Skies through indigenous eyes
SciDev.Net, 12 November 2013

LONDON, UK: Since ancient times, the indigenous people of Brazil have developed their own knowledge and understanding of astronomy. As well as leaving behind a rich cultural legacy, the valuable knowledge they have gleaned has proved useful in deciding when to plant crops, when to harvest and how to predict seasonal changes. As life moves into the twenty-first century, there is a danger that this ancestral wisdom may soon be lost. In an effort to stop this happening, Germano Bruno Afonso, a Brazilian physicist, has devoted his life to the pursuit of ethnoastronomy by creating planetariums with which he hopes to safeguard and share the information he has collected from diverse indigenous communities across Brazil. In this audio slideshow, Luisa Massarani picks up his story. Watch the slideshow …