Thursday, April 30, 2015

Native American Firsts

The January issue of National Geographic magazine is called “The Firsts Issue”.  I think that Native Americans might “take issue” with some of the “firsts”.   Chocolate is one of the very few firsts attributed to ancient Americans.  So, maybe we should revisit this topic from a Native American bias.
Since the earliest date for American occupation only goes back to 16,000 B.C., I guess we’ll have start there to see how Native Americans compete with mankind’s firsts.  Well, on the National Geographic Firsts Chart only the control of fire is listed as a first before 16,000 B.C.   So, everything else is fair game.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Star Brothers on Parade

Tonight, April 23, 2015, is an interesting night for sky watchers.  At 8 pm Mountain Time, right after the sun goes down, you may be able to see a parade of prominent star brothers.  Just after Grandmother Sun sets, she is followed by Mars and Mercury, then the Ani Tsutsa (Pleiades Constellation), then the Evening Star (Venus),  and then the crescent Moon.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Native American Skies: Eclipse Legends

A couple of weeks ago, we observed a “Lunar Eclipse”.  Because this year is when the moon is in its minor “Lunar Standstill” (refer to article on Lunar Standstill at Chimney Rock), it was the shortest Lunar Eclipse for many years.  Because of the nature of the Moon’s and the Earth’s planes of orbit, an eclipse is an irregular event, that is, it appears to happen randomly.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chaco Phenomenon (Yupkoyvi): A Hopi Story

The civilization that inhabited the canyon in central New Mexico known as “Chaco Canyon” was indeed a “phenomenon”.  Despite extensive archaeological study, there is little known of the society or the people that lived there.  It seems to defy fitting into a known political and/or ritual society.  As Lynne Sebastian, director of historic preservation programs at the SRI Foundation, puts it, “The extraordinary archaeological record of this society indicates both a strong political structure and an intense emphasis on ritual.”
So, why not look at the descendants of the people that lived in Chaco Canyon one thousand years ago?  Again from Sebastian, “these descendants have not only tenaciously survived, but have, to a remarkable extent, been able to preserve knowledge of their traditional lifeways.”  But, she sees their preserved knowledge as both a blessing and a curse, “. . . a blessing because it provides us with the potential for detailed, clearly applicable analogies for a wide variety of past behaviors.  It is a curse because the richness of the living cultures makes it too easy to grow myopic and not consider other cultural patterns from beyond this region.”
This is a preview of Chaco Phenomenon (Yupkoyvi): A Hopi Story. Read the full post (1117 words, 15 images, estimated 4:28 mins reading time)