The Red Star (Anpetu Luta), The Women’s Star (I’kwe Anung) and Venus: Lakota, Ojibwe, and other Indigenous Star Knowledge
In Ojibwe the Morning Star is called I’kwe Anung, which means the Women’s Star. In Lakota the same planet Venus is called Anpetu Luta, the Red Star. Both cultures have rich and interesting understandings of Venus that relate to other indigenous cultures throughout the world. Venus is so often related to the feminine because native peoples carefully watched the movement of the ‘star’ and saw it in the east at sunrise for nine months and then in the west at sunset for the following nine months. Nine months is exactly the time for human gestation. Yet tragically the native star knowledge is disappearing as elders pass.
The Native Skywatchers project focuses on understanding the Ojibwe and Lakota importance of this and other celestial connections.
MN State Science Standards K-12 requires “Understanding that men and women throughout the history of all cultures, including Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities, have been involved in engineering design and scientific inquiry….For example Ojibwe and Dakota knowledge and use of patterns in the stars to predict and plan. And yet there is a complete void of materials.
Working closely with a team of culture teachers we are building community around star knowledge.
Keywords: Ojibwe Astronomy, Lakota Astronomy, Archeoastronomy, Indigenous Astronomy, Astronomy and Native Culture, Science and Culture Curriculum, Science Education, Astronomy Education, Venus, Venus and the Feminine
Prof. Annette S. Lee
Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Physics, and Planetarium Director, St. Cloud State University