TheEmu in the Skyis one of Australia’s most famous dark constellations, holding special meaning for Aboriginal Australians. Now, it has been commemorated in a silver coin by the Royal Australian Mint. It features “Gugurmin: the Emu in the Sky”, from the skylore of the Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales.
What constellation do Aboriginals use to organize their year?
The Australian Aboriginal constellation of the Emu in the Sky. ( CC BY SA 3.0 ) Another constellation that helped the Australian Aboriginal groups organize their year is one that is known as ‘The Saucepan’, which is also called the ‘Djulpan’ by the Yolngu people of the Northern Territory.
What is the Orion constellation?
This is a part of one of the most recognizable constellations, which is known in Western astronomy as Orion, though the Australian Aboriginal people perceive it as a canoe. The three stars in a row known as ‘Orion’s Belt’ form the middle of the canoe, while the stars Betelgeuse and Rigel are its bow and stern respectively.
What is the Aboriginal star lore?
Perhaps the most commonly know Australian Aboriginal star lore is the Yolngu story of the celestial canoe. The Yolngu people call the constellation Orion Julpan, the Canoe. Betelgeuse (α Orionis) and Rigel (β Orionis) are the bow and the stern of the canoe. The stars of Orion’s Belt are three three brothers of the Nulkal (King-fish) clan.
How many Aboriginal names have there been for stars?
Four stars in the night sky have been formally recognised by their Australian Aboriginal names. The names include three from the Wardaman people of the Northern Territory and one from the Boorong people of western Victoria. The Wardaman star names are Larawag, Wurren and Ginan in the Western constellations Scorpius,…
What is the Emu in the sky?
The Emu in the Sky is one of Australia’s most famous dark constellations, holding special meaning for Aboriginal Australians. Now, it has been commemorated in a silver coin by the Royal Australian Mint. It features “Gugurmin: the Emu in the Sky”, from the skylore of the Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales.
What is indigenous astronomy?
“Indigenous astronomy” is the first astronomy – the astronomy that existed long before the Babylonians, Greeks, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment.
Where is Gugurmin from?
It features “Gugurmin: the Emu in the Sky”, from the skylore of the Wiradjuri people of central New South Wale s. The constellation artwork was produced by Scott ‘Sauce’ Towney, a Wiradjuri artist from Peak Hill in New South Wales.
What did Aboriginal people do to observe the Sun?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people developed a number of practical ways to observe the Sun, Moon and stars to inform navigation, calendars, and predict weather. Australia’s First Nations people assign meaning and agency to astronomical phenomena, which informs Law and social structure.
What are the cultures of Australia?
The First Nations cultures of Australia – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – speak over 250 distinct languages and stretch back for over 65,000 years. This makes the First Australians the oldest astronomers and the oldest continuing cultures in the world. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people developed a number of practical ways to observe the Sun, Moon and stars to inform navigation, calendars, and predict weather. Australia’s First Nations people assign meaning and agency to astronomical phenomena, which informs Law and social structure. It also serves as the foundation for narratives that are passed down the generations through song, dance, and oral tradition over tens of thousands of years.
What are the 14 units in Astronomy?
The 14 Units are aimed at Years 5 & 8, and show how Indigenous Astronomy can be incorporated into the seven learning areas of Science, Mathematics, The Arts, English, Technologies, Humanities and Health. Please take some time to explore.
What is the only Aboriginal site known to indicate significant astronomical positions on the horizon other than the cardinal points?
Ray explained that Wurdi Youang is the only Aboriginal site known to indicate significant astronomical positions on the horizon other than the cardinal points, suggesting that other such sites may be discovered in the future.
Why do the legs stream out in dreams?
According to Ray, one dreamtime understanding of the constellations says that, “the legs stream out because the emu is flying, because emus used to be ‘equipped with powerful wings and spent their entire lives disporting themselves above and through the clouds’.”.
What is the term for the rising of a star before the Sun?
Heliacal rising refers to the annual rising of a star just before the Sun, making it visible just before sunrise.
What is the Emu in the Sky?
The Emu in the Sky constellation, depicted on a rock formation in Ku-ring–gai–Chase National Park for example, is said to have been used for coming-of-age ceremonies.
What culture is fear of eclipse?
Fear of eclipse widespread in Aboriginal culture.
How many seasons did Aboriginal people have?
The number of seasons differs among Aboriginal groups according to where they were based. Those living in Southern Australia typically had four seasons, while those living in Northern Australia tended to have five or six, sometimes even as many as thirteen.
Why did the Australians use astronomy?
Astronomy was used by indigenous Australians to develop calendars and navigate the land. Each hunter-gatherer tribe lived according to an annual cycle, which informed what they ate and hunted and where they travelled.
What is the emu in the sky?
