the Iroquois, the Flint Knife god is the twin brother of the Corn god, who is the young Sun god associated with the New Year's ceremony following the winter solstice. At this time, the Iroquois sacrificed a white dog. A comparable myth is depicted in the Nuttall codex from the Mixtec area of southern Mexico (ยง12.6) ending with a white dog sacrifice. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli in Nahua is literally "Lord of the Place of the House of Dawn." It is likely that Venus is intended, for the calendar names of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli are Three Dog and Nine Wind, and it is 32 days from Three Dog to Nine Wind. If one adds one day-name cycle of 260 days, this becomes 292 days, which is the mean period of half a Venus synodic period. It may be presumed with considerable assurance that this cult spread north with corn agriculture before 1000 a.d. Versions of the myth of the Twin Star gods are widespread in North America, and it is probable that much astronomical knowledge and many ceremonies followed the same routes.

The relationship of Earth and sky in a cosmological and temporal sense is well shown in the Micmac myth of the Hunting of the Bear. The Micmacs are a Nova Scotian group and some of their astronomical stories were recorded more than a century ago by Stansbury Hagar, whose work is appraised by Dube (1996). Modern Micmacs say that their people had names for all stars. There are six levels of existence: the world below the Earth, the world below the water, the Earth-world, the world of phantoms, the world above the Earth, and the world above the sky. The Beings who live in these worlds may take many different forms, from humans and animals to stars, winds, and mountains. Modern animals are transformed stars (Dube 1996, p. 56). A Micmac song tells of the Milky Way as the singing stars, the fire-birds. The tale of the Hunting of the Bear identifies seven hunters (all birds) who chase the Bear (our Ursa Major, but not all the same stars). The hunters are identified with stars of the Handle of the Big Dipper and Bootes: Red-Winged Blackbird (Alioth), Titmouse (Mizar; Alcor is the pot in which the bear meat is eventually cooked by Titmouse), Gray Jay (Alkaid), Pigeon (Seginus), Blue Jay (Izar), Owl (Arcturus), and a red-feathered Owl (Mufrid). Red-Winged Blackbird, Titmouse, and Gray Jay are always visible from twilight in this area. The times of the appearance and disappearance of the hunters are tied to seasonal changes. In the Spring, the Bear emerges from its Den (Corona Borealis) and Titmouse announces its appearance and calls the other hunters to the chase. In myth, the Red-Winged Blackbird is often a messenger of Spring and is also associated with fire and heat, becoming a marker of summer. In mid-autumn, the Bear stands up on its hind legs to defend himself but is shot by Red-Winged Blackbird, who is then stained by the red blood of the Bear. Red-Winged Blackbird flew to a maple tree and blood dripped onto the tree. This is why maple trees turn red in autumn. Slow-moving Gray Jay arrived last but shared the meat anyhow.

Finally, we note the possibility of astronomical significance for structures in New England usually associated by archeologists with the colonial or post-colonial periods. One of these sites, at Morrill's Point, has been investigated by James Whittall (private communication to Kelley, 1992). There is no general acceptance that these sites were con structed in precontact times, however. The site is a series of stone walls constructed differently than known colonial walls, apparently laid out using Pythagorean triangles, with equinoctial and solstitial alignments. It is unassociated with any colonial buildings. Williamson (1984) has an extended discussion of the difficulties of appraising archaeoastro-nomical claims for some of the stone structures usually regarded as colonial.

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