Great Bear

General - A constellation in the northern sky. (1) The Arabs call the constellation Al Akbar or Al ubh. (2) In Central America, Nahua myths regard the constellation as Tezcatlipoca, as Ocelotl, falling out of the sky into the sea. (3) The Chinese call it the Bushel (= measure of grain), regarded as the throne of Shang-ti and a symbol of longevity, or Pei-tou or Ch'i-chiang regarded as the emperor's chariot. (4) In Greek myths it was the never-sleeping guardian of the universe or a form of Callisto. (5) Hebrews, in ancient times, called the constell-ation Dobh (bear). (6) In Hindu lore the seven stars of the Plough are the Seven Rishis. (7) The Inuit say that this was a real bear which took to the skies to escape hunters who, in following it, were turned into the Pleiades. (8) The Mongols refer to the Great Bear as the god of thieves since the original six stars stole one of the Pleaiades to make the seven. (9) In North America, the Plains Indians refer to the Great Bear as Mishe-Mokwa and say that it was killed by Mudjekeewis. Other tribes say that three hunters follow the bear and, when they kill it, the world will come to an end. (10) The Persians call this constellation Hapto-iringa and regard it as the leader of the northern quarter. (11) In Siberia, the seven stars are wolves pursuing the seven horses of the Little Bear. If they catch the horses, the world will come to an end. In some versions, the wolves are reindeer. (12) Other stories have the Pole Star as the hunter and the Great Bear as a stag and, once again, the death of the hunted signals the end of the world. Yet another story says that the seven stars are seven skulls thrown into the sky after they had been used as cups. Also commonly called Great Bear, Arthur's Wain, Arthur's Wain, Big Dipper, Big Dipper, Bushel, Bushel, Charles' Wain, Charles' Wain, Dipper, The, Dipper, The, Harrow, Harrow, Himmel Wagon, Himmel Wagon, Karl's Wagon, Karl's Wagon, Mishe-Mokwa, Mishe-Mokwa, Odin's Wagon, Odin's Wagon, Plough, The, Plough, The, Ploughing Oxen, Ploughing Oxen, Ursa Major, Ursa Major, Wagoner, Wagoner, Wain Harrow, Wain Harrow, The (Big) Dipper, The (Big) Dipper, The Plough, The Plough, The Wagoner or The Wagoner.

Nearby Myths