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Saturdays light up at Auckland Museum for Matariki

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate release

Saturdays light up at Auckland Museum for Matariki

Every Saturday from late June to early July, Auckland Museum celebrates Matariki with a free programme of events for the whole family. Matariki will this year focus on Tane Mahuta – God of the Forest.

Matariki is the Maori name for the star cluster, also known as Pleiades, that appears over a period from late June to early July signaling the beginning the Maori New Year. It was traditionally a time for planting and harvesting, of family coming together to celebrate their joys, to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Children were taught folklore and about their heritage, while knowledge and history was shared through song, dance, story telling, carving, weaving and ceremonies.

This year, Matariki at Auckland Museum will focus on Tane Mahuta – God of the Forest, with a range of programmes designed for the whole whanau, from craft activities and slide shows to films, music, talks and tours.


* A fun free afternoon of music with multi award-winning artist Ruia Aperahama kicks off the celebrations. Ruia penned the classic “What’s The Time Mr. Wolf?” which featured in the Once Were Warriors movie and soundtrack and he has gone on to perform at WOMAD, two Olympic Festivals, and in Europe.

* Mana Waka is the 1991 feature-length documentary showing the long, slow unfolding of the construction of three large waka taua (war canoe) which were commissioned for the 1940 centenary of the Treaty of Waitangi by Princess Te Puea Herangi. The documentary, directed by Mereta Mita, uses footage shot by RGH Manley between 1937 and 1940.

* Two forms of craft synonymous with Tane will also be on demonstration throughout Matariki. Raranga is the art of flax weaving that is full of symbolism, hidden meanings, and the embodiment of spiritual values and beliefs of the Maori people. Toi Whakairo shows the process of carving with master carver Rangi Wills, demonstrating his exquisite carving skills and knowledge of whakairo. One of Aotearoa’s most renowned carvers and a Toi Iho award winner, Wills shares with audiences his knowledge and korero of whakairo with respect to Tane.

* Te Wao Nui a Tane (A Talk on the Realm of Tane) with Kipa Rangiheuea is one of three talks this season which teaches the Maori customs and protocols relating to the world of Tane. This is followed by Stanley Conrad’s recollections of captaining the waka hourua Te Aurere using traditional methods such as the sun, the night sky, and ocean currents to navigate their way from New Zealand to Rangitoto with Te Matauranga o Nga Whetu Me Whakatere Moana (Astronomy and Ocean Navigation).

* He Korero mo Matariki: Stephen Bradshaw will explore the evolution of the Matariki Festival as a unifying event and will cover it’s renaissance following a period of suppression of this major traditional celebration.

* Children can also learn about the traditions of Matariki in interactive and exciting activities. Pacific Educator Leilani Salesa and Ma’ara Maeva discuss the Stories Celebrating Matariki in the Wider Pacific – poetry, song, ukulele demonstration, dance and puppetry will no doubt engage all the senses. Toi Harakeke and Face Painting will also be on offer for kids, learning how to make a wearable Matariki crown from flax and adorn Maori symbols on their face. As always, Weird and Wonderful will be providing Matariki storytelling, with Nga Pakiwaitara mo Matariki.

MATAKIRI FESTIVAL at the Auckland Museum runs June 7th – July 28th 2008

Rui Aperahama Music Performance – Saturday 7th June, 2pm, Maori Court (no charge)
FILM: Mana Waka (60 minutes) – Saturday 28th June, 2pm, Audftorium (no charge)

Raranga (Weaving) – Saturday 7th, 15th, 21st and 28th June, 11am – 1pm, Te Kakano Information Centre (no charge)
Toi Whakairo (Carving) – Saturday 14th, 21st June, 2pm – 4pm, Te Kakano Information Centre (no charge)

Te Wao Nui a Tane (A Talk on The Realm of Tane) – Saturday 7th and 28th June, 1pm – 2pm, Te Ao Turoa Gallery (no charge)
Te Matauranga o Nga Whetu Me Whakatere Moana (Astronomy and Ocean Navigation) – Saturday 7th June, 3pm – 4pm, Apec Room (no charge)
Korero mo Matariki (Traditions) – Saturday 28th June, 4pm – 5pm, Maori Court (no charge)

Toi Harakeke (Flax Craft) and Face Painting – Saturday 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th June, 10am – 4pm, Weird and Wonderful (no charge)
Nga Pakiwaitara mo Matariki (Storytelling) – Saturday 7th and 28th June, 1pm – 1:30pm, Weird and Wonderful (no charge)
Stories Celebrating Matariki in the Wider Pacific – Saturday 14th June, 2pm – 3pm and 28th June, 3pm – 4pm, Pacific Pathways Gallery (no charge)

For more details and downloadable high res images please see the media section of the website www.aucklandmuseum.com


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