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A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Entry: When Is a Turtle a Calendar? - A88054310
Author: Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor - U1590784

Somebody on Twitter pointed out this turtle calendar and I thought it might go well in the Guide.

smiley - dragon

A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 2

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

That's great! I love it!

A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 3

SashaQ - happysad

Great Entry, with lovely images smiley - biggrin

Can you say a bit more about how the mnemonic works? Someone has drawn an X on the tortoise's shell in the top right image, or is the X virtual like the numbers?

smiley - ok

A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 4

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

The X was drawn by a member of the US government who was showing people how to properly do a turtle census - and it was the only public domain picture of a turtle shell I could find. Sorry, I can't get it off because I am not FWR.

Aha, I see more info about this calendar...smiley - run...back in a bit...smiley - run

A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Okay, I put in some more information based on reading. It's not tidy because other people don't have to think like 'westerners' of the 21st century. smiley - laugh

See if it makes sense.

A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 6

SashaQ - happysad

Thank you - yes, that answers my questions smiley - ok

The X on the turtle fits in well alongside the explanations - serendipitous smiley - ok

A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 7


'We called him Tortoise because he taught us.' - Lewis Carroll

In British English:
Lives on land = tortoise
Lives in the sea = turtle
Lives in rivers & lakes = terrapin
Would you considering mentioning whether all three can be used as calendars or if it is just turtles?


A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 8

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

In the lore of the Eastern Woodland, the word 'turtle' seems to be used generically and applies to turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.
This is because they didn't make these things up in English and don't care what the invaders called them. smiley - zen The Cherokee word I found in an online dictionary (because I cannot read Cherokee) is &#5028;&#5045;&#5054;&#5099; and defined as encompassing everything with a shell and a plastron. It's like going up a level on the taxonomy, I think. I found some other words that were more specific.

But I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that 'turtle' is generic in stories about Turtle. All the videos and web pages use different photos depending on where they live.

I wondered about this, too, because my dad's people always referred to the local shelled ones in the mountains as 'terrapins'.

I also found this:

'Turtles are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Turtle Clans include the Chippewa (whose Turtle Clan and its totem are called Mikinaak,) the Menominee (whose Mud Turtle Clan is named Maehkaenah,) the Huron-Wyandot (who at one point had four different turtle clans: mud turtle, water turtle, striped turtle, and great turtle,) and the Abenaki, Shawnee, and Iroquois tribes. The turtle was also the special tribal emblem of the Lenape Delawares, who have a Turtle Dance among their tribal dance traditions. On the Northwest Coast, the sea turtle is sometimes used as a totem pole crest.'

Here is the song of a Turtle Dance from the Pueblo. One of the musicians is named Jerry Garcia.


I personally would not like to use a snapping turtle as a calendar. There are some in our streams that will take your arm off. Better to use a nice, docile box turtle. smiley - smiley

Anyway, I added a couple more paragraphs to this, and a link. Any more bad puns you want investigated?

A88054310 - When Is a Turtle a Calendar?

Post 9

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Oh, and you can count the calendar on this delightful little fellow, who should be called Zaphod.


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