Matariki in English and te reo Māori
21 September 2017
Earlier this year, Dr Rangi Matamua’s book Matariki - The Star of the Year marked a resurgence in Māori astronomy. The book was written in English, but now Dr Matamua has launched the book in limited edition in te reo Māori.
Matariki – Star of the Year provided new insights into Māori astronomical customs and knowledge, and Dr Matamua’s suggestion that there were in fact nine stars in the infamous Matariki constellation and not seven sent waves through astronomy circles.
“I think it’s important that Māori tell their own stories from their own perspectives,” says Dr Matamua. “This book covers traditional practices, traditional ceremonies and beliefs, and importantly examines whether Matariki has a purpose in a modern context. By publishing it in the language of its origins, you can gain a deeper, more authentic appreciation for the information it contains.”
Professor Pou Temara from the University of Waikato has been a mentor and teacher for Dr Matamua. “Rangi’s passion for the stars is informed by the writings of his great-great-grandfather, Te Kōkau Himiona Te Pikikotuku, a tohunga of Tūhoe and Ngāti Pikiao and his son, Rāwiri Te Kokau. Rangi writes with the authority of these two learned tohunga, enhanced by the research that his academic profession demands. Matariki: The Star of the Year is his first book and is the appetiser to a greater body of Māori knowledge about the cosmos from this Māori author’s perspective,” Professor Temara says.
Dr Matamua (Tūhoe) is an associate professor in the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato and his research fields are Māori astronomy and star lore, Māori culture, and Māori language development, research and revitalisation. He says publishing his book in te reo has enabled him to combine his research fields to create something truly unique.
His book retails at $35.00 and is available on line from HUIA Publishers - www.huia.co.nz