Mnokme was the time when the spirits reawakened and life was restored. The thunder of approaching storms was believed to be the mnedok (spirits) returning home. Ceremonies were performed thanking the spirits for their winter protection and for fertility as new life emerged.
The Potawatomi new year began with Nmébnégises (Sucker Fish Moon). As the rivers and lakes thawed the annual sucker fish spawning runs began. Fish made up a large part of the Potawatomi diet, so catching fish during the warmer months was an important activity that took many forms and used tools like spears, traps and nets. A variety of fish species including salmon, trout and bass were caught during spring and summer, leaving the larger pike, steelhead and sturgeon for the cooler months.
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center