The art and traditions of Aboriginal Australia draw on 40,000 years experience of gazing into the richness of unpolluted skies from pristine lands. They include the "emu in the sky" constellation of dark clouds, and stories about the Sun, Moon, and the Seven Sisters. Several Aboriginal groups use the rising and setting of particular stars to show when to harvest a food source. Some explain how the tides are caused by the Moon, and even explain eclipses as a conjunction of the Sun and Moon. This book explores the mystical Aboriginal astronomical stories and traditions, and the way in which they are used for practical applications such as navigation and harvesting. It describes the journey of exploration that's currently opening Western eyes to this treasury of ancient Aboriginal knowledge, and is written by two active researchers in the field: Prof. Ray Norris (an astrophysicist with CSIRO, and an Adjunct Professor at the Dept. of Indigenous Studies, Macquarie University), and his wife Cilla. In this book, Ray and Cilla bring you the results of their 6-year quest to research Aboriginal Astronomy, including: * uncovering little-known manuscripts, * visiting Aboriginal sites throughout Australia, * writing down stories from ancient communities. Few outsiders understand the depth and complexity of Aboriginal cultures. This book will give you a glimpse that will change your ideas about Aboriginal society.
About the Author
Ray Norris is a British and Australian astrophysicist whose day-job is to use international telescopes to figure out how galaxies formed and evolved. In his spare time he researches the astronomy of Aboriginal Australians, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Macquarie University Dept. of Indigenous Studies (Warawara). As well as over 250 professional publications, he frequently appears on radio and TV, and performs in a stage show called "The First Astronomers". For relaxation, he walks the moors of Dartmoor and the Australian bush, and writes. Cilla Norris has been an artist, high school teacher, veterinary nurse, wildlife sanctuary guide, and wild-life carer. As well as working with Ray on Aboriginal Astronomy, she is known as an authority on the care and rehabilitation of Australian wildlife, and writes and teaches about possums.