearing begins
July | Gooltzimmi | Salmon taken in the weirs
August | Youkuscumalah | Rainy moon
September | Gooltzimmior | Salmon
October | Youkuscumalah
November | Nolacumich* | Porcupines copulate
December | Nanaloshlukageila | Goats
Source: Physician and Fur Trader, Mitchell Press Ltd. Vancouver: 1963, p. 318.
*In the Haisla language, which is closely related to Heiltsuk, n̓ulaǧṃi means “oldest brother or sister”, or “porcupine” (the first animal created, according to legend).
The anthropologist Franz Boas visited Bella Bella in 1923. He recorded the following names for the months:
January | no laslaqag ila | want to be older than December
February | xai kuliɫa | all the food in house gone
March | qwau q!unx sa | sprouting season
April | q!amE l no | fish come out of (moon)
Source: Bella Bella notes 1923, film 372, reel 1, Boas Collection of American Indian Linguistics, American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia, P. 1.