Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Biboonikeonini (Wintermaker)

Each season has certain spirits that make the season happen. Biboonikeonini (Wintermaker) is a spirit that makes winter.

Biboonikeonini in the Objibwe Giizhig Anung Masinaaigan (Sky Star Map) by Annette Lee, Dakota artist and Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at St. Cloud State University, MN.

Winter-only stories are told in wintertime because a person knows the winter spirits are there. No winter stories are told after the frogs wake up.
In Ojibwe, the snow is referred to as “grandfathers”. For example, “nimishoomis bangishin” is said when snow is falling and translates as “grandfathers falling”. The word “grandfathers” signifies the spirit part of the snow, our connection to snow as a relative, and the observation that snow is much older than humans.
(Taken from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide, An Introduction to Ojibwe Star Knowledge by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbetts, and Carl Gawboy)