Tonight is the second night for the public to experience Matariki, the Māori New Year, at the Ngā Hau e Wha National marae on Pages Road. It’s something you’ll regret missing. Aurelia Arona, Kaitakawaenga at Christchurch City Libraries, posted this about Tuesday night’s programme, which is repeated tonight.
The night got off to a great start by the Cook Island Group – the dancers were awesome and their talented drummers got everyone jiggling to the beat.
Pauline Harris gave a great session on Matariki and took listeners on a verbal tour around the world giving a great introduction re: Matariki/the Pleaides and some basic information about the ascension of this star cluster. She then took the audience on an interesting world-tour giving examples of the Matariki traditions and stories from other cultures around the world.
The two kaumatua, Rikiihia Tau and Hekenukumai Busby gave interesting and informative speeches as well. The korero we heard was an absolute treasure.
Rikiihia Tau talked about Matariki from a holistic point of view, focusing on observations around hunting and harvesting. His speech also touched on particular observations from his own life and the Ngāi Tahu experience.
Hekenukumai (Hec) spoke about Matariki , including not just the rising of the constellation but also the diving of the constellation – when it disappears for the month prior to its reappearance in late May/early June that marks the New Year. His korero then moved into a very informative talk on the traditions of celestial navigation and his personal experience.
He will be expanding on this talk on tonight and will be speaking about the preparations that are necessary to complete a deep sea waka voyage.
Miles Kaukau and his daughter had many people interested in the small whare with the demonstrations of the soap carving- plenty of people were keen to learn more.
The telescopes were also a big hit! Staffed by students from the University of Canterbury people were able to view the planets and constellations with their help.
The Star lab was full for its second session, a big hit with all ages. There will be two sessions run on Thursday night and they last for 30 minutes each.
Mareikura wowed the audience with their kapahaka performance- exemplary performers, with beautiful harmonies, they were absolutely fantastic.
The night was wound up by the ukeleles of the Island Summer Orchestra and a karakia.