Quoting from “Living the Sky” by Ray A. Williamson, “According to their own stories, the Pawnee received much of their ritual direction from the stars. They claimed that at one time they organized their villages according to stellar patterns. Each village, they said, possessed a sacred bundle given to it by one of the stars. When the different villages assembled for a great ceremony, their spatial arrangement on earth reflected the celestial positions of the stars whose bundles they possessed. Then there were eighteen separate Skidi Pawnee villages, each associated with a different star.
“In the traditional Pawnee earth lodge, the four posts that held up the roof represented the four stars that held up the sky. … The northwest star … was associated with spring, the mountain lion, yellow corn, and a female star, Yellow Star. Yellow Star was married to Red Star, who ruled over the southeast in the summer … associated with red corn and the wolf. Big Black Star, which stood in the northeast, was the autumn star. He was associated with black corn and with the bear. He was married to the southwest, or white, star. She, in turn, ruled over winter and was associated with white corn and the wildcat.”
|Skidi Pawnee Star Chart|
As you can see, the Pawnee tried to model their lives after the night sky, interpreting what they witnessed above and applying it below. Curiously, unlike most other cultures, the Sun and Moon played only minor roles.