Written by Raukura Hoerara-Smith – Kaiwhakahau Māori Museums Wellington
Ki ngā tīpuna Māori he mea raranga ngā kōrero tātai arorangi ki ngā āhuatanga katoa o te ao.
For the ancestors of Māori, astronomy was inter woven into all facets of life.
Today’s topic; Māori Astronomy
Ka aro ngā tohunga kōkōrangi ki te rangi mai i te tōnga o te rā ki tōna aronga ki te mātakitaki i te putanga o ngā whetū, ka kimi whakamārama ai nā runga i te wāhi o te rangi e iri nei rātou, i ō rātou tae, i ngā nekehanga me te āhua o te māramatanga. wh.1
I aro te Māori ki ngā whetū e mārama ai ia ki tōna taiao, e pai ai hoki tana mahi i reira, arā, ka mātakitaki i te rewanga me te tōnga o ngā wāhanga o ngā whetū hei tohu i te wā ki te whakatō kai, ki te hauhake kai, ki te whai kararehe, ki te hī ika, ki te hanga whare, ki te hāereere, ki te hākari, ki te karakia. wh.2
He mea whakatū te nuinga o ēnei mahi hou i te reo Māori i te rangahautanga o ngā waiata o mua, o ngā karakia me ngā kōrero tātai arorangi katoa e whai wāhi nei ki te reo. wh.5
He mea tango mai i te pukapuka Matariki Te Whetū Tapu o te Tau nā Rangi Matamua (2017). Huia Publishers. Nā Te Heketū Leon Blake ngā kōrero i whakamāori. Ko Pania Papa te kanohi hōmiromiro.
Māori astronomy experts, tohunga kōkōrangi would observe the sky from sunset to sunrise, noting the appearance of the stars, and deducing meanings from their position, colour, movement and brightness.
Māori used the stars to understand and interact with their environment, looking for the rising and setting of different points of light to tell them when to plant, when to harvest, when to hunt, when to fish, when to build, when to travel, when to celebrate and when to pray. pg.2
The resurgence of Māori astronomy is founded on te reo Māori, exploring traditional songs, incantations and any recorded account of Māori astronomy that makes up part of the language. pg.5
Extracts, Matariki The Star of the Year by Rangi Matamua (2017). Huia Publishers.
E rere kau ana ngā mihi ki Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori rāua ko Te Papa Atawhai mo ēnei rauemi.