Many cultures have legends about the aurora. The Eskimos, Athabaskan Indians, Greenlanders, and some northwest indian tribes are among these cultures. Ancient Eskimo stories say that the aurora is a narrow pathway for the departed souls to heaven. Others cultures think the aurora is a sporting event in which spirits play a game that is similar to football. In this game, however, the football is the skull of a walrus. Some cultures feared whistling while there was an aurora present because they thought that whistling would cause the aurora to come down and take them.
Aurora was the name of the Roman goddess of the dawn. She is depicted in Roman Mythology as a naked woman with long flowing hair that covered her body. Michaelangelo did a statue of her entitled: "Michaelangelo's Dawn".
The aurora has fascinated humans for thousands of years. From polar explorers, adventurers, fur traders, and early settlers, to famous philosophers and scientists it has influenced culture.
The aurora has been an influence in the recording of human culture in the past. In medieval times it was often portrayed in art of the time. In medieval days, people feared the red glow of the aurora because they believed it to be a bad omen.
|"Language is vain in the attempt to describe its ever varying and gorgeous phases; no pen nor pencil can portray its fickle hues, its radiance, and its grandeur."|
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.