The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Welcome to a Native Place
— Native American Astronomy —
Over thousands of years, Native peoples have studied the moon as a guide for agricultural and ceremonial cycles. For the Powhatan, the month known as May was called the Corn Planting Moon. They kept time by noting the lunar cycles on notched sticks or knotted strings.
According to most traditional Native teachings, humans are related to all other beings and deeply connected to plants, animals, and the land. The Lakota, for example, affirm their prayers with a phrase that shows their understanding of this concept: mitakuye oyasin, meaning "all my relations."
Translations in Virginia Algonquian, Tuscarora, Catawba, and Munsee Delaware courtesy Dr. Blair Rudes, University of North Carolina.
Knowing This Place
We invite you to walk around the museum grounds and find the panels that explain the meanings of each environment. You will learn about the many ways that Native peoples changed and were influenced by the forest, meadow, wetlands, and croplands.
"Everything is alive and is making choices that determine the future, so the world
—Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux)
Erected by Smithsonian Institution.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Native Americans.
Location. 38° 53.267′ N, 77° 1.029′ W. Marker is in The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker can be reached from Independence Avenue Southwest east of 4th Street Southwest, on the right when traveling west. On the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 339 Maryland Avenue Southwest, Washington DC 20597, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Meadow (a few steps from this marker); Nora Naranjo-Morse (a few steps from this marker); Lunar Calendars (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Nora Naranjo-Morse (within shouting distance of this marker); Cardinal Direction Marker: South (within shouting distance of this marker); Cardinal Direction Marker: West (within shouting distance of this marker); Traditional Croplands (within shouting distance of this marker); Sunflower • Wádxaweew (wah-ha-way-oh) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 14, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 130 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on February 10, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 13, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.