April 28, 2016
Secrets of the Maori heavens revealed
A curator of Waikato Museum’s Matariki show says it’s a chance to reveal some of the trove of information he has gathered about Maori astronomy.
Waikato University Associate Professor Rangi Matamua has delved into the manuscript written early last century by his great-grandfather which names more 1000 stars and the Tuhoe understanding of them.
He says it’s consistent with what he has discovered from other tribal areas, and shows a sophisticated knowledge of the environment.
"Astronomy played a significant role not only in navigation but in planting and harvesting and ceremony and gathering and virtually aspect of their lives and they spent a large amount of time looking at the lunar calendar, looking at the sun, looking at the stars." he says.
Te Whaanau Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies opens on May 28, showing not only the traditional Maori view of astronomy but how those ideas are being revitalised for today’s world.
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