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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Pickstown in Charles Mix County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Star Power

 
 
Star Power Marker image. Click for full size.
December 3, 2021
1. Star Power Marker
Inscription.  
Living under a vast blanket of stars above the Great Plains, Native Americans had an interest in the stars. Stars are believed to be Woniya of Wakan Tanka, "the holy breath of the Great Spirit." Constellations in the night sky evoked stories and beliefs.

In the past, knowledge of the stars and how they moved was kept by a medicine man, called a Star Bundle Keeper. He understood the stars and could apply that knowledge to the seasons. This knowledge was passed down through generations with stories.

[Captions:]
The Lakota call the Pleiades star cluster Wicincala Sakowin, or Seven Little Girls.

Since plains tribes believe the sky mirrors the earth, they believe the Milky Way is the campfire of relatives. The Milky Way represents the journey of the deceased. The circle represents the village of the universe, and each light represents a fire in the middle of a village with tipis surrounding it.

Wicahpi is the Lakota word for star. The root, wica, means "humankind," and hpi means "to fall." Many Native Americans also have stories about the
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North Star not moving. The Lakota phrase Wicahpi Owanjila means "star which stands in one place."

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceAnthropology & ArchaeologyChurches & ReligionNative Americans.
 
Location. 43° 4.162′ N, 98° 32.74′ W. Marker is near Pickstown, South Dakota, in Charles Mix County. Marker is on U.S. 18, half a mile west of Missouri Drive, on the right when traveling west. The marker stands at the Fort Randall Dam Visitor Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lake Andes SD 57356, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Women's Work: Making & Raising Tipis (here, next to this marker); Circle of Life (here, next to this marker); Buffalo Tipi Covers (here, next to this marker); Tipi: "They Dwell" (here, next to this marker); Gifts of the Buffalo (here, next to this marker); Fort Randall Dam - Lake Francis Case (a few steps from this marker); Pickstown / Lewis and Clark (approx. 0.7 miles away); Pickstown Centennial Garden Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pickstown.
 
Star Power Marker <i>(left)</i> image. Click for full size.
December 3, 2021
2. Star Power Marker (left)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 6, 2021. This page has been viewed 414 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 6, 2021. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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