In Other Worlds
August 13, 2020 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Wilfred Buck grew up in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, in northern Manitoba. “An Elder told me that every star you can see with the naked eye had a story, had a constellation, had a name and a teaching attached to it,” he says. “Due to the historical trauma that happened to our people, anywhere from 75 to 85 percent of that knowledge base was wiped out.” Margaret Nazon grew up near Tsiigehtchic, a Gwich’in settlement in the Northwest Territories. In the community, she would watch her older sister and her friends’ mothers stitch beads into floral designs on velvet, stroud, and moose hide after their chores were finished for the day. But it wasn’t until Nazon was in her sixties that her love for astronomy appeared in her beadwork.

These two essays are part of a larger series from The Walrus, In Other Worlds.

Space Junk Is a Bigger Extraterrestrial Threat than Little Green Men
And it’s a menace to spacecraft, satellites, and even our modern way of life, by Ainslie Cru

Discovering the Universe through the World’s Largest Telescope -
The ALMA array is our most powerful tool for witnessing the birth of new planets, by Viviane Fairbank

The Fault, Dear Reader, Is Not in Our Stars -
Mental health care is pricey and inaccessible. Online astrology is rising to take its place, by Carly Lewis

The Wild, Wild West of Space Law -
The world's richest men are fielding their own cosmic missions. Who will make sure they behave? by Michael O'Shea

Can the New Space Race Save Small Towns?
The promise of a spaceport could give a boost to a struggling Nova Scotia community, by Matthew Halliday

What Astronauts Can Teach Us about Mental Health and Isolation -
We’re learning what members of space missions have known for decades: it’s hard to live in a confined space for long periods of time, by Elizabeth Howell

How One Artist Captures the Night Sky in Beads -
The otherworldly beadwork of Margaret Nazon, by Pamela Young

Teaching Indigenous Star Stories -
Educators like Wilfred Buck know that astronomy did not, in fact, start with Aristotle and end with Neil deGrasse Tyson, by Kelly Boutsalis
posted by ChuraChura (9 comments total) 71 users marked this as a favorite
Wow - what a great post! Going to take a while to get through everything, but thank you. I actually gasped when I hit the link to Margaret Nazon's work - so incredibly beautiful. I needed this.
posted by queensissy at 3:08 PM on August 13, 2020

this is beyond fantastic!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:32 PM on August 13, 2020

Amazing stuff, thank you!
posted by carter at 6:27 PM on August 13, 2020

WOW, that beadwork... amazing!!!
posted by Capricorn13 at 6:35 PM on August 13, 2020

Thank you for posting; I wouldn’t have ever run across this otherwise.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:15 PM on August 13, 2020

The art is just gorgeous, and I'll take time to check out the other links. Great post, thanks.
posted by theora55 at 6:09 AM on August 14, 2020

Her beadwork is stunning.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:09 AM on August 14, 2020

Here's another article on Margaret Nazon with more images. I came across her work a while ago and was blown away.
posted by leslies at 8:17 AM on August 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Everything that is traditional was once innovative, wasn’t it?
posted by jfwlucy at 3:36 PM on August 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

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