Noongar Aboriginal Astronomy

Life for Noongar people was moderated by objects in the sky. Day time was signalled by Venus rising and position of the sun, longer periods (‘months’) by the moon, seasons by star patterns. For navigation: direction was judged by sun up, sun down, highest point of the sun, star patterns, single stars, and directions between pairs of stars; distance/time intervals were ‘number of sleeps’,  ‘number of full moons’, where counting, at least for some, was one to five, five plus one, five plus two … then number of hands and feet.  Dreaming narratives of creation of the universe and spirit people were told through story, dance and art, and functioned as mnemonics for reading the sky.  Songlines which incorporated the Dreaming functioned as mnemonics for navigating. (8th and last quilt in a series and my favorite)

quilt 8

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5 thoughts on “Noongar Aboriginal Astronomy

  1. I love the Background fabric. This story reminds me of the time when were living in Papua New Guinea. We sent our house girl to the market to sell excess cabbages she’d grown. when she returned we asked how many she’d sold. Both hands and two toes were shown for the answer. Liz

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