Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_supernovae_remnants.thumb.jpg.0a6deb4bf0886533629e2bdc08293bc9.jpg

Kn4fty

Ani ya wi yv Pleiades

Recommended Posts

Many people have heard the Pleiades called the Seven Sisters or Maidens. My ancestors had a slightly different description of the Pleiades and their origin. To keep my fat fingers from making a million mistakes on a tiny phone keyboard, I just copied and pasted the text from the "History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee" by James Mooney. He was an ethnographer who recorded our stories in the late 1800s. So without further ado, here is the story of the Pleiades.

Long ago, when the world was new, there were seven boys who used to spend all their time down by the townhouse playing the gatayû'stï game, rolling a stone wheel along the ground and sliding a curved stick after it to strike it. Their mothers scolded, but it did no good, so one day they collected some gatayû'stï stones and boiled them in the pot with the corn for dinner. When the boys came home hungry their mothers dipped out the stones and said, "Since you like the gatayû'stï better than the cornfield, take the stones now for your dinner."

The boys were very angry, and went down to the townhouse, saying, "As our mothers treat us this way, let us go where we shall never trouble them any more." They began a dance--some say it was the Feather dance-and went round and round the townhouse, praying to the spirits to help them. At last their mothers were afraid something was wrong and went out to look for them. They saw the boys still dancing around the townhouse, and as they watched they noticed that their feet were off the earth, and that with every round they rose higher and higher in the air. They ran to get their children, but it was too late, for then, were already above the roof of the townhouse--all but one, whose mother managed to pull him down with the gatayû'stï pole, but he struck the ground with such force that he sank into it and the earth closed over him.

The other six circled higher and higher until they went up to thes sky where we see them now as the Pleiades, which the Cherokee still call Ani'tsutsä (The Boys). The people grieved long after them, but the mother whose boy had gone into the ground came every morning and every evening to cry over the spot until the earth was damp with her tears. At last a little green shoot sprouted up and grew day by day until it became the tall tree that we call now the pine, and the pine is of the same nature as the stars and holds in itself the same bright light.

This story was also used by our near kin in the north, the Onandaga.

How the pine became an evergreen afterwards is another story ;).

Would love to hear others ancestral stories on the Pleiades.

Rob

  • Like 16
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Thats a really fascinating myth--isn't it strange that basically all stories of the Pleiades involve there being 7 stars but one went missing? Could there have been an older star or a variable in the background of the cluster at some point during human history that was the 7th one, and later faded to leave just 6? 🤔

John

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an interesting thought. Or could be that movement in the cluster brought some closer together making them appear as one , there by making one vanish over time. Hmmm I wonder...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting post.  Still trying to figure out the title though!  😀

Doug.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob

That is a great ancient story, the Native American side is really interesting ,

it’s not something we often here of this side of the pond.

So many of these ancient accounts have similarities all over the world, so they clearly reflect human history.

Also nice to know your name is Rob, it’s easier to write rather than your SGL name.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

Interesting post.  Still trying to figure out the title though!  😀

Doug.

Howdy Doug,

Ani ya wi yv is the actual tribal name. The name Cherokee actually comes from other tribes. Now a days we use a native form depending on dialect of Tsa la gi or Tsa ra gi. But back to Ani ya wi ya, it means the "Principal People" or "Real People". 

8 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Rob

That is a great ancient story, the Native American side is really interesting ,

it’s not something we often here of this side of the pond.

So many of these ancient accounts have similarities all over the world, so they clearly reflect human history.

Also nice to know your name is Rob, it’s easier to write rather than your SGL name.

 

I've noticed many similarities in different stories. I agree it does reflect human history.

When I signed up on the forum, I couldn't think of a name so I just used my ham radio call sign. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your (excellent) post made me head to the Wikipedia page, it give legend from around the world, but only as a couple of lines each.

You could write a whole book on this with more background to the stories and cultures and exploring the strange 6/7 paradox.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I find fascinating about the ancient folklore of the constellations is, wherever you are on planet Earth, they may represent a different subject or object relative to the native inhabitants of that land. Then when you hear the stories and myths related to their description or meaning when/being translated, that story/myth then appears almost identical to what we see/hear/read about of the 88 IAU designated constellations.

