First published in 2017 and reprinting every year to 2022 so far, Matariki: the star of the year, continues to be a very popular informative resource. It is available in both te reo Māori and Pākehā language editions. Author and professor Dr Rangi Matamua (Tūhoe) provides not only a thoroughly researched account of the traditional Matariki tikanga but also guidance on how to understand and partake in contemporary celebrations.
Matamua identifies the global astronomy connections and interpretations of the Pleiades star cluster. It is interesting to read about the significance of Pleiades amongst many different cultures. And to note that Māori have the advantage of exceptional eyesight for identifying stars.
In Te Ao Māori, Matamua explores the meaning of each star and what they represent around the Māori New Year - and how the stars affectMaramataka planning:
Over time , astronomical observations became important localised knowledge, and the lights of the night sky emerged as markers, signalling the change of seasons, the migration and spawning of various species and the many cycles of the environment
There are many interwoven aspects to Matariki: religious, spiritual, cultural, environmental, social. Central is Māori spirituality and ‘honouring the Gods’.
Kai such as the Kumara, Kereru and Korokoro feature strongly in Matariki celebrations.
This book would be a very useful bicultural launch for secondary students studying math, astronomy, navigation, horticulture, science, outdoor education (boats/sailing), flora and fauna.
Matamua’s Living by the Stars seminars on youtube complement the book.
Title: Matariki: the star of the year / Matariki: Te Whetu Tapu o te Tau
Author: Dr Rangi Matamua
ISBN: 9781775503255 (te reo Pākehā) 9781775503262 (te reo Māori)
Publication: 2017 (first published)
Ages: YA and adults
Reviewer: Michele Ayres, Librarian, Motueka High School, Tasman
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Astronomy, the study of the cosmos, is an endeavour that unites all peoples throughout the world.
You can buy these books and supporting A1 sized posters here