Songs from the Sky: Indigenous Astronomical and Cosmological Traditions of the World [Paperback]

Von Del Chamberlain (Author); J. B. Carlson (Author); M. Jane Young (Author)

ISBN: 9780954086725 | Published by: Ocarina Books | Year of Publication: 2005 | Language: English 380p, H278 x W215 (mm) b/w illus

Songs from the Sky


This substantial collection of papers on indigenous astronomical knowledge is quite unequalled in its scope and extent. The authors are drawn from a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, engineering, art history, history of science, history of religion, folklore, and mythology, and bring a variety of academic perspectives to bear upon aspects of celestial knowledge and perception in diverse social contexts from many different parts of the globe. The Americas provide the main geographical focus, with twenty of the 32 papers concerning indigenous north American groups such as the Navajo, Lakota, Zuni and Blackfoot, the Mixe and Tzotzil Maya of southern Mexico, the Andean highlands and the Amazonian region of Peru, and southern coastal Brazil. The remaining twelve articles extend to the Arab world, sub-Saharan Africa, southern India, Java, Melanesia, Australia and Polynesia, with a few addressing broader synthetic themes. For a number of the culture areas dealt with in some detail here, other published information about sky knowledge is extremely scant.

Table of Contents

Preface (Clive Ruggles); Foreword (John B Carlson); Introduction (Von del Chamberlain and M Jane Young); Part 1: Ethnoastronomy Perspectives: The sky is an ethnographic treasure trove (Von Del Chamberlain); The Colour of cosmic order (Edwin C Krupp); Ethnoastronomy and the problem of interpretation: A Zuni example (M Jane Young). Part 2: Western Astronomical Traditions: Ethnoastronomy and the Arab agricultural almanac (Daniel Martin Varisco). Part 3: Native Astronomical Traditions of the Americas: The seven sisters (N Scott Momaday); Raven's universe (David Vogt); Astronomy in Pueblo and Navajo world views (M Jane Young); Using a planetarium to study Navajo star lore (Mark Bunker Peterson); Black god: God of fire, God of starlight (Trudy Griffin-Pierce); Origin and meaning of Navajo star ceilings (Von Del Chamberlain and Polly Schaafsma); Transformations of the Mesoamerican Venus Turtle Carapice war shield: A study in ethnoastronomy (John B Carlson); When is a month? The moon and Mescaleros (Claire R Farrer); Ethnoastronomy of the North American plains (Alice B Kehoe); Lakota star knowledge (Ronald Goodman); Sky tales from the Anishinaubaeg (Basil H Johnston); Venus in the east and west (Stanislaw Iwaniszewski); Tzotzil Maya cosmology (Weldon Lamb); Mixe calendrics, ritual and astronomy (Frank J Lipp); Constructions of the ritual-agricultural calendar in Pacariqtambo, Peru (Gary Urton); Mythic substitution and the stars: Aspects of Shipibo and Quechua ethnoastronomy compared (Peter G Roe); Amahuaca astronomy and star lore (Joseph Holt Woodside); Búzios Island: Knowledge and belief among a fishing and agricultural community at the coast of the state of São Paulo (Edmundo Magaña); Arawak constellations: A bibliographic survey (Fabiola Jara). Part 4: Astronomical Traditions of the Non-Western World: Monotomy and surprise in Tabwa cosmology (Allen F Roberts); The moon besmirched (Dominique Zahan); The haphazard astronomy of the Mursi (Clive Ruggles and David Turton); Surya Puja temples of South India (J McKim Malville and R N Swaminathan); The planetarium and the plough: Interpreting star calendars of rural Java (Gene Ammarell); Applied ethnoastronomy: Navigating by the stars across the Pacific (Ben Finney); The Woodlark Island calendar: Contexts for interpretation (Frederick H Damon); Celestial lore of some Australian tribes (Norman B Tindale).

Additional Information

Edition No. No

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.