Edited by Philip R
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it shows that we all come from one original culture way back. I believe they are come from an original story. Stories change over time, especially with cultures that pass things word of mouth instead of written. There was no written language among the Cherokee until the 1800s, so the story tellers had to memorize the stories to pass on. But even a small change can grow big over hundreds or thousands of years.

I came across a book once (unfortunately I don't remember the name) that compared similar stories from different tribes of North America and South America. It was interesting to see the similarities and the differences.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An alternative explanation would be that youngsters will readily see seven stars or even more, but older people will often struggle to see six, even less sometimes. Easy to see how the myth might arise from this. Quite humbling to go out with a group of youngsters and ask them what they can see naked eye.

I like the Norse version of the story, with the Pleiades as Freyja's hens - they do cluster like a group in a farmyard.

Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds like a reasonable explanation. I do remember as a child being told that they were called the Seven Sisters, but I could definitely count eight of them at the time. These days I can just about count four. I also need to wear glasses to see them as anything but a faint misty blob now too.

I did see a comment on SGL a while back that some cultures used Pleiades as an eye test for their warriors, and they would be accepted if they could count twelve. Most of the mythological tales usually have six or seven, occasionally eight https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades_in_folklore_and_literature

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Mognet said:

 some cultures used Pleiades as an eye test for their warriors, and they would be accepted if they could count twelve.

And how was that test independently verified I wonder?!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, goodricke1 said:

And how was that test independently verified I wonder?!!

I was wondering that. I assume they were asked how many they could see rather than if they could count twelve. And probably being asked to draw the pattern as an additional.

Thought I'd do a bit of Googling to find out more about it, and I've come across a couple of educational references to using Alcor and Mizar http://www.academia.edu/4982885/An_Ancient_Eye_Test_-_Using_the_Stars_GM_Bohigian_Surv_Ophth_08_53_5_ (ignore the download bit, just scroll down the page)

There's a reference in S&T to fourteen naked eye stars in Pleiades https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/many-pleiades-can-see10222014/

Mel Bartels says 13-14 under dark skies, and it's possible to count 22 under exceptional skies http://www.bbastrodesigns.com/pleiades.html

Ernest Thompson Seton, the founder of Boy Scouts of America, claims thirteen are visible.

Not yet found a direct reference for Pleiades as a warrior eye test, but it's plausable

 

And there's some more mythology, including several different explanations of the missing seventh star http://www.pleiade.org/pleiades_02.html, an outreach report including some Navajo mythology https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/202332-a-night-for-cultural-astronomy/?tab=comments#comment-2139681

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O-Siyo, brother. I am of Aniyvwiya heritage as well and greatly appreciate the sharing of one of our ancient tales. Like all of our folklore, there is a lesson embedded in the narrative and beauty in the telling of the story. I've been trying to find literature on the Tsalagi names for the constellations and stars. Have you been able to find any information?

Sgi!

Reggie

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Siyo agi nv tli. I do have some, but am currently at work and I don't trust my memory enough to tell it now lol. When I get home tomorrow, I'll dig out what I have. Send me a message to remind me or I might get side tracked. I actually have a great memory, but my recall system is faulty! :D

Rob

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Kn4fty said:

Siyo agi nv tli. I do have some, but am currently at work and I don't trust my memory enough to tell it now lol. When I get home tomorrow, I'll dig out what I have. Send me a message to remind me or I might get side tracked. I actually have a great memory, but my recall system is faulty! :D

Rob

Sgi, Rob! Will do!

Reggie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reggie,

I sent some info to you in messenger. While I'm the only person in my family that still speaks the language, I'm far from perfect in it. May be a couple of grammatical errors lol. But the base should be good.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/10/2018 at 16:03, Kn4fty said:

Reggie,

I sent some info to you in messenger. While I'm the only person in my family that still speaks the language, I'm far from perfect in it. May be a couple of grammatical errors lol. But the base should be good.

Sgi, unali-i!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.