Podcaster: Avivah Yamani

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FolkloreTitle: Folklore Series:  Sail to the sky: A tale about the eight brothers who became the Pleiades

Organization: langitselatan

Link :

Description:  A folklore from Mentawai, Indonesia. This is the story of Sail to the sky: A tale about the eight brothers who became the Pleiades.

Bio: Avivah Yamani is an astronomy communicator from langitselatan

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This is 365 Days of Astronomy. Today we bring you a folklore from Mentawai, Indonesia. This is the story of Sail to the sky: A tale about the eight brothers who became the Pleiades.

For people in Mentawai, the Pleaides has a special place and meaning for them. Even though we know it as the seven stars, for the Mentawai people it originated from eight brothers (the eight brothers) who transformed in to the Pleiades. And it also become a sign of the season for the fishermen.

Once upon a time in Mentawai, lived eight orphaned brothers on the island of Siberut. But for their relatives, they were a burden, so they put the eight brothers into food supply jars and floated them off in the river.

But luckily their uncle was fishing downstream and found the jars. He helped them out and he decided to take care of them. But it wasn’t easy for him and he was overwhelmed by them. So he tried to find out a way to cast them out.

One day, the eight brothers were climbing a tree and their uncle shouted “there is an enemy near the tree”. He hoped that he can cast them out and make them run away. But it seems all the brothers knew his tactic and it made them feel really sad.

The eight brothers decided to leave their uncle. They built a giant mortar as a boat and sailed in it. But before they went away, they yelled to their uncle, and told him about the sign of the season.

From the boat they said: Father if you see us in the east before sunrise, it means that the time to catch a crab (aggau) on the beach has arrived and fruit will be ripe soon. But it also means a storm will come so tell the fisherman not to go to sea. But, Father, if you see us in the west, not long after sunset then it means the season of calm sea has arrived and you can go down to the sea to catch turtles.” This is the season in Mentawai called aggau and rura.

After they left the message with their beloved uncle, the eight brothers went up to the sky and transformed into seven stars or the Pleiades.

When they took the journey, of the eight of them, three had been married on Earth. Their wives were sad and grief stricken but then they decided to follow the path of their husbands. Unfortunately they never quite caught up with their husbands and they transformed into Orion’s belt.

Feeling pity and guilty over their wives, the eight threw a boar’s jawbone to their wives and it transformed into the Aldebaran triangle and the Hyades group located between Orion and Pleaides. The mortar which they used to sail to the sky traveled a little further and then transformed into Triangulum.

Thank you for listening. This is 365 Days Of astronomy

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