Monday, January 10, 2011

Te Kahui Matariki

When I visited Tauranga earlier this year, I discovered this series of pouwhenua along The Strand - the seven figures that represent Te Kahui Matariki: the Pleiades cluster of stars, or the seven sisters.
Carved by James Tapiata, they are a handsome addition to the waterfront and each pou includes stunning carved detail.
The appearance of the Matakriki constellation in the north-eastern sky in late May, early June, hails the arrival of the Maori New Year. This is a time of new beginnings when karakia (prayers) are offered for the health of the soil, the seed and the harvest. If the stars are bright and clear, it is said the following year will be warm and fruitful. if they are hazy, a cold winter is predicted. Matakriki was also used as a navigational aid for ocean travellers throughout the Pacific Ocean.
There has been an upsurge of interest in Matariki in recent years. It's all part of the wider renaissance of te Reo Maori and Maori culture that many New Zealanders - Maori and Pakeha - are keen to acknowledge and celebrate. Although there are tribal differences regarding the timing of Matariki celebrations, they most often begin at the next new moon after Matariki has risen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin