(Matamua, 2017, p. 66)
Matariki, a celestial sign signalling in the Māori New Year, is a time to reflect on what we have learned, contributed, and are grateful for. This year, New Zealanders throughout Aotearoa will celebrate this event as a public holiday for the first time, showing Aotearoa is ready for a deeper bi-cultural conversation.
Tribal knowledge holder and Senior New Zealander of the Year, Rereata Makiha, celebrates the rising of Puanga and Rēhua as markers of the new year. But the sentiment for reflection is similar;
“All the things that weren’t done or accomplished during the previous year, anything that you wasted energy on, you put it to sleep so that it no longer bothers you. That’s the first thing you do before you open up the new year.”
Matariki is also known by its Greek name the Pleiades. In the Pacific is it known as Mataali’i in Samoan, and Makali’i in Hawaiian. In Japan it is known as the Subaru and is marked by six stars – which are represented on the Subaru car maker’s logo. However, Matariki is not actually a single star but rather a cluster of stars. Different Māori hapū count either seven or nine stars.
Finally, remember to pause at Matariki to acknowledge those who have passed, and their impact on us. The connection between Matariki and the passing of loved ones is captured in this lament composed by Nawemata for the loss of her husband in battle (Matamua, 2017).
(Grey, 2010, p. 346)
Remembrance and reflection are opportunities to also reset goals. A time to remind ourselves that we need not be defined by our past, but by the actions we take now.
(Matamua, 2017, p. xi)
- Watch Professor Rangi Matamua’s in-depth series Beyond Matariki within TV and Radio
- Explore the Matariki playlist on TV and Radio
- View library and information commons hours for Matariki
Manuhiri Huatahi and Abigail McClutchie, Kaiārahi, Te Tumu Herenga
Grey, G. (2005). Ko ngā Moteatea me nga Hakirara o nga Maori He mea kohikohi mai. New Zealand Electronic Text Centre.
Matamua, R. (2017). Matariki: The star of the year. Huia.