Sunday, October 20, 2013

Aurorae in Australian Aboriginal Traditions

The Aurora Australis is seen by many Aboriginal groups as an omen of bushfires in the spirit world, according to a new study of traditional Indigenous oral culture.

The research found most traditional teachings associated the reddish hues of the Aurora Australis or southern lights, with blood, fire and death.

"That's very different from the more festive stories associated with the Aurora Borealis or northern lights, in the traditional cultures of Canada, Siberia and Northern Europe, says the paper's author Dr Duane Hamacher of the University of New South Wales.

Aurorae Australis over the oceans south of Victoria, Australia. Image by Alex Cherney

Read the rest of the story here.

Read the published paper here.

TEDx NorthernSydneyInstitute: Look Up! There's an Emu in the Sky

Dr Duane Hamacher, University of New South Wales, Sydney