Why the Moon leaves the sky – Soap Stories

This time on Soap Stories, we’re going to hear the Menominee legend that explains the lunar cycle. It’s one of the featured Native American legends on Zion Health soap – Moon Dance.

The Menominee are a Native American tribe from the Midwest – their ancestral lands stretch from Wisconsin to Michigan, where they have lived for longer than possibly any other regional tribe. Menominee culture is rich with entertaining and meaningful stories, and their legend about the new moon goes like this:

The Sun and his sister the Moon lived together in a wigwam in the East. One day, Sun set out to go hunting and was gone a long time.

As time passed, Moon became more and more worried about her shiny brother, and went into the sky in search of him. She searched and searched for 20 long days all over the sky. She actually searched so long that she died for 4 days, then returned to life to continue her search for 20 days more.

If this timeline sounds familiar, that’s because it matches the lunar progression! For 20 days the moon travels all over the sky “looking,” then for 4 days the moon “disappears.” This ancient explanation for planetary movement highlights the deep connection between the Menominee and natural cycles of sun and moon.


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