Last year a good friend asked me if I had heard that two new whetū in the Matariki cluster, had been named (Pōhutukawa and Hiwaiterangi).
She was a tauira at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and had the privilege of listening to a tohunga kōkōrangi (astronomer) who has been studying celestial bodies for 20 years and made this discovery through whānau manuscripts and rangahau.
When he delved a little further he found that most of the books written about Matariki, based on the 7 whetū, are versions “borrowed” from other cultures.
“You need to make a resource that gives the correct information” my supportive buddy said.
I had talked to a group of kaiako during PD. A couple said that they would just stick with the information they had on the “7” stars because it was just easier-didnt confuse anyone, resources, staff would be hōhā etc.
I was a bit annoyed by that , especially after hearing from the same people that they wanted to”not just give lip-service to te reo Māori, but involve themselves in tikanga and te ao Māori-a Māori viewpoint.”
I thought about the days of the week. Originally Mane, Tūrei etc were used as kupu whakawhiti (loan words). Later the Māori Language Commission introduced kupu Māori which were more relevant from a Māori world viewpoint. e.g In the old days Mane (Monday) was a day when the moon was celebrated. Māhina is moon. Mā has been dropped and the pre-fix Rā added (day). So Rāhina =moon day.
The same is true with the months of the year. For me it is important to do what I can to provide resources that give a Māori perspective, whether it’s explorers, animals, insects, birds etc.
The information which has been released regarding Matariki is just beautiful. It helps us weave in other aspects of nature and the environment.
Basically each of the whetū reflects an element of nature. Some iwi say that when looking at Matariki you looked at each single whetū and not the cluster to foresee what the coming year would bring.
I thought a great freebie would be a little booklet in te reo Māori which is useful for mainstream and kura.
If you haven’t any resources to enable you to introduce the two new whetū, or the domains of Matariki stars then this will be a great start.
It comes with translations and explanations.
|Four to a page… He whetū ahau. I am a star.|
|Anei! He pukapuka tino ātaahua e pa ana a Matariki.|
Like all good emergent readers, it repeats the same structure on every page. Only one word changes.
Download the pukapuka here.
I have just checked the pdf and it seems to have lines and boxes around some pictures, but they magically disappear once printed. Please let me know if there are any problems with the quality.
Matariki is the Māori New Year and this of all occasions is an important time to embrace another world view and see it as new learning for the ākonga as well as you!
I would love to hear your ākonga reading these!
Comments or questions on pukamata, here.