“The Place Where You Go to Listen” is a quiet relaxing room in the Natural History of Alaska Museum. It features the “sound” and lights are projected on the wall, of the current aurora borealis. There are plenty of native groups that feature different myths.
Some stories feature spirits in the sky. Some of these spirits are visiting from beyond are either long passed elders or deceased children. Others feature dead animals that are kicking around human skulls in the sky because of one reason or another depending on which culture the story comes from.
Other stories are centered around the idea of the Northern Lights being evil or omens. There are some cultures that consider it an ill omen when the lights are in the sky, and even act quietly and say that people will contract illness or death if they disrespect the lights. Another consideration is that the lights are an omen of war; the spirits of their fallen enemies supposedly are coming back to haunt them and encourage their fellow man.
My favorite are the fire stories. There is one group whose creator god reclused to the north of the North after it was finished and lights a fire to show his people that he remembers them. Another fire story is the story of the strong dwarf-like characters that live in the North that light fires to cook and scare off others. My favorite story is from Finland. Their North Lights are called revontalet which translates loosely to “fox fires”. The basis of the story is that a magic fox swept it’s tail across the snow and when it flug the snow into the sky it became the fire in the sky.
All of these routes interest me, but so far I’ve only found summaries of the stories but not actual written tales. I’m hoping to spend time in the Rasmuson Library Alaska section and possibly find recorded oral traditions.