Shop Windows to the Universe

Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
Lakota hand constellation. The index finger is the bright star Rigel while the thumb is the Orion Nebula. Orion's belt makes up the wrist. The pinky is held by Beta Eridani, a star in the constellation Eridanis.
Click on image for full size
Windows Original.

Constellation Of The Hand

According to the Lakota, the Constellation of the Hand, namely the bottom half of Orion, represents the arm of a great Lakota chief. The Orion's Belt represents the Chief's wrist and the thumb is formed by his sword. Rigel is the tip of the index finger, and Beta Eridani that of the little finger.

The tale related to this constellation tells us how the gods wanted to punish the Lakota chief for his selfishness and made the Thunder People rip out his arm. To help her father, the chief's daughter offered to marry whomever would recover her father's arm. One man made a long and perilous journey through the sky and the Earth.

Fallen Star, a young warrior born of a mortal mother and a celestial father, returned the lost arm to the chief and married his beautiful daughter. The return of the arm to the chief symbolizes the harmony between the gods and the people with the help of the younger generation.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, ranging from evolution, classroom research, and the need for science and math literacy!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Ahsonnutli

Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more

Amphitrite

Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more

Aphrodite

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more

Apollo

In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more

Cancer

According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more

Cepheus

In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more

Coyote

According tho the Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the misbehavior of the mischievous deity, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF