To keep track of seasonal changes Native people would use the turtle’s shell.  The moon completes 13 lunar cycles between summers.  It takes 28 days to go from full moon to full moon (one lunar cycle).

There are 13 large scutes, or sections found on a turtle’s inner shell.  Surrounding them are 28 smaller scutes on the outer shell.

The turtle’s shell became the first way of dating event for Native people.  After each full moon a small scute was counted until the next full moon (28 days).  At the beginning of each moon stories would be told about the events that occurred since the last full moon.  These stories would be passed down from generation to generation.  Each moon was given a name for an important event that occurred during its lunar cycle.  Moon names vary from group to group due to differences in climate, terrain or important local events.