The “star thing that holds the summer”

Just in time for the summer solstice, I thought I’d post this hand-drawn, shamanic map of the “Barasana cosmos.”

[Image: The Barasana Cosmos, via PrimatePoetics!].

“Constellations are here mapped as identities from Barasana mythology,” we read. “The Pleiades, or Star Woman, is shown here as the ‘star thing that holds the summer.'” As a brief aside, the Pleiades are known in Japan as Subaru—which explains that carmaker’s astrally inflected logo. So, if you’re driving a Subaru, there’s a kind of ethno-astronomical star chart emblazoned on the front grill of your car.

In any case, the image seen above comes from a recent series of short posts, looking at hand-drawn cartographies from peripheral cultures around the world, posted on the excellent blog PrimatePoetics! (whose exhilarating manifesto reminds us that “we still have at least 30,000 years to go before our existence in history will be of equal duration to our existence in prehistory,” and whose blog thus hopes to document “the transmutation of the ape into a conversationalist”).

That blog’s ongoing interest in ethnocartography extends from this “Yage Map” and a handful of “Amazonian Maps” (including the Barasana map, above) to the “Ojibwa Migration Map,” the “Arawete Village Map,” the “Aboriginal Water Map,” the “First Contact Eskimo Driftwood Map,” a “Valcamonica Topographic Rock Carving,” and many, many more examples that should not be missed.

2 thoughts on “The “star thing that holds the summer””

  1. that is an amazing site..much food for thought on the human and other's psyche.
    and as I may have known, all over the place, literally..all over the place..thank you for the walkabout on and off the trail, now I am back.thank you.

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