By Kyla Campbell-Kamariera
May 27, 2019

Tērā ko Matariki e ārau mai ana

Reo Tauira

Over the years there has been a real resurgence of traditional Māori ancestral knowledge among rangatahi (young people). Nowadays, it’s seen as being “cool” (and it so is!) to know your maramataka (Māori lunar calendar) and to be a mātanga kōkōrangi (Māori astronomy expert). But the uncovering of knowledge means we’re constantly having to level up so we don’t get left behind #MātaurangaGainz. Just when we think we know, there’s a whole other world of knowledge waiting for us.

Here are some simple but crucial tips to getting Matariki right:

MYTH 1:
Matariki means “little eyes”. This literal translation and its interpretation fail to explain any greater Māori understanding of cosmology. You might have to do your own research on this one and come up with your own conclusion cos this kaupapa kōrero (topic) is expansive!

MYTH 2:
The Matariki cluster are all female stars. Matariki is actually the māmā to 8 tamariki - 3 being tāne. Pōhutukawa (f), Tupuānuku (f), Tupuārangi (m), Waiti (f), Waitā (m), Waipunarangi (f), Ururangi (m), and Hiwa-i-te-rangi (f).

MYTH 3:
Matariki rises on the same date every year. Nope. Since we’re talking about traditional Māori ancestral knowledge, it may be appropriate to mention that the maramataka does not follow the Gregorian calendar.

If this little kōrero tickled ya fancy, then there’s so much more knowledge out there if you wish to seek it! Prof. Dr Rangi Matamua from the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies is one of the many tohunga kōkōrangi (astronomy experts) of this generation who shares so generously his mātauranga #Goalz. With platforms like Instagram, Facebook, roadshow presentations and a few published pieces, we’re so spoilt for choice with all this knowledge available

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