Naka, the Horn Star

Canopus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, is known in South Africa as Naka, the Horn Star. According to Sotho tradition, the day of the first sighting spurs a meeting of the medicine men. The medicine men roll bone dice to determine whether the new season will be good or bad, bringing in winter and the sheep breeding season. The Zulu know this star as Inkwenkwezi, the Brilliant Star. The pattern for this painting was inspired by a traditional Zulu beading design.


Watercolor on Paper


Eva Bod ’20

Curated Resources

Clive Ruggles, Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, 2015

Springer Press Historical and Cultural Astronomy Series, 2016-present

Archaeoastronomy, 1978-2014

Journal of Astronomy in Culture, 2016-present

Ocarina Books

International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture