Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Anishinabe’

03/16/2017 – Ephemeris – Curly Tail, The Great Underwater Panther

March 16, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, March 16th.  The Sun will rise at 7:52.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 7:50.  The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 12:03 tomorrow morning.

The Anishinabek people of the Great Lakes Region, which includes the Ottawa, Chippewa and Ojibwe Indians have two constellations of winter that I know of.  The first is The Winter Maker which uses many of Orion’s stars plus Procyon the Little Dog Star.  It rises in the eastern skies in the evening as winter is beginning.  The second is the Curly Tail, the Great Underwater Panther.  Which uses the stars of Leo the lion’s backward question mark as its tail and the small knot of stars that are the head of Hydra the water snake below Cancer as its head.  I imagine this constellation was a warning to youngsters to keep off the thinning ice of spring, lest they fall in and be snatched by the great underwater panther that lives beneath the ice.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Ojibwe constellations

An animated GIF rotating between an unannotated star field facing south at 10 p.m. March 16th.; Western constellation names and lines for Orion, Hydra, and Leo; Western constellation art, Ojibwe constellation names and lines; and Ojibwe constellation art. Created using Stellarium. The Ojibwe constellation art is supplied as part of the latest version of Stellarium.  Click on the image to enlarge.

The source for the Ojibwe constellation art is from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide (An introduction to Ojibwe Star Knowledge) by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbetts, and Carl Gawboy, ISBN 978-0-615-98678-4.  The illustrations are by Annette S. Lee and William Wilson.  There is also a poster sized star map available.  It should be available in book stores locally, or at Amazon.  I found my copy at Enerdyne in Suttons Bay.

Also shown is the Pleiades, which to the Ojibwe is Hole in the Sky, which has to do with the Shaking Tent Ceremony.  The Pleiades is also known as the Sweating Stones, the heated stones used in the Sweat Lodge Ceremony.  In the later spring sky the Sweat Lodge itself is seen in the stars of the Western Corona Borealis.

Note:  As far as tribe names go:  Ottawa = Odawa, and Chippewa = Ojibwe.

04/15/2013 – Ephemeris – The Big Dipper and the Fisher

April 15, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tax deadline day* Monday, April 15th. The sun rises at 6:57. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 8:27. The moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 1:32 tomorrow morning.

The Big Dipper is nearly overhead in the evening now.  The Big Dipper is not a constellation but part of the Great Bear for most peoples, and is enshrined by the International Astronomical Union as Ursa Major.  To some of the Anishinabek peoples native to our region the stars of the Big Dipper belonged to a small weasel like animal call the Fisher.  In a story I can’t relate here Fisher brought summer to the earth, and for his trouble was killed by an arrow to his only vulnerable spot, his tail.  The Great Spirit would not let Fisher fall to earth, but placed him in the sky.  His rising in the northeast signals the coming of spring, and when his bloody tail brushes the horizon in autumn his blood paints the autumn leaves red.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Fisher

The Fisher or Fisher Star as seen Overhead and the Big Dipper. Created using Stellarium and some other help.

09/27/2012 – Ephemeris – The Fisher in the stars

September 27, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, September 27th.  The sun will rise at 7:36.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 7:29.   The moon, 2 days before full, will set at 6:06 tomorrow morning.

The Big Dipper is swooping low in the northwestern sky in the evening now.  The Big Dipper is not a constellation but part of the Great Bear for most peoples, and is enshrined by the International Astronomical Union as Ursa Major.  To some of the Anishinabek peoples native to our region the stars of the Big Dipper belonged to a small weasel like animal call the Fisher.  In a story I can’t relate here Fisher brought summer to the earth, and for his trouble was killed by an arrow to his only vulnerable spot, his tail.  The Great Spirit would not let Fisher fall to earth, but placed him in the sky.  His rising in the northeast signals the coming of spring, and when his bloody tail brushes the horizon in autumn his blood paints the maple trees red.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Fisher heads towards the northern horizon.  Created using Stellarium and an unknown artist which I took liberties with.

The Fisher heads towards the northern horizon. Created using Stellarium and an unknown artist which I took liberties with.

The Fisher is also known as the Fisher Star  (Ojiig’anung).  I’ll have my version of the story posted soon.

The Fisher heads towards the northern horizon.  Created using Stellarium and an unknown artist which I took liberties with.