This book is an introduction to the star group Matariki. Known in other cultures by names including the Pleiades and the Seven Sisters, Matariki featured strongly in pre-European New Zealand. It marked the beginning of the Maori calendar, and its rising before the sun in late May or early June was greeted with great festivals. It was used as a guide to planting and havesting, and was studied by tohunga as an omen which told whether the food-gathering season would be plentiful or lean.
In mid-winter, Matariki rises in the pre-dawn sky, and its observation is celebrated with incantations on hilltops at dawn, balls, exhibitions, dinners and a vast number of events. The Matariki tradition has been re-established, and its regeneration coincides with a growing interest in Māori astronomy. Still, there remain some unanswered questions about how Matariki was traditionally observed. These include: What is Matariki? Why did Māori observe Matariki? How did Māori traditionally celebrate Matariki? When and how should Matariki be celebrated? Based on research and interviews with Māori experts, this book seeks answers to these questions and explores what Matariki was in a traditional sense so it can be understood and celebrated in our modern society.
The Matariki cluster (or Pleiades) is known by many different names and is seen and celebrated by many cultures around the world. This ... illustrated book features 21 stories: 9 of which highlight the Māori Matariki stars, while the others reference the stories about this cluster from different cultures, from the Pacific Islands to Australia, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa"