Sky bear research : Implications for “cultural astronomy”Part of : Mediterranean archaeology & archaeometry : international journal ; Vol.16, No.4, 2016, pages 343-350
This chapter examines research carried out to date on the Sky Bear and seeks to demonstrate the implications of this line of research for “cultural astronomy”. It begins by reviewing research that has been done cross-culturally on bear ceremonialism, focusing on the role of circumpolar stars, Dipper stars and stars adjacent to them, and how they came to be integrated, cognitively, into an over-arching cosmology shared by different hunter-gatherer populations across the N. Hemisphere. Next, using three mutually reinforcing ethnographic datasets, the manner in which, specifically in Europe, this archaic worldview, characterized by embodied reciprocity, allowed humans, animals and nature to be bound together. The cosmology, grounded in the belief that humans descended from bears, integrated skyscape and landscape into a single interlocking reality. Furthermore, the worldview can be understood as embodying a “relational epistemology” or “relational ecology”. This more culturally-informed approach coincides with the goals of ―cultural astronomy‖ as well as the methodology and goals of the emerging field of archaeological ethnography. The reasons that these particular sky resources were chosen to project this set of spiritual beliefs skyward are also addressed. In the final section I suggest that the skyscape acts a kind of mnemonic device. As such, it is a cognitive resource, readily available to the social collective in question, which can act as a repository for past beliefs. Anchoring key components of a cosmology in the stars above allows the resulting skyscape to act as an enduring “memory bank”. In short, the datasets analyzed facilitate the reconstruction of a European-wide ethno-cultural substrate that points to an archaic relational cosmovision and the belief that humans descended from bears as well as providing evidence for the way that skyscape and landscape were integrated into this cosmology.
Ursa major, bear ceremonialism, carnival, relational ecology, Bear‘s Son tale, archaeological ethnography, Good-Luck Visits, circumpolar stars
Περιέχει 6 εικόνες
- Alford, V. (1930) The Springtime Bear in the Pyrenees. Folklore, XLI, 266-279.Anisimov, A.F. (1963) Cosmological concepts of the peoples of the north. In Studies in Siberian Shamanism, H. N. Michael, (ed.). Arctic Institute of the North, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 157–229.Barbeau, M., (1946) Bear Mother. Journal of American Folklore, 59 (231), 1-12.Berezkin, Y. (2005) The cosmic hunt. Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore, Vol. 31, 79-100. http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol31/berezkin.pdf.Betts, M., Hardenberg, M., and Stirling, I. (2015) How animals create human history: Relational ecology and the Dorset-Polar Bear connection. American Antiquity, Vol. 80 (1), 89-112.Bird-David, N. (1999) Animism revisited: Personhood, environment, and relational epistemology. Current Anthropology, Vol. 40, 67-91.Bertolotti, M. (1992) Carnevale di Massa 1950. Torino: Guilio Einaudi Editore.Bertolotti, M. (1994) La fiaba del figlio dell‘orso e le culture siberiane dell‘orso. Quaderni di Semantica, 15 (1), 39-56. [The tale of the bear‘s son and the Siberian culture of the bear].d‘Huy, J. (2012) Un ours dans les étoiles: Recherche phylogénétique sur un mythe préhistorique. Bulletin Pré-histoire du Sud-Ouest, 20, 91-106. [The bear in the stars: Phylogenetic research concerning a prehistoric myth]. http://tinyurl.com/d-huy-un-ours.Fréger, C. (2012) Wilder Mann: The Image of the Savage. Stockport, England: Dewi Lewis Publishing.Frank, R.M. (2008a) Evidence in Favor of the Palaeolithic Continuity Refugium Theory (PCRT): Hamalau and its linguistic and cultural relatives. Part 1. Insula: Quaderno di Cultura Sarda, Vol. 4, 91-131. http://tinyurl.com/hamalau14.Frank, R.M. (2008b) Recovering European ritual bear hunts: A comparative study of Basque and Sardinian ursine carnival performances. Insula: Quaderno di Cultura Sarda (Cagliari, Sardinia), Vol. 3, 41-97. http://tinyurl.com/hamalau.Frank, R.M. (2009) Evidence in Favor of the Palaeolithic Continuity Refugium Theory (PCRT): Hamalau and its linguistic and cultural relatives. Part 2. Insula: Quaderno di Cultura Sarda, Vol. 5, 89-133. http://tinyurl.com/hamalau14.Frank, R.M. (2014a) The origins of ‘Western‘ constellations. In The Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. C.L.N. Ruggles (ed.). Berlin: Springer Publishing Company, 147-163.Frank, R.M. (2014b) The skylore of the indigenous peoples of Eurasia. In The Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, C.L.N. Ruggles (ed.). Berlin: Springer