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- Feb 2023
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Traditions about Usal and the Zugubals are based on the story of Thoegay, a fiercewarrior, Zogo Le, and skilled navigator who commanded a ship crew of thirteen: a firstmate named Kang and a crew of twelve men, called the Zugubals. The group embarkedon a long expedition at sea on a hot day. Before long, the crew began consuming theirrations in zest. They were warned by Kang to conserve their supplies, but before longthey had consumed the water for the entire trip, including Thoegay’s. When Thoegayrealised this, he flew into a fit of rage and killed the 12 men. Because the Zugubals werealso spiritual beings, they could not die, so Thoegay cast them into the sky as two groupsof six stars: Usal (the six brightest stars of the Pleiades) and Utimal (the six brightest starsof Orion’s belt and scabbard). Thoegay then ascended into the opposite side of the sky,taking Kang and his canoe with him. He can be seen as a large constellation holding aspear in his left hand (the Southern Cross) and a Eugenia fruit in his right hand (theconstellation Corvus), standing at the bow of his celestial canoe (Scorpius) with Kang(Antares; Alpha Scorpii) sitting at the stern (Robinson 2016a).
This is a great story, but interestingly, without the appropriate art to explicitly map the idea onto, it's much harder to remember or to help those unaccustomed to these ideas. Presumably the audience of this book doesn't/wouldn't.
A simple drawing here or an overlay onto an existing image would be immensely helpful. Perhaps the Robinson reference has one? (it doesn't)
- Indigenous astronomy