The story of Matariki

This is a beautiful story by Ngāti Toa Rangatira about Matariki and the Six Sisters.

According to the iwi, Ngati Toa, the 7 stars of Matariki are a Family. The journey they take across the sky each year is to come and visit their tupuna wahine (their grandmother), Papatūānuku. They help her prepare for the year ahead using their own unique strengths and gather new knowledge as they are guided by her.

Matariki is the mother of six daughters. She watches over her children and proudly shares their uniqueness and strengths.

- Tupu-ā-nuku is the eldest. She spends her time tending to the plants to ensure they grow to produce kai (food), rongoā (medicine) and kākahu (clothing). She is a reminder to us to spend time growing our strengths and acknowledging the strengths of our friends.

- Tupu-ā-rangi loves to sing and sings to Tāne Mahuta and his children. Her beautiful voice revives the forest, the birds and all the creatures of the forest and inspires them to share their waiata too. This brings joy to the world and encourages us to share out gifts with others.

- Waipuna-ā-rangi accompanies her grandmother to the waters, the oceans, lakes and rivers where she prepares the children of Tangaroa to feed the people. She understands that the waters that spill from Ranginui (the Sky Father) provides drinking water for all living creatures and that if we give to others, kindness will be returned to us.

- Waitī and Waitā are the twins who care for the smallest and fastest of creatures, the insects. Like the twins, insects work together as a team to survive and thrive, reminding us to support each other.

- Uru-ā-rangi – she is the youngest and most enthusiastic who loves nothing more than to hear her grandmother’s stories and embrace her. She lifts Papatūānuku’s mood in the cold and darkness of this time of year and reminds us that a positive attitude is always the key to success.

Matariki is a time for coming together with Whānau (family), to think about the past year and plan for the year ahead. By sharing our thoughts and ideas, we come to understand how each member of our Whānau plays their part, sharing knowledge and wisdom especially from Grandparents and parents. This knowledge guides how we see ourselves and our place in the world.

Image via matariki.co.nz


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