I just couldn’t wait for a physical copy of The First Astronomers: How Indigenous Elders Read the Stars
by Duane Hamacher, Ghillar Michael Anderson, Ron Day, Segar Passi, Alo Tapim, David Bosun and John Barsa (Allen & Unwin, 2022) to arrive in the US, so I immediately downloaded a copy of the e-book version.
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I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history.
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@chrisaldrich Are you familiar with East is a Big Bird and We, the Tikopia? Sort of precursors to The Starship and the Canoe.
@jeremycherfas Thanks for the references. Have you read them all? General thoughts?
I’ve only tangentially heard about The Starship and the Canoe after the elder Dyson passed away pre-pandemic. I’ll have to put the other two into into my list, though my intention is to read some material by indigenous peoples first before delving into more of the Western anthropological material. I do have some related material from the early 1900’s, but I’m presently working on a thesis about how horrifically wrong Western anthropology has misinterpreted the oral nature of many Indigenous cultures.
@chrisaldrich I have read them all, some time ago. They do belong to an era in which anthropologists told us what other people knew, usually in the framework of what they, the anthropologists, knew. But what staggered me at the time was the practical use that people made of their knowledge, not just of the heavens but the environment as a whole.
@jeremycherfas Thanks Jeremy! The part that staggered you is exactly the reason I’m interested in such texts.
@chrisaldrich @jeremycherfas About 800 or 900 years ago people first came to Aotearoa from Hawaiki in canoes that crossed the Pacific — thousands of kilometres, navigating by the stars, the tides, the winds and all the seafaring knowledge the people had at that time. That Great Migration has been very much undervalued.