The North Star and Morning Star - The Planet Venus

The Fixed Star, or North Star, is essential for navigation in the northern hemisphere.

The Woman who married Morning Star - This story explains how the North Star came into existence, and also how we received one of our most important ceremonies.

According to the Blackfoot people of the North American Plains, it was in the summertime when two girls went outside of their lodge to sleep. The girls awoke before day-break, and one of them said to the other, "I would like to marry that beautiful Star that shines so bright." Not long after, the same two girls were out gathering wood. They were about to start home with their bundles of wood, when one of the ropes broke on the bundle carried by the girl who wanted to marry the Star. As she was fixing it, a young man approached her and said he had come for her. Then the young man said to her, "I am Morning Star whom you said you would like to marry." He took her to his home with Natosi (Sun) and Kokomi-kisomm (Moon). After some time, she gave birth to a child. To pass the time, she would go out every day to dig roots and turnips. She could go anywhere in the sky, but her husband forbade her to dig a certain large turnip. But one day, the temptation was too great, and she could not resist digging up the turnip to see what was underneath. Looking through a hole in the sky, which is the North Star, she saw all her family down upon the Earth. She started to cry and her loneliness was very great. At last Ipiso-waahsa (Morning Star) cut a long rope of buffalo rawhide and lowered her back to Earth with her child. Before she left, he gave her a ceremonial headdress and an elk tooth dress and the ceremony of ookaan. Her people were to use this ceremony every year to call on Natosi (Sun) and ask for his pity and help.

- As told by Mrs. Wolf Plume, Amsskaapipikani in 1911.
As told by Mrs. Wolf Plume, Amsskaapipikani, Canadian Heritage Information Network
Australian Museums & Galleries Online, Australia; Centre of the Universe; Gemini Observatory, Hawaii; Glenbow Museum; The Manitoba Museum; National Research Council Canada; Planétarium de Montréal
© Canadian Heritage Information Network, 2003

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