The Emu and the Saucepan – Key Points of Focus in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy. One of the most common of these shared stories is the ‘Emu in the Sky’. This constellation can be described in Western astronomical terms as such: the head of the Emu is the Coalsack nebula, which is located next to Crux …
What constellation is the man in the canoe?
The Tagai constellation is depicted as a man standing in a canoe (Scorpius) in the Milky Way . He holds a spear in his left hand (the Southern Cross ) and his right hand (Corvus) he holds a fruit called Eugina. This constellation is still used in navigation today.
How many groups did Tagai split into?
But when Tagai returned he was furious that they had drank all his water and he killed them, sending them back up into the sky. He divided the crew in two groups – six of the men were placed in Usual (the Pleiades) and the other six in Utimal ( Orion) and told them to stay away from him.
What constellation helped the Aboriginal people organize their year?
Another constellation that helped the Australian Aboriginal groups organize their year is one that is known as ‘The Saucepan’ , which is also called the ‘Djulpan’ by the Yolngu people of the Northern Territory. This is a part of one of the most recognizable constellations, which is known in Western astronomy as Orion, …
Why is astronomy important?
Astronomy played an important role in many ancient societies. Through this natural science, the ancients were able to make calendars, navigate during the night, and even explore the nature of the universe through mythology and philosophy. Some civilizations well-known for their astronomical developments include the Babylonians, …
What are some examples of heavenly bodies?
In addition to the constellations, other heavenly bodies played important roles in Australian Aboriginal astronomy as well. For example, meteors were regarded by some groups as ‘fiery demon eyes’ or the ‘glowing eye of a celestial serpent flying across the sky,’ and were thought to be omens of death and disease.
What is the story of the night sky?
The first thing to note about Australian Aboriginal astronomy is that it was not just a science, but also involved story-telling. Stories were used to provide explanations for the heavenly bodies and the natural phenomena that happened to them.
What is the name of the star that the two boys in their canoe saw?
By then, it was getting dark and everyone was worried about the boys. As the people looked south after sunset, they saw the Southern Cross rising, which was Dhui Dhui (the shovelnose ray), followed by the two Pointer stars (the two boys in their canoe).
Why didn’t the elders let the boys fish on the sand spit?
The elders had warned them not to fish on that sand spit because there was a big dangerous shovelnose ray ( Dhui Dhui) that lived there. But the boys were defiant and fished there anyway. As they fished, the ray bit their line and started to tow them around in the canoe, but the boys wouldn’t let go of the line.
How long does it take for Arcturus to rise?
Because of this, Arcturus will rise and set over the course of 10 hours, less than a full winter’s night.
Why is Arcturus not a useful star?
Because of the effects of precession, Arcturus would not have been a useful indicator star for the harvesting of the spike-rush over 7,000 years ago. This means that prior to that time, Aboriginal people would have used a different star.
Why do Aboriginal people pay special attention to the stars?
Aboriginal and Islander people paid special significance to all stars, from the brightest in the sky to those barely visible. Each community has their own views about the stars. The Kaurna people of Adelaide use the stars (in part) to predict seasonal change.
What are the stars used for in Aboriginal culture?
Aboriginal people have been using the stars as indicators of seasonal change for thousands of years. In the following series of blog posts, I will show you how this was done in some depth. Today, we begin with the brightest star in the constellation Bootis, a red giant called Arcturus.
How do stars move?
Stars move with respect to each other as they orbit the centre of our galaxy (which we call stellar proper motion ). As they orbit, their distances to us change, which affects their brightness. Stars also change their position with respect to the horizon as the earth wobbles on its axis due to precession.
What are the names of the emu in the sky?
THE NAMES INCLUDE three from the Wardaman people of the Northern Territory and one from the Boorong people of western Victoria. The Wardaman star names are Larawag, Wurren and Ginan in the Western constellations Scorpius, Phoenix and Crux (the Southern Cross).
What is the name of the orange giant star that lies 63.7 light years away?
Epsilon Scorpii is an orange giant star, lying 63.7 light years away. Epsilon Scorpii in the constellation Scorpius. Scorpius is not to be confused with the Wardaman scorpion constellation, Mundarla, in the Western constellation Serpens.
What does the name Wurren mean?
Wurren (Zeta Phoenicis) Wurren means “child” in Wardaman. In this context it refers to the “Little Fish”, a child of Dungdung – the life-creating Frog Lady. Wurren gives water to Gawalyan, the echidna (the star Achernar), which they direct Earthly initiates to carry in small bowls.
Where do the Wardaman people live?
Wardaman star names. The Wardaman people live 145km southwest of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Wardaman star names come from Senior Elder Bill Yidumduma Harney, a well known artist, author and musician. He worked with Dr Hugh Cairns to publish some of his traditional star knowledge in the books Dark Sparklers (2003) and Four Circles (2015).
