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Native American Circle Geometry. Indian Education for All Mathematics Lesson Created by: Marcia Welliever. Astrological Alignments. Many ancient civilizations have found ways to record and predict the passing of the seasons.

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native american circle geometry

Native American Circle Geometry

Indian Education for All

Mathematics Lesson

Created by: Marcia Welliever

astrological alignments
Astrological Alignments
  • Many ancient civilizations have found ways to record and predict the passing of the seasons.
  • Many ancient peoples recorded solstice, equinox and star locations.
egyptians
Egyptians
  • The pyramids at Giza near Cairo, Egypt have many tunnels and alignments to show the passing seasons.
mayans mexico
MayansMexico
  • Chichen Itza in Mexico
medicine wheel
Medicine Wheel
  • A Medicine Wheel is a spiritual, cultural and scientific location of great significance to many ancient and modern Native Americans.
  • There are many medicine wheels throughout the Plains Indians regions.
  • Rocks are lined up or curved and rock piles (cairns) are aligned to record and predict astrological events.
  • These features can record the passing of seasons.
purpose of medicine wheels
Purpose of Medicine Wheels
  • Medicine Wheels have multiple purposes
    • Astrological recordings of sunrise and sunset locations on the summer solstice (June 21).
    • Astrological recordings of the locations of important stars are referenced in the wheel.
    • Many Native Americans use the wheels as a spiritual destination. This is evidenced by the many religious artifacts from ancient Native peoples, as well as offerings from modern Native peoples.
big horn medicine wheel wyoming
Big Horn Medicine WheelWyoming

Click here for a Virtual Tour of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel.

big horn medicine wheel
Big Horn Medicine Wheel

John Eddy discovered that the location of the cairns can be used as a horizon calendar

slide9
Big Horn Medicine Wheel

Points A, B, C, D, E and F represent cairns around the Medicine Wheel. Point O represents a cairn near the center.

slide10
Big Horn Medicine Wheel

represents the direction of the rising of the star Aldebaran.

slide11
Big Horn Medicine Wheel

Name the ray that shows the location of the rising of the star Rigel.

slide12
Big Horn Medicine Wheel

Name the ray that shows the direction of the sunrise at the summer solstice.

slide13
What does represent?

Big Horn Medicine Wheel

The direction of the rising of the star Sirius.

slide14
What does represent?

Big Horn Medicine Wheel

The direction of the sunset at summer solstice.

valley city state university medicine wheel
Valley City State UniversityMedicine Wheel
  • In 1992, Dr. Joe Stickler from VCSU and a group of his astronomy students began the process of creating their own modern Medicine Wheel in a park on their North Dakota campus that includes:
    • A circular Medicine Wheel that functions as a horizon calendar like the Big Horn Medicine Wheel.
    • Native American burial mounds.
    • A scale model of our solar system.
valley city state university medicine wheel17
Valley City State UniversityMedicine Wheel

Click here for the link to the VCSU Medicine Wheel website

slide18
VCSU Medicine Wheel serves as site for spiritual ceremonies

In 2002, modern Native and non-Native Americans joined in a ceremony at VCSU celebrating the autumnal equinox.

vcsu medicine wheel serves as site for modern day spiritual ceremonies
VCSU Medicine Wheel serves as site for modern day spiritual ceremonies

The Grammy-winning Native American vocal group, Lakota Thunder, performs at VCSU.

vcsu medicine wheel geometry
VCSU Medicine Wheel Geometry
  • The VCSU Medicine Wheel is in the shape of a circle.
  • The outline of the circle and the 28 “spokes” are formed by large rocks. The interior is filled with gravel.
  • If the colored center were a single point, the spokes would form 28 radii of the circle.
  • The diameter of the circle is 67.8 feet.
circle mathematics round 1
Circle Mathematics: Round 1
  • How many definitions and formulas pertaining to circles and their parts do you know?
  • Work with a partner for 5 minutes to brainstorm as many mathematical definitions and formulas as you can.
circle mathematics round 2
Circle Mathematics: Round 2
  • Have each group take turns giving facts until all have been listed on the board.
  • Your teacher will give any additional information or notes that you will need for the next activity.
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