Thursday, 6 June 2013

Matariki and the museum

The Awesome 1's have ventured out into the public again. This time to further their understanding and knowledge of Matariki and the Maori new year. Room 1 visited the Whanganui Museum and were introduced to three different aspects related to Matariki. First were the origins and meaning behind it. Then they were introduced to the night sky in the 'Cosmodome' and studied the position of the stars and their movement. Finally, Room 1 were taught how Maori used the stars to guide their jobs, seasons and cultivation. The class were given a great opportunity to use traditional maori gardening implements outside the museum - what a lot of fun that was!

The meaning behing Matariki is as follows:
"Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster or The Seven Sisters;  and what is referred to as the traditional Maori New Year."

"The Maori new year is marked by the rise of Matariki and the sighting of the next new moon. The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the new year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during June. This next occurs on 5 June 2008."

Source :

The Awesome 1's had a great time and learned a lot in the process.

The Cosmodome

Digging with the Ko and Timu

1 comment:

  1. I learned a lot on this trip- the importance of whakapapa, understanding where you come from and what your ancestry is. That Puanga is more visible from where we are than the seven stars that comprise Matariki. Also, that this constellation is only visible to us at about 7am in the morning! That the appearance of Matariki is a sign to catch birds, plant crops and have a feast to celebrate the start of the Maori new year- Also, there are some very ornately carved kō which are used by significant people to plant the crops for this time. The cosmodome was amazing!