Friday, 25 June 2021

Happy Matariki... in a week

Pākehā (European) New Zealanders have been slow to understanding that what makes Aotearoa unique is Māoritanga (traditions and culture).  However, it has been wonderful to see in recent years that - as a nation - Aotearoa New Zealand has started to embrace more and more of our indigenous culture.

Somewhat like Easter, the date for Matariki shifts, falling on July 2 this year (in one week). Maori tūpuna (ancestors) used the disappearance of Matariki (the Pleiades) in April or May as a harvest and winter crop storage marker. The return of Matariki in June or July was used by "tūpuna would read the stars to predict the upcoming season – clear and bright stars promised a warm and abundant winter while hazy stars warned of a bleak winter" (Te Wananga o Aotearoa, 2021).

For those of us who aren't yet familiar with Matariki, the government has released a short video (The New Zealand Story, 2021):

What I also found fascinating is what Matariki is called elsewhere; "Matali’i in Samoa, Makali’i in Hawaii, Matari’i in French Polynesia and Subaru in Japan" (The New Zealand Story, 2021). The latter made me realise why the Subaru logo was created as it is. 

More information on Matariki can be found at Te Papa (2021, here).

Happy New Year!



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