Astronomy across cultures: reporting experiences on the GalileoMobile education activities in the Paiter Suruí indigenous community
Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins, Coordenação de Educação em Ciências, Rua General Bruce 586, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Tiradentes, 148, Niterói, Brazil
3 Observatório Nacional, Rua General José Cristino 77, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 Independent film-maker, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 1 February 2019
This work is the report of an astronomy non-formal education expedition carried out by the GalileoMobile initiative in the Paiter Suruí indigenous communities, in the Brazilian Amazon, that took place in November 2016. This ethnic group remained “officially uncontacted” by non-natives until the late 1960's, when the population dropped significantly and they faced deep changes in their way of living and traditions. Nowadays, the Paiter Suruí are seeking ways to maintain their cultural identity and land. Thus, differently from previous GalileoMobile itinerant projects, which had the goal of bringing modern astronomy closer to youngsters of regions with scarce access to science outreach actions, this particular expedition had the goal of establishing an exchange of knowledge related to astronomy, promoting a dialogue with the members of this group to understand and record their relationship with the sky. The ground team, comprised of three astronomers, one filmmaker and one anthropologist, undertook the study of various academic works on ethno and cultural astronomy, as well as specific texts on science education in traditional communities and ethnography of Brazilian indigenous peoples. During the expedition, interviews with the Paiter Suruí elders were held, having as a starting point astronomy outreach activities such as the sky observation with telescopes. We were able to collect three myths related to the Sun, Moon and rainbow. The result of activities, interviews and transcripts were recorded in a series of videos that will be returned to the community, so that they can be used in schools and community centres as educational material for the preservation of the Paiter Suruí culture, as well as a resource for a detailed ethnographic study of their astronomy.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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