21 September 2009

Inventing Constellations


This new landscape print will show an evening sky. In that sky will sparkle New World constellations that the English have never seen before.

The proper way to do this would have been to do some deep research, to see if I could find actual descriptions of the native Wampanoag people's stories and creation myths about the stars, but I wanted to use my imagination instead. These "constellations" are roughly based on some east coast Indian motifs that I found in a Dover book that I got at the library.

I wanted the Indian to be composed of some of the same stars as the European constellation "Orion." This article in Wikipedia about Orion describes how even today different cultures picture the same stars differently. In the Southern Hemisphere, Orion is oriented differently, and the belt and sword are sometimes called the Saucepan, or Pot. Orion's Belt is called Three Kings in South Africa and also in 17th- and 18th-century Dutch star charts. The same three stars are known in Latin America as The Three Marys.


d. moll, l.ac. said...

Is that a rabbit I spy?

Crafty Green Poet said...

we found a rabbit in the sky the other day, when we got a rare chance to see the full array of stars that are normally hidden from view for us as we live in a city. I love the fact that different cultures see different constellations

aine scannell said...

Hi Annie

I just got an email from Robert Blackburn printmaking, although my work was not selected I wasn't surprised to see that yours did !! =Well done !!

Oh and I look forward to seeing the rabbit and constellations print that you are working on -- from your imagination !!!

How about you enabling the 'followers" button on your blog - it'd make it easier to keep up with your adventures !!

Best wishes


Ellen said...

Hi, Annie. Love this post. Maybe I could share it with my readers on my just for fun Friday feature. What do you think?

I was just reading a Chinese myth about a rabbit that lives on the moon for this week's Full Moon, which is a major Chinese celebration.

I love following your work. Thanks.

Annie B said...

It's a rabbit, yes it is! I think the sky is loaded with rabbits.

Aine, thanks for the heads up about the Robert Blackburn show. I'm still waiting to hear what exactly was selected! Will let you know on the blog.

Ellen, yes! Feel free to use this post on your astrology blog.