How many light years away is Zeta Phoenicis?
Zeta Phoenicis comprises two blue stars orbiting each other, 300 light years away. From our perspective, these two stars eclipse each other, changing in brightness from magnitude 3.9 to 4.4 every 1.7 days. Zeta Phoenicis in the constellation Phoenix.
Which wife tried to lure Mityan away?
One of the wives (Delta Canis Majoris) lies further away from Unurgunite and is closer to the Moon than the other wife (Epsilon Canis Majoris). This is the wife Mityan tried to lure away. On rare occasions, the Moon passes directly over the wife of his desires, symbolising his attempts to draw her away.
How many star names were there in the astronomy group?
That year the working group officiated 313 star names, derived mainly from the most commonly used Arabic, Roman and Greek names in astronomy. But the list contained few Indigenous or non-Western names.
What are the Cardinal directions in the Wardaman culture?
Cardinal directions are also important in Wardaman culture, and were created in the Dreaming by the Blue-tongued Lizard: “Blue-tongue Lungarra now he showing all these boomerang, calling out all the names: east, west, north, south, all these sort of type.”. – Bill Yidumduma Harney, Wardaman Elder.
What are waypoints used for?
These waypoints were usually waterholes or turning places on the landscape. These waypoints were used in a very similar way to navigating with a GPS, where waypoints are also used as stopping or turning points. Star map route to the Bunya Mountains. Starry Night Education.
Where did Robert look at the Star Map?
Another surprising result of this knowledge came about when Robert was looking at the star map routes from Goodooga to the Bunya Mountains and Carnarvon Gorge in Queensland . When the star map routes were overlaid over the modern road map, there was a significant overlap with major roads in use today. After some reflection, the reason for this became clear. The first explorers in this region, such as Thomas Mitchell, who explored here in 1845-1846, used Aboriginal guides and interpreters, who were likely given directions by local Aboriginal people.
Why was the pattern of stars used in the winter camp?
The pattern of stars (the “star map”) was used as a memory aid in teaching the route and the waypoints to the destination . After more research Robert asked Uncle Ghillar if the method of teaching and memorising was by song, as he was aware that songs are known to be an effective way of memorising a sequence in the oral transmission of knowledge.
Why did Uncle Ghillar use the stars?
One night, sitting under those stars in Goodooga, Uncle Ghillar pointed out a pattern of stars to the southeast, and said that they were used to teach Euahlayi travellers how to navigate outside their own country during the summer travel season. Robert immediately realised that those stars were not in the direction of travel that Uncle Ghillar was describing. And anyway, they wouldn’t be visible in the summer, let alone during the day when people would have been travelling. Uncle Ghillar said that they weren’t used as a map as such, but were used as a memory aid. And in the Aboriginal manner of teaching, he asked Robert to research this and come back to see if “I had gotten it”.
What does the Graveyard always face?
Graveyard always face to their country, they can look straight to their country.”. The three major creation figures (Froglady Earthmother and her two husbands, Rainbow and Sky Boss) are all signified by dark clouds in the Milky Way, and stars and nebulae document other figures and other events.
Where was the Bunya Nut Festival held?
Robert did some research, and looked at a route from Goodooga to the Bunya Mountains northwest of Brisbane, where an Aboriginal Bunya nut festival was held every three years until disrupted by European invasion. It turned out the pattern of stars showed the “waypoints” on the route.
What are the names of the stars in the night sky?
The Wardaman star names are Larawag, Wurren and Ginan in …
What does Larawag do in Scorpius?
Larawag is the signal watcher, noting when only legitimate participants are present and in view of the ceremony. He gives the “All clear” signal, allowing the secret part of the ceremony to continue.
What constellation is Merrerrebena?
The stars of the Western constellation Scorpius feature prominently in Wardaman traditions, which inform the procedures of initiation ceremonies. Merrerrebena is the wife of the Sky Boss, Nardi. She mandates ceremonial law, which is embodied in the red star Antares (Alpha Scorpii). Each star in the body of Scorpius represents a different person …
Where do the Wardaman live?
The Wardaman people live 145km southwest of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Wardaman star names come from Senior Elder Bill Yidumduma Harney, a well known artist, author and musician. He worked with Dr Hugh Cairns to publish some of his traditional star knowledge in the books Dark Sparklers (2003) and Four Circles (2015).
What is the WGSN?
So the Working Group on Star Names ( WGSN) was formed in 2016 to officially assign popular names to the hundreds of stars visible in the night sky. That year the working group officiated 313 star names, derived mainly from the most commonly used Arabic, Roman and Greek names in astronomy. But the list contained few Indigenous or non-Western names. …
What is the fifth star of the Southern Cross?
