Celebrating Matariki

Waiariki Parata-Taiapa (left) with his son Rakaiao Parata-Taiapa (2) and Shaun Tahau with son...
Waiariki Parata-Taiapa (left) with his son Rakaiao Parata-Taiapa (2) and Shaun Tahau with son Rangiaha Tahau (2) enjoy a dance at a Matariki Night Market on Tuesday at the University of Otago. PHOTOS: SIMON HENDERSON
Kyra Latu (4) shares a smile.
Kyra Latu (4) shares a smile.
 Isaac Malmberg (3) spins a star wheel.
Isaac Malmberg (3) spins a star wheel.
Potiki Poi founder Georgia Latu spins her poi.
Potiki Poi founder Georgia Latu spins her poi.
E kai o mata founder Kare Tipa shows one of her Maori-made contemporary handbags.
E kai o mata founder Kare Tipa shows one of her Maori-made contemporary handbags.
Hata Temo (left) and Kaitlyn Gillelan create a traditional balm.
Hata Temo (left) and Kaitlyn Gillelan create a traditional balm.
Josh Tuiavii (drums), and Emily Kerr-Bell (vocals) from Local band Emily Alice entertain the crowd.
Josh Tuiavii (drums), and Emily Kerr-Bell (vocals) from Local band Emily Alice entertain the crowd.
Local band Emily Alice (from left) Toby Roseman (guitar), Josh Botting (keys), Josh Tuiavii ...
Local band Emily Alice (from left) Toby Roseman (guitar), Josh Botting (keys), Josh Tuiavii (drums), Emily Kerr-Bell (vocals) and Sol Wyatt (bass) entertain the crowd.

About 200 people enjoyed a Matariki Night Market on Tuesday from 4pm, hosted by the University of Otago outside its Centre for Innovation and Pacific Islands Centre. Reporter Simon Henderson captured some of the fun of the night of food, fashion and performance.

 




WHAT IS MATARIKI?



Matariki is the Maori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in midwinter and for many Maori it heralds the start of a new year. Iwi across New Zealand understand and celebrate Matariki in different ways and at different times.
    Matariki is an abbreviation of Nga Mata o te Ariki Tawhirimatea (The eyes of the god Tawhirimatea).
    According to Maori tradition, the god of the wind, Tawhirimatea, was so angry when his siblings separated their parents, Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother, he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.
    Traditionally, Matariki is a time to acknowledge the deceased and to 
release their spirits to become stars. It is also a time to reflect, to be thankful to the gods for the harvest, to feast and to share the bounty of the harvest with family and friends.
— Paul Meredith, TeAra.govt.nz 

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