Māori astronomer claims Matariki has nine stars, not seven

Maori everywhere are reeling with news from Maori astronomer,
Dr Rangi Matamua, who says there are actually nine
stars in the Matariki constellation, not seven, as we’ve long been
led to believe. He says that this
is an esoteric Maori belief, not the bastardised version
of our oral histories that has been fed to us
from non-Maori sources. Here is Te Okiwa McLean. Matariki is the sign
of the Maori New Year, but there is a myth that Matariki
is a family of seven sisters. That is a Greek myth. Rangi Matamua
is a Maori astronomer of Ngai Tuhoe. He has researched Matariki
for quite some time now. The stars of Matariki aren’t
all females, that is a fallacy. The phrase “Matarikiriki”
is also wrong. The name derives from the eyes
of the god, Tawhirimatea. These are the most well-known
stars of Matariki, but according to Matamua,
there are two stars missing. The eldest of the stars
is Pohutukawa. Pohutukawa is the star
who guides souls, the star in the constellation
associated with death. The smallest star of the
constellation is Hiwa-i-te-rangi. Hiwa is a word for abundance. If you wanted
to make your dreams a reality, you’d cast your wishes
to Hiwa-i-te-rangi, and that hope
would fall back to earth to grow and bear fruit
within the year. But what does this expert want
for the future? I’d like to re-establish
centres of learning for traditional Maori astronomy where iwi can gather
to discuss the celestial bodies. This, to me, is the pinnacle
of a tohunga’s work. He also encourages our people
to stay strong to our own stories. Maori need to understand that we can’t just go along
with foreign ideologies, we must hold fast to our own. Within the next two years, Rangi Matamua
will be launching two books about the nine stars of Matariki. Te Okiwa McLean, Te Karere.


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