The cultural basis for the practice of savanna burning for hunting by the Xavante Indians was investigated. Fieldwork was performed in the Indigenous Lands of AreÃµes and Pimentel Barbosa in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. This study showed that natural events are still relevant in the cognitive universe of the Xavante and are considered in the people's decision-making processes. The eldest village members select the best location and time to start a fire. Their decision is based on the winds and the positions of the stars. The constellations that have a special meaning for the Xavante are rather similar to those acknowledged by Western culture. The results of the study support the conclusion that a dialogue between the traditional knowledge of the Xavante about fire management and the scientific fundamentals of fire ecology can contribute to a broader understanding of the management of fires in the cerrado.