The fifth star of the Southern Cross is one of four in the sky now officially recognised by its Aboriginal name. Astronomer Duane Humacher says it’s called ‘Ginan’–meaning ‘red dilly-bag filled with special songs of knowledge’ pic.twitter.com/QeIcnZ2mJR
How many light years away is Zeta Phoenicis?
Zeta Phoenicis comprises two blue stars orbiting each other, 300 light years away. From our perspective, these two stars eclipse each other, changing in brightness from magnitude 3.9 to 4.4 every 1.7 days.
What did the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi elders and knowledge custodians do?
Kamilaroi and Euahlayi elders and knowledge custodians have shared some of their astronomical knowledge, which demonstrates the use of star maps as memory aids for navigating overland routes to important cultural ceremonies. 4 The people had to find the best route from Point-A to Point-B (often separated by hundreds, or thousands, of kilometers) and know the best places to stop for shelter, food, water, and medicine. The people then had to find a way to encode all of the information about the journey to memory and pass it on to new generations.
What constellation is used to map the route from Goodooga to Carnarvon Gorge?
Fig. 2 Star maps as memory aids. The stars in the constellation Scorpius (left) were used to memorise the route from Goodooga to Carnarvon Gorge (right). The star Sargas was used as the junction waypoint marker for another overland track to the Bunya Mountains for the important Bunya nut festival. Used w/ permission after Fuller et al. (2014).
What are songlines in a story continuum?
Songlines specific to a story continuum criss-cross the country and intersect with other songlines at specific locations marking significant landscape features , such as a hill, a waterhole, or a cave. However, just as songlines cross the landscape and seascape, they also cross the sky, and traditions that appear at first glance to be describing a journey over land can similarly be describing a journey across the Skyworld, and vice versa. 3 These are discussed in more detail in the Year 8 Indigenous Astronomy English module.
Why was the star map used?
The star map was used as a memory aid in teaching the route and the waypoints to the destination. Travellers would memorise the star map (in the Western constellations of Ares, Scorpius, and Sagittarius) while details about the journey were committed to songs the traveller would sing during their journey.
What is the skyscape of Australia?
The skyscape is often perceived as a reflection of the landscape, complete with rivers and forests inhabited with fish, birds, animals, and ancestral beings 1. Fig. 1 shows aspects of the skyscape in the Narrindgeri sky (southeastern South Australia, south of Adelaide). In Wiradjuri traditions of central NSW, this place is called Wantanggangura ( …
What is a song series?
These are series of songs that tell the singer/traveller about the landscape, and where to find necessities. Song series can stretch from coast to coast across Australia. Because they cross different language boundaries, song series are also in multiple …
What is the Milky Way?
The Milky Way is often seen as a river, and stars often represent waterholes, mountains, or other natural features. These natural features, as well as human-made …
What is the name of the purple crowned Lorikeet?
The Boorong called Altair (α Aqu) Totyarguil, the Purple-crowned Lorikeet. Click here for the full story. For the Garadjari in Western Astralia, Capella (α Aurigae) and Deneb (α Cygni) are a Langgur and a Pardjidja, an opossum and a quoll (sometimes called a spotted native cat).
What constellation did the Luritja people form?
Source: Australasian Science. According to Haynes et al., the Aranda and their neighbors, the Luritja people formed a quadrangular constellation called Iritjinga out of γ Centauri, δ Centauri, γ Crucis and δ Crucis. Iritjinga means "Eagle-Hawk", another word for the Wedge tailed eagle . Source: Wikipedia.
What is the second brightest star in the night sky?
Click here for the full story. To the Wati in the Western Desert, Canopus (α Carinae), the second brightest star in the night sky and Achernar (α Eridani) are the fires of two sky heroes, which are represented by the Magellanic Clouds . The heroes judge the life and accomplishments of people when they are dying.
What do the stars of the Southern Cross represent?
Source: Dianne Johnson p. 163. In another Oenpelli myth, the stars of the Southern Cross represent the bright eyes of Nangurgal, a group of starmen (the large stars of the Cross) and their sons (the smaller stars of the Cross).
What constellations are Torres Strait Islanders?
The islanders have a large constellation consisting mostly of stars from the western constellations Centaurus and Lupus . For a map of Torres Strait Islanders constellations, click the image to the right.
What is the name of the star that rises before the Carina Nebula?
The Torres Strait Islanders call this formation Maima. It rises just before the Carina Nebula, which is called Sia by the islanders.
What is the name of the fire in the Magellanic Cloud?
Evil people are speared by the older spirit (the Large Magellanic Cloud) and then taken to Achernar, which is the fire of the younger spirit (the Small Magellanic Cloud), where they are being cooked and eaten. The spirits of good people are protected by the older spirit and are taken to his fire, which is Canopus.