Star maps and travelling to ceremonies: the Euahlayi people and their use of the night sky

Robert S. Fuller, Michelle Trudgett, Ray P. Norris, Michael G. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Euahlayi people are an Australian Aboriginal language group located in north-central New South Wales and south-central Queensland. They have a rich culture of astronomy, and use of the night sky in resource management. Like several other Aboriginal peoples, they did not travel extensively at night, and so were assumed not to use the night sky for navigation. This study has confirmed that they, like most other Aboriginal groups, travelled extensively outside their own country for purposes of trade and ceremonies. We also found that, previously unknown, they used “star maps” in the night sky for learning and remembering waypoints along their routes of travel, but not for actual navigation. Further research may find that this was common to many Aboriginal groups in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Volume17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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