The Stars We Know, Crow Indian Astronomy and Lifeways

$15.00 each

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For centuries, the Crow people have kept a careful watch on the cycles and movements of the stars, the sun, the moon, and certain planets. Their interpretations of these cosmic phenomena have shaped the principles by which the Crow live.

Available in paperback only.  The Stars We Know, Crow Indian Astronomy and Lifeways, by Timothy P. McCleary.  1997, 128 pages.

The Crow speak of celestial wisdom as ihké aléwahkuua, “the stars we know.”

For centuries, the Crow people have kept a careful watch on the heavens above them—particularly the cycles and movements of the stars, the sun, the moon, and certain planets. Their interpretations of these cosmic phenomena have shaped the principles by which the Crow live, providing a sense of right and wrong and an attendant set of values and ethics.

This fascinating new ethnography explores how the Crow Indians have blended scientific observation with religious symbolism to develop traditions that are a cornerstone of their culture.

In this illustrated volume, McCleary provides a description and background, and lets the Crow star knowledge unfold through the words of contemporary tribal elders, whose narratives describe the origins and organization of the universe and the history of constellations that have special religious interpretation and history. The Stars We Know is a valuable contribution to the study of Native American theology as well as an important record of Crow oral traditions.

This book includes an appendix of Crow Star Names of Unidentified Constellations, a foreward by Claire R. Farrer and prologue by Dale Old Horn. Horn, of Little Big Horn College, speaks of the holiness of prayer addressed to Creator, of the unity of all creation, of the awe and reverence with which his people conceive of the cosmos and all within it, and of the power that resides in the celestial vault.

Claire R. Farrer, of the California State University at Chico, gives a thoughtful summary of the contributions to this specialized field of anthropology. She notes Timothy P. McCleary’s unique relationship with the Crow as well as his important niche as an ethnoastronomer. Farrer explains that this term refers to an anthropologist who works with living people, usually non-Western ones, who have an astronomical system that differs from that most Western people believe to be standard.

Farrer writes: “…what you are about to learn is holy, sacred, and… it is now the time to share some of it.”

Publisher: Waveland Press
Language: English, Crow terms
Culture Group: Crow