The science and practice of Māori astronomy and Matariki
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15370
Ki te iwi Mäori me öna tüpuna, ko ngä hua o te noho tahi, o te äta pänui, o te körero anö hoki me ngä whetü, he mea äta tuitui ki te pütaiao, ki te ahureatanga, ki ngä tikanga aho atua, ki te taiao anö hoki. Ko ngä nekehanga o ngä kähui whetü he mea äta pänui, ka mutu he whakapono, he mätauranga atu anö hoki tö ia iwi, tö ia takiwä puta noa i a Aotearoa nei mö te ao tukupü. Ko te mätauranga whänui mö te kökörangi he mea äta whakatö ki ngä ähuatanga o te päpori Mäori o mua, he mea äta whakaora anö hoki ki ngä körero tuku iho, ki ngä tikanga hauhake whenua, ka mutu i äta whakaurua ki roto i ngä tikanga whakatü whare tupuna. Tau atu, tau mai, whakanuia ai te rewanga ake me te tönga iho o ngä whetü hiahira, ka mutu i kaha whakaatuahia ngä kaupapa katoa o te tuarangi ahakoa pëhea. Mä roto mai i tënei pepa ka körerohia te mätauranga me te pütaiao mätai arorangi e whai iho nei ki a Matariki, ka tahi, ka rua ka wänangahia te whakarauora haeretanga i ngä tikanga tuku iho e hängai nei ki taua kähui whetü me tana pänga nuitanga ki te ahurea o te whenua o näianei, o Aotearoa.For Mäori and their ancestors, the results of living with, studying and talking about the stars were woven into science, language, culture, religious practice and environment. The movements of the celestial bodies were studied in great detail, and all tribal groups and regions throughout Aotearoa maintained their own unique beliefs and understandings of the universe. The extensive knowledge of the night sky was embedded into traditional Mäori society, preserved in oral tradition, planting and harvesting practices, and incorporated into the building of ancestral houses. Every year, the rising and setting of important stars were celebrated, and all manner of cosmological events were worshipped. In this paper we will discuss the astronomical knowledge and science associated with Matariki (Pleiades) and discuss how the regeneration of the traditional practice associated with this celestial cluster is playing a significant role in the modern cultural landscape of Aotearoa.
This article is published in the New Zealand Science Review. Used with permission.