January 12, 2022

Visible in the northern sky is Polaris – the North Star, surrounded by the Big Dipper, and Cassiopeia. However, the Diné, or Navajo, see the Big Dipper as Náhookòs Bi’kà’ (“Male Revolving One”) and Cassiopeia as Náhookòs Bi’áád (“Female Revolving One”) who sit on either side of Polaris or Náhookòs Bikò‘ (“Central Fire”).

To learn more about the Navajo constellations, visit: https://navajocodetalkers.org/navajo-constellations/

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The animation above shows how the Navajo constellations Náhookòs Bi’kà’ and Náhookòs Bi’áád circle around the North Star Polaris each night. This behavior is called circumpolar motion. Animation created using Stellarium.