Publishing Company, 1679-1686.Frank, R.M. (2015) Bear Ceremonialism in relation to three ritual healers: The Basque salutariyua, the French marcou and the Italian maramao. In Uomini e Orsi: Morfologia del Selvaggio, E. Comba & D. Ormezzano (eds.). Torino: Accedemia University Press, 41-122.Frank, R.M. in press. A status report: A review of research on the origins and diffusion of the belief in a Sky Bear. The Materiality of the Sky, J. K. Malville, F. Silva, F. Ventura and T. Lomsdalen (eds.). University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Wales: The Sophia Centre Press.Frank, R. M., and Silva, F. (2012) European folklore in the longue durée: Palaeolithic Continuity and the European ursine genealogy. Paper presented at the Folklore & Archaeology Conference, October 13-14, 2012. University College London, London. http://tinyurl.com/folklore-longueduree.Hallowell, A. I. (1926) Bear Ceremonialism in the Northern Hemisphere. American Anthropologist, 28, 1-175.Hamilakis, Y. and Anagnostopoulos, A. (2009) What is archaeological ethnography? In Archaeological Ethnographies: A Special Issue of Public Archaeology, Y. Hamilakis and A. Anagnostopoulos (eds.), Vol. 8 (2-3), 65-87). Maney Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/175355309X457150.Hill, E. (2011) Animals as agents: Hunting ritual and relational ontologies in Prehistoric Alaska and Chukotka. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 21 (3), 407-426.Iwaniszewski, S. (1991) Astronomy as a cultural system. Interdisciplinarni izsledvaniya, Vol. 18, 282-288.Iwaniszewski, S. (1995) Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy: Methodological issues. Atti dei Convegni Lincei 121. Convegno Internazionale sul tema: Archaeologia e astronomia: esperienze e prospettive future (Roma, 26 novembre 1994). Roma: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 17-26.Krupp, E.C. (1991) Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.Lajoux, J.-D. (1996) L'homme et l'ours. Grenoble: Glénat.Lanciano, N. and Tutino, M. (2005) Orse del cielo, orse della terra Rivista italiana di Archeoastronomia, 3, 107-118. [Bear of the sky, bear of the earth].Lushnikova, A. (2002) Early notions of Ursa Major in Eurasia. In Astronomy of Ancient Societies, T. M. Potyomkina and V. Obridko (eds.). Moscow: Nauka, 254-261.Newcomb, F. J. (1967) Navajo Folk Tales. Santa Fe, N. M.: Museum of Navaho Ceremonial Art.Pastoureau, M. (2011) The Bear: A History of a Fallen King. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Pauvert, D. (2012) La religion carnavalesque. Meuzac: Chamin de Sent-Jaume. [Carnavalesque Religion]Pauvert, D. (2014) Le rituel de l'ours des Pyrénées aux steppes. In Traditions en devenir (coutumes et croyances d'Europe et d'Asie face au monde moderne), EURASIE No. 2, Société des Études euro-asiatiques (ed.) (pp. 17-51). Paris: Hartmattan, 17-51. [The ritual of the bear from the Pyrenees to the steppes]. https://www.academia.edu/13070219/Les_rituels_de_lours_des_Pyr%C3%A9n%C3%A9es_aux_steppes.Pentikäinen, J. (2007) Golden King of the Forest: The Lore of the Northern Bear. Helsinki: Etnika.Rappenglück, M. (2009) Constructing worlds: Cosmovisions as integral parts of human ecosystems. In Cosmology across Cultures, J. A. Ribiño-Martín, et. al. (eds.). San Francisco, CA: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 107-115.Ruggles, C.L.N. and Saunders, N.J. (1993) The study of cultural astronomy. In Astronomies and Cultures, C.L.N. Ruggles and N. J. Saunders (eds.). Niwot: University of Colorado Press, 1-31.Sarmela, M. (2006) The Bear in the Finnish Environment: Discontinuity of Cultural Existence. Translated by Annira Silver (2005). Appendix: Ritva Boom (1982). Helsinki. http://www.kotikone.fi/matti.sarmela/bear.html.Schmidt, É. (1989) Bear cult and mythology of the Northern Ob-Ugrians. In Uralic Mythology and Folklore, M. Hoppál and J. Pentikäinen (eds). Budapest: Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences/Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 187-232.Shepard, P. (1995) A bear essay (unpublished manuscript).Shepard, P. (2007) The biological bases of bear mythology and ceremonialism. The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, 23 (2), 74-79.Shepard, P. and Sanders, B. (1992) The Sacred Paw: The Bear in Nature, Myth and Literature. New York, NY: Arkana.Sokolova, Z. P. (2000) The bear cult. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia, 2 (2), 121-130.Speck, F. C. (1945) The Celestial Bear Comes Down to Earth: The Bear Ceremony of the Munsee-Mahican in Canada as Related by Nekatcit. In collaboration with Jesse Moses, Delaware Nation. Ohsweken: Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery.Watts, C. (2013) Relational Archaeologies: Humans, Animals, Things. London/New York: Routledge.