This is a Pawnee Indian shown in ceremonial dress.
Click on image for full size
Image is now in public domain. It was originally published by Powell, J. W. Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology - Part 2. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904.
According to the Pawnee Indians, the world was created by the god Tirawa who assigned to the stars the task of supporting the sky. Moreover, some brighter stars were in charge of the clouds
, the winds and the rain
in order to ensure the fertility of the Earth.
But some lesser stars became jealous of the more important role of the brighter stars. Once the jealous stars found the sack of storms entrusted to the brighter stars, they emptied it, sending deadly storms to Earth. From this accident, death was introduced in the Earth.
The Pawnee Indians believe that the first woman was born from the marriage of the stars, and the first man from that of the Sun and the Moon. This
primeval couple represents the first ancestors of the Pawnee Indians.
To this day, the Pawnee still use painted star maps to remember their many mythological stories related to the constellations.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
Rain is precipitation that falls to the Earth in drops of 5mm or greater in diameter according to the US National Weather Service. Virga is rain that evaporates before reaching the ground. Raindrops form...more
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 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 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
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
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
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