Ethnoastronomy

 

Paralleling the definition of archaeoastronomy, one can define ethnoas-tronomy as the study of beliefs and practices concerning the sky among modern peoples, and particularly among indigenous communities, and the uses to which people’s knowledge of the skies are put. The term ethnoas-tronomy seems to have been coined in 1973, not long after the term ar-chaeoastronomy, first appearing in the title of a review article by Elizabeth C. Baity, “Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy So Far,” in the journal Current Anthropology. There is no clear dividing line between archaeoas-tronomy and ethnoastronomy, and many would prefer simply to combine the two fields under one heading, such as cultural astronomy.

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