Mak­ing plans for Matariki

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

It’s a cool morn­ing in early win­ter when the tiny star clus­ter rises above the eastern hori­zon.

Such lit­tle things – you have to trick your eyes into see­ing them prop­erly – but still so sig­nif­i­cant.

You might call them the Pleiades, or M45, but Maori know them as Matariki, and their ar­rival marks the be­gin­ning of the sea­son of the same name.

‘‘There are many in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Matariki,’’ says Henare Kani, strate­gic part­ner­ships advisor at Te Manawa.

‘‘The most gen­eral is that it’s time to pre­pare for plant­ing, and plan­ning for the year to come.

‘‘Look­ing back at the pre­vi­ous year you can elim­i­nate mis­takes, but you can also pon­der upon what can be done for the fu­ture, to keep the cy­cle of life mov­ing.’’

The longer nights would be­come a time for teach­ing and learn­ing.

‘‘It’s also the time to make mokop­una,’’ says Henare with a wink.

Te Manawa will wel­come Matariki on the morn­ing of June 2, with the light­ing of fires at dawn, ac­com­pa­nied by wa­iata and sto­ries.

That evening, the be­gin­ning of a new part­ner­ship be­tween Te Manawa and Te Wananga o Aotearoa will be cel­e­brated at the open­ing of the Nga Kete Toi ex­hi­bi­tion, which fea­tures the work of stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from carv­ing, weav­ing and vis­ual arts cour­ses.

The ma­jor­ity of stu­dents are from this re­gion.

‘‘By plac­ing Nga Kete Toi in the time of Matariki, we give it its own space, its own spirit,’’ Henare says.

‘‘Hav­ing this ex­hi­bi­tion is a great op­por­tu­nity for both our in­sti­tu­tions.’’

The ex­hi­bi­tion will be open for two weeks only, but will be­come an an­nual event on the Te Manawa cal­en­dar.

Look out also for spe­cial Matariki shows in Te Manawa’s in­flat­able Star­lab plan­e­tar­ium, and a pup­pet show on Queen’s Birth­day.

Check the web­site te­m­anawa.co.nz and its Face­book page for more de­tails of the sea­son’s pro­grammes.

Matariki in your hand in­side the Star­lab at Te Manawa.

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