Blog Posts‎ > ‎

Matariki Celebrations with Te Takere

posted May 31, 2013, 7:35 PM by Mike White   [ updated Jun 6, 2013, 4:33 PM ]
The Horowhenua Astronomical Society is teaming up with the Muaupoko Tribal Authority and Te Takere (Levin library, community & cultural centre) to celebrate Matariki during the month of June. There are a number of events from the 5th to 26th of June, and we will be involved in several of them.

To help you find Matariki, download this handy guide prepared by Ian Cooper.

Matariki by Stephen Chadwick

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises just once a year, in mid-winter – late May or early June. For many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year.

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.

It is traditionally a time for remembering ancestors, but with plenty of food in the storehouses, it was also a time for singing, dancing and feasting.

HASI will be involved in the following activities at Te Takere, so please come along and support or assist where ever possible:-

  • Wednesday 5th June 7pm – Te Hiira (Kevin Hill) will give a presentation on Matariki and its significance to Maori culture. This will be followed by a presentation by Ian Cooper on astronomical aspects of the star cluster. HASI members will have telescopes outside the front of the library for public viewing. Please bring a telescope, if you have one, and support this event.
  • Tuesday 11th June 7 pm – Stephen Chadwick will give a video presentation of many of his astrophotography images set to music, and discuss what the images are. This will be on the large TV wall in Te Takere. Please come along to support Steve and see some fantastic images!
  • Wednesday 12th June 7pm – an evening of Maori waiata, songs and music. HASI not involved but all members and public welcome to attend of course.
  • Wednesday 19th June 7pm – Weaving/arts skills evening. HASI members and public welcome to attend.
  • Wednesday 26th June 6pm – Community hakari (feast). Bring a plate of food each to share (this is the “entry fee”) at a communal table. HASI members will have telescopes set up outside the front of Te Takere again for this final evening. Please bring a telescope, if you have one, to help share the night sky.