Night Skies of Aboriginal Australia

A Noctuary

Dianne Johnson

Regular price $25.00 Sale

Format: paperback
238 pages
ISBN: 9781743323878

Publication: 19 Feb 2014

Publisher: Sydney University Press

Read online: Open access
Buy ebook: Apple Books

Written by anthropologist Dianne Johnson, Night Skies of Aboriginal Australia has been in demand since its publication in 1998. It is a record of the stars and planets which pass across the night-time skies. This noctuary holds not only a record of what appears in the skies and how Aboriginal people see them, but also offers an appreciation of the Aboriginal stories that are tied to the night skies and the ideas and beliefs behind them.

Dianne Johnson (1947 - 2012) was a social anthropologist who worked closely with the Darug and Gundungurra peoples.

List of figures
Note to the 2014 edition

1. Prologue
2. Aboriginal cosmology
3. Natural cycles and the stars
4. Mythology
5. Social relations and kin ties
6. Healing
7. Astronomical observations
8. The fall of the sky-dome


'Johnson's work is a valuable contribution to the defining of Aboriginal astronomy and to the interface between mainstream astronomy and anthropology. It stands as a launch platform for a new branch of the social sciences in this country.'
John Morieson   Oceania

'the book is the elegant end product of diligent and committed research. Johnson says that she was inspired to undertake that research through reflection upon the apparent arbitrary nature of European constellations and, later, by her desire to rescue `some of the rich and fabulous stories and ideas which constitute Aboriginal astronomy'
John Morton   The Australian Journal of Anthropology

Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 × 13 mm
238 pages
3 b&w tables and 52 b&w illustrations
Copyright: © 2014
ISBN: 9781743323878
Publication: 19 Feb 2014