Lakota Star Knowledge: Studies In Lakota Stellar Theology

Lakota Star Knowledge: Studies In Lakota Stellar Theology

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The dark night rewards the observer with glorious spectacle -- a canopy of intricate stellar patterns. During any night, stars and planets can be seen to move from east to west through the sky, providing a convenient timing device.

The Native tribes used the Sun, Moon and stars as markers to indicate the timing of their ritual observances.

In the winter, for example, the Cahuilla and Chumash set the times of nightly rituals by the position of the stars. The Lakota, on the other hand, used the annual appearance of certain star patterns as indicators that it was time for a certain ritual to take place, such as the Sun Dance, as well as relating stories from Lakota oral literature, such as the Seven Little Girls (Pleiades, known as the Wicincala Sakowin), the Seven Council Fires, or Oceti Sakowin, and the Great Creature, or Tayamni.

Sinte Gleska University is located on the Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota. It was founded in 1970 and classes began in February, 1971. It was the first tribal college to be accredited at the Baccalaureate level.