Thursday, January 3, 2013

Seven Sisters in Other Cultures

Most myths relate the Seven Sisters star cluster to young maidens or boys playing, dancing, and just being young and wild. "Like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a sliver braid."

In Chinese mythology they were the "Seven Sisters of Industry"

Australians considered them to be young girls playing music for the dancing young men (the stars in Orion's belt).

Various Native American legend equate them with seven young men guarding the holy seed of agriculture and seven young children told to stop all their dancing.

In Borneo they were a mother hen and six chicks

And in early Christian lore they were the six daughters and wife of the baker who gave Christ bread when he was hungry.

This association with youth is very interesting in that astronomers now consider them young, hot stars. They are large, fiery blue stars burning through their fuel very rapidly and have a quick, bad end - burning the candle at both ends so to speak. What is it about these stars that make them appear so youthful to the ancients?