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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

Myths about Stars

While many civilizations developed associated myths with various combinations of stars in the sky, some also associated specific stars with their myths. The stories below provide a mix of stories about stars and star groups from various cultures around the world.
This is a Pawnee Indian shown in ceremonial dress. The Pawnee people were one of the largest and most powerful of the Native American groups.  They, like many indigenous groups, had a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy.  They also had many stories (myths) that connected their people to the natural world.<p><small><em> Image is now in public domain.  It was originally published by Powell, J. W. <i>Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology - Part 2.</i> Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904.</em></small></p>The Pleiades (Tianquiztli) are portrayed in the upper left of this image. Other symbols represent other constellations, a meteor, the sun, the moon, and eclipses. From the Primeros Memoriales, a sixteenth-century colonial manuscript compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagun.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of David Carrasco and Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. University Press of Colorado, 1992. </em></small></p>

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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