6. Tirotiro Whetū – Stargaze Pool
As stargazing become popular with Māori, we now reference this as Matariki.
Matariki is referred to as ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki, Tāwhirimātea (‘The eyes of Tāwhirimātea’) which are the cluster of stars, known as the Pleiades.
In Māori legends, the god of the wind Tāwhirimātea, was so angry with his brothers as they planned to separate their parents, Ranginui the sky father and Papatūānuku the earth mother, that he tore out his eyes and threw them to the heavens.
Traditionally, Matariki was a time to acknowledge the dead and to release their spirits to become stars.
Māori also use this time to reflect, to be thankful to the gods for the harvest, to feast and to share these with family and friends.
The Māori New Year, or Matariki celebrations were popular amoung Māori but stopped during the year of 1940s. This was revived in the 2000’s. Now, Māori take part in events to honour the Matariki, the start of a Māori New Year.
At night-time you will be able to get a great view of the sky above. Māori used the Stars to navigate our tupuna or ancestors to Aotearoa, New Zealand.