Under other skies: dialogues of different cosmological paradigms

This proposal focuses on ethno-astronomy, in particular on indigenous astronomy in Brazil. The project will be conducted in Aldeia Verde, a Maxakali Village in Minas Gerais, where the idea was born through the encounter of one of the astronomers and two cacique (leaders) of the community. The project involves the collaboration of indigenous researchers of the village, anthropologists and educators of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and astronomers and educators of the University of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The main objective is to collect native narratives, chants and myths about the sky that have never been written down and recorded before, creating novel scholastic material for schools inside and outside the village. Initially, we intend to collect and translate Maxakali stories and chants of the sky, narrated by some of the elders, who have collaborated with four of the researchers for a number of years. Subsequently, we will organise a workshop in the Maxakali village, open to the wider community, to observe the sky with a telescope, in order to promote a dialogue between indigenous and western scientific knowledge. The third step is the organisation of a workshop of illustration of the narrated stories, led by 15 indigenous teachers. The main outcome will be a scholastic booklet, comprising the narrated stories and their illustrations. The booklet will also present images of the southern skies. This outcome will increase the quantity and quality of indigenous didactic material, as a right granted by the Federal Law that defends the autonomy of Indigenous Education (Law n.9394/1996). The booklet, containing Portuguese and English translations, will be distributed in all the indigenous schools whose professors attend the course at FIEI, and four public schools. All materials, including the recording of the chants, will be available in a web portal hosted at IAG/USP and OV, making this material accessible to an international audience.

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