Exploratory research on the big horn medicine wheel acting as an indigenous place-based pedagogical instrument for learning sky-earth relationships, skywatching fundamentals, and celestial mechanics

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/608107
Title:
Exploratory research on the big horn medicine wheel acting as an indigenous place-based pedagogical instrument for learning sky-earth relationships, skywatching fundamentals, and celestial mechanics
Authors:
Fisher-Herriges Merriot, Ivy T.
Abstract:
This study explored the ability of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel to act as a pedagogical instrument for learning sky-earth relationships. The Big Horn Medicine Wheel is one of six large stone wheels in the northern plains that show astronomical potential. It is a National Historic Landmark and Sacred Site, created before all known histories--oral and written. Forty years ago, John Eddy and Jack Robinson proposed the first stellar alignments at the Wheel. My own study between 2009 and 2014 concluded that the Wheel's placement, its "Place," reveals extensive symmetry with celestial mechanics and offers pedagogy for learning skywatching fundamentals. My study combined the methods of Native Science and Western science. I collected oral histories, compared images of the Wheel taken by various photographers over 100 years, and tracked stars and the Sun through summer and fall seasons for five years using the naked eye, binoculars, transits, GPS, and a Meade Cassegrain 8" electronic telescope. I sought Native ceremony to prepare for the immersion of my senses in place-based cognition while allowing my intelligence to learn from "inert" materials such as stars, mountains, and stones. My results showed the Wheel accurately mirrors the sky using embedded stones on the ground to correspond to the major north polar stars over the Earth's 24,000 precessional cycle. The Wheel is perfectly situated on the shoulder of Medicine Mountain to make use of the dip in the northern mountainous horizon to cradle the precessional north polar stars as they roll through their millennia cycles, creating a stellar circle in the sky above the Wheel's stone circle on earth. I found the latitude of the Wheel is a "sweet spot" for detecting small angular changes in heliacal stars over time and for the nightly, yearly, and 5000-year circular movement of its zenith star Capella, which also holds a symmetry with the northern landscape. And I found the twenty-eight segments of the Wheel correspond to stellar grid systems based on asterisms. I make no conclusion about the builder's purpose, only about the possible pedagogical uses of the symmetry of the Wheel in its contextual Place. Date-Added
Affiliation:
Montana State University Bozeman
Issue Date:
2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/608107
Submitted date:
2015-11-19
Document Source:
Dissertation/Thesis
Language:
English Paper
Type Of Resource:
Curriculum/Program Report or Description
Empirical Methodology:
Mixed Methods
Learning Environment:
Informal
Research Setting:
Indigenous Site
Construct:
Place Based Learning
Content:
Celestial Motion
Specific Interests:
Multicultural/Indigenous
Nation:
USA
Appears in Collections:
Astronomy Education Research

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorFisher-Herriges Merriot, Ivy T.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-04T09:02:17Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-04T09:02:17Zen
dc.date.issued2014en
dc.date.submitted2015-11-19en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11290/608107en
dc.description.abstractThis study explored the ability of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel to act as a pedagogical instrument for learning sky-earth relationships. The Big Horn Medicine Wheel is one of six large stone wheels in the northern plains that show astronomical potential. It is a National Historic Landmark and Sacred Site, created before all known histories--oral and written. Forty years ago, John Eddy and Jack Robinson proposed the first stellar alignments at the Wheel. My own study between 2009 and 2014 concluded that the Wheel's placement, its "Place," reveals extensive symmetry with celestial mechanics and offers pedagogy for learning skywatching fundamentals. My study combined the methods of Native Science and Western science. I collected oral histories, compared images of the Wheel taken by various photographers over 100 years, and tracked stars and the Sun through summer and fall seasons for five years using the naked eye, binoculars, transits, GPS, and a Meade Cassegrain 8" electronic telescope. I sought Native ceremony to prepare for the immersion of my senses in place-based cognition while allowing my intelligence to learn from "inert" materials such as stars, mountains, and stones. My results showed the Wheel accurately mirrors the sky using embedded stones on the ground to correspond to the major north polar stars over the Earth's 24,000 precessional cycle. The Wheel is perfectly situated on the shoulder of Medicine Mountain to make use of the dip in the northern mountainous horizon to cradle the precessional north polar stars as they roll through their millennia cycles, creating a stellar circle in the sky above the Wheel's stone circle on earth. I found the latitude of the Wheel is a "sweet spot" for detecting small angular changes in heliacal stars over time and for the nightly, yearly, and 5000-year circular movement of its zenith star Capella, which also holds a symmetry with the northern landscape. And I found the twenty-eight segments of the Wheel correspond to stellar grid systems based on asterisms. I make no conclusion about the builder's purpose, only about the possible pedagogical uses of the symmetry of the Wheel in its contextual Place. Date-Addeden
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-05-04T09:02:17Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 6bd6702e-1914-4ea7-b937-3004ce0eb59e.pdf: 16122754 bytes, checksum: 92a7d614021a566b1da5d55935caaf17 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2014en
dc.language.isoEnglish Paperen
dc.titleExploratory research on the big horn medicine wheel acting as an indigenous place-based pedagogical instrument for learning sky-earth relationships, skywatching fundamentals, and celestial mechanicsen
dc.typeDissertation/Thesisen
dc.contributor.departmentMontana State University Bozemanen
dc.type.resourceCurriculum/Program Report or Descriptionen
dc.istar.learningenvironmentInformalen
dc.istar.constructPlace Based Learningen
dc.istar.contentCelestial Motionen
dc.istar.specificinterestsMulticultural/Indigenousen
dc.istar.nationUSAen
dc.istar.empiricalmethodologyMixed Methodsen
dc.istar.researchsettingIndigenous Siteen
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