Review

Review: Duane Hamacher's The First Astronomers is a useful guide to indigenous star knowledge

By Russell Wenholz
March 25 2022 - 1:00pm
Indigenous people were great observers of the heavens. Picture: Shutterstock
  • The First Astronomers: How Indigenous Elders read the stars, by Duane Hamacher. Allen & Unwin, $34.99.

In the subtitle of The First Astronomers - "How Indigenous Elders read the stars" - author Duane Hamacher is referring to world-wide "Indigenous Elders". Not only Australians, although Australian Indigenous people do figure prominently in his book and his contact is mainly with Elders of Torres Straight Islands. However, Hamacher's research often extends to Maori, Melanesian, Micronesian, Aztec, Inuit, Chinese and Peruvian Indigenous people - along with ancient Egyptians and Greeks. He is from the mid-west of the United States and has studied the Indigenous people of that region: the Lakotas.

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