Native Skywatchers and the Makoc.e Wic.aŋ˙hpi Wowapi—D(L)akota Star Map—Building Community Around Native Star Knowledge
In D(L)akota the Big Dipper is known as To/ToŋWiŋ—Blue/BirthWoman. She lives at the center of the scoop in the Big Dipper and is the doorkeeper between the star world and the Earth. The same group of seven bright stars is also known as Wic.akiyuhapi, the Stretcher, and Wa˙sihdapi/Wa˙siglapi, the Mourners. This is the beginning of the journey back into the spirit world for those leaving the Earth. Embedded in the native constellations are teachings that help guide and inspire
native peoples. This workshop will present the D(L)akota Star Map and constellations of the current night sky. The Native Skywatchers research and programming seeks out
elders, culture teachers, and community members to discuss the Ojibwe and D(L)akota star knowledge. Together we have created Makoc.e Wic.aŋ˙hpi Wowapi—D(L)akota Star
Map. This map and related curriculum was published and disseminated to regional educators at our Native Skywatchers Middle School Teacher workshops in June 2012
and 2013. We are building community around the native star knowledge.