Identifying seasonal stars in Kaurna astronomical traditions

Duane Hamacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Early ethnographers and missionaries recorded Aboriginal languages and oral traditions across Australia. Their general lack of astronomical training resulted in misidentifications, transcription errors and omissions in these records. In western Victoria and southeast South Australia many astronomical traditions were recorded but, cur- iously, some of the brightest stars in the sky were omitted. Scholars claimed these stars did not feature in Aboriginal traditions. This continues to be repeated in the literature, but current research shows that these stars may in fact feature in Aboriginal traditions and could be seasonal calendar markers. This paper uses established techniques to identify seasonal stars in the traditions of the Kaurna Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains, South Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39
Number of pages52
JournalJournal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

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