Pawnee Indian Skies: Planetarium Sky Show for General Audiences

July 1st, 1998 - December 31st, 2000 | PROJECT

The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum will develop and produce a planetarium show for distribution to other planetariums and informal learning centers across the United States. The forty-minute planetarium sky show will help audiences build their own experiences upon the observations and rich interpretations of astronomical events of the traditional Skidi Pawnee. The sky show will have four major science themes: (1) Pawnee observations as the basis for their cosmology; (2) native use of the sky for ceremonial and agricultural calendar-keeping; (3) audience familiarity with the sky and its cycles; (4) indigenous astronomical and meteorological knowledge as systematic scientific knowledge. Pawnee Indian Skies will help public audiences learn how to manipulate star finders to see how stars move in each sector of the sky, understand that stars rise and set in predictable directions on the horizon, understand the Pawnee ceremonial earthlodge as an astrological observatory, and to understand the position of stars, planets, and constellations importance to the Pawnee Indians. This nationally-distributed planetarium show is projected to reach 4.8 million people over 5 years. The development of this show will be shaped in consultation with the Pawnee Skidi chiefs, tribal educators, artist, musicians and elders.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Phyllis Pitluga, Principal Investigator, Adler Planetarium


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9803987
Funding Amount: 451694


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Media and Technology | Planetarium and Science on a Sphere