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venus-rising-cover Venus Rising: South African Astronomical Beliefs, Customs and Observations Written by Peter G. Alcock

Venus Rising: South African Astronomical Beliefs, Customs and Observations examines traditional South African celestial knowledge, ranging from the Venda in the north to the /Xam San (Bushman) in the south. Also considered are eclipses, comets and meteors. Likewise discussed are place names, stories, poetry and riddles as well as other linguistic expressions which are linked to the heavens. The book, the first of its kind in this country, is a beginning and not an end, given that there is still more information to be collected in the vastness of South Africa’s cultural heritage. Readers, reinforced with information contained in this book, are invited to scan the night skies from a truly South African perspective.” [1]

The book is given away as a pdf for free by the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa. Visit the Book’s Homepage or Download Book

“Peter Alcock is a science graduate with a Ph.D. who has become interested, in more recent times, in South African indigenous scientific knowledge and history as well as geographic interpretations of selected South African novels. Peter published a book in 2010 on indigenous weather knowledge in this country. A companion volume on South African indigenous celestial knowledge is presently being considered by a local publisher. Peter prefers to avoid the “well-trodden path” in his research, and generally concentrates on the road less travelled.” [3]


1. http://assa.saao.ac.za/astronomy-in-south-africa/ethnoastronomy/venus-rising/

2. http://assa.saao.ac.za/astronomy-in-south-africa/ethnoastronomy/

3. Peter Alcock’s KwaZulu-Natal research, http://www.archivalplatform.org/news/entry/peter_alcocks/