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Reachable Stars

28 April 2010

In Reachable Stars: Patterns in Ethno-astronomy of Eastern North America, George Langford, University of Alabama Press: 2007. Ethno-astronomy is one of those amusing word constructs that is basically a woolly way of describing star based Native American myths and legends. Anyway, it is a compilation of stories that took many years to pull together. It is a collection of oral traditions about the night sky, stars, the moon and the sun and would be useful to anyone looking for some clue to what might have been going on in the past as the author seems to think some of these stories go way back into the past. There is also a take on the number 7, important in Native cosmologies, not just in the Americas but elsewhere in the world – and it appears to have an origin in the stars. It can variously indicate the Pleiades, Ursa Major, or even the Hyades in Taurus.

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