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Matariki Celebrations At Te Papa

16 May 2002

Te Papa, in conjunction with its partners Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Mäori
and Te Tähuhu ö te Mätauranga, is getting ready to celebrate Matariki,
the traditional Mäori New Year, with four weeks of free shows, lectures,
and activities, beginning on Saturday 25 May.

In the early morning of 12 June, the star cluster Matariki – or Pleiades – appears in our dawn skies. The Mäori New Year begins with the first new moon after the first appearance of Matariki. This year the new moon also appears on 12 June. The bright star Puanga – or Rigel – emerges at about the same time, and for some iwi it is the appearance of Puanga rather than Matariki that is celebrated.

During the weeks of Matariki, all activities are tapu, and take on great spiritual importance. Crops are planted, and Rongo-ma-tane, the god of cultivated food, is appeased for a productive return. It is a good time to gather pikopiko (fern fronds) and a host of native berries. It is also the right time to cast fishing nets and lines into the depths of Tangaroa – god of the sea – to make the most of bountiful supplies of migrating fish.

The appearance of Matariki in the sky is considered vital. If the stars in the cluster are clear and bright, it is thought that the year ahead will be warm and productive. If they appear hazy and shimmering, a cold winter is in store, and all activities during the period of Matariki must take this into account.

Te Papa has adopted Matariki as an annual event, and as iwi all around the country mark this period with song, dance, feasting, and ceremony, Te Papa will host an exciting line-up of performers including bands, dance troupes, storytellers, and kapa haka groups.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Mäori (The Mäori Language Commission) sees Matariki as an opportunity to promote the Mäori language by establishing Matariki as a domain for learning and using Te reo Mäori. A website has been developed to offer some information and suggested activities for future celebrations.

As well as lending support to Te Papa’s events programme, Te Taura Whiri will host a national Mäori language conference at Te Papa on 13 and 14 June. ‘Uia Ngä Käinga’, the conference theme, acknowledges the importance of Mäori language in the home. The aim of the conference is to gather together national Mäori language interest groups to explore the best path ahead for the regeneration of the Mäori Language.


Te Tähuhu ö te Mätauranga supports Te Papa’s Matariki vision because it sees the event as an ideal opportunity to present and profile its Te Mana programme. The key focus of this three-year programme is to improve educational outcomes for Mäori. The traditional themes of growth, development, and renewal that surround Matariki fit perfectly with the strategy’s vision, as ‘Te Mana ki te taumata – get there with learning’ seeks to inspire and achieve greater success for Mäori in education.

The opportunity to align and support such an event in the company of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Mäori is yet another positive dimension as the growth and development of Te reo Mäori is also a key strand to the ministry’s broader Mäori education strategy.

The Ministry of Education also sees the potential of Matariki to work at a community level, as a very powerful way of drawing whänau, hapu and iwi together with schools to celebrate something that is quite unique to our country.

Te Tähuhu o te Mätauranga believes Te Papa’s commitment to establish Matariki as a signature event will provide many future educational opportunities for Mäori to celebrate their cultural uniqueness. As a consequence, this will provide opportunities for the nation to celebrate its unique place in the world.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Mäori encourages everyone to take this opportunity to participate in Mäori culture and language by celebrating Matariki as a unique expression of our international identity.

For Te Papa, Matariki is an annual event that celebrates the indigenous calendar of Aotearoa, and it attracts performers and visitors from all around New Zealand. To commemorate Matariki, Te Papa Press has produced a Matariki calendar that runs from June 2002 until May 2003. The calendar is based on traditional knowledge of the seasonal cycle, and looks at its significance to Mäori.

SEE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR EVENTS PROGRAMME

EVENT PROGRAMME
Saturday 25 May
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.
For Mäori, the stars have been a compass, chart, and chronometer, dictating when things like planting, harvesting, and fishing were done. Starlab is a portable planetarium that gives you the opportunity to locate different stars and learn about the significance of Matariki to Mäori. Numbers are limited to the first 20 people. Please see the host outside the Level 4 Workshop. Free entry.

The Pacific Sisters Family Mix
12 noon – 1pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Pacific Sisters are a collective of multimedia artists formed in 1992. Through working together on fashion-orientated projects, they have created a network of urban Pacific artists, designers, musicians, and performers who promote Pacific pride in Aotearoa. Today the Pacific Sisters and guests showcase Mäori and Polynesian wearable art, and music. Free entry.

David Grace & Injustice
2pm – 3pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Singer/songwriter and guitarist David Grace, performs a unique blend of Reggae, Soul, and R&B with band Injustice. Free entry.

Sunday 26 May
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Hinewehi Mohi
1pm – 1.30pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Poet and singer Hinewehi Mohi is well known in New Zealand for her incredible vocal talent. Hinewehi performs a contemporary mix of traditional Mäori music. Brought to you in association with the ‘Te Mana ki te taumata – get there with Learning’ campaign. Free entry.


Discovery Sunday, Pacific Matariki
2pm – 2.45pm, PlaNet Pasifika, Level 4.
Join Te Papa’s Collection Manager Pacific, Tarisi Vunidilo, to find out how the people of the Pacific celebrated their New Year centuries ago. Free entry.

Thursday 30 May
Lecture by Robin Hapi
6.30pm – 7.30pm, Soundings Theatre, Level 2.
Robin Hapi, from Te Ohu Kai Moana, gives a lecture about customary Mäori fishing.
Free entry.

Saturday 1 June
Taiäwhio: continuity and change exhibition opens.
The Boulevard, Level 5. Free entry.

Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Make a Matariki planter
11am – 12 noon, NatureSpace, Level 2.
Kids, make a Matariki planter in NatureSpace Discovery Centre. Cost $2.

MATARIKI CELEBRATIONS AT TE PAPA – PAGE 4, EVENT PROGRAMME

Trinity Roots
12 noon – 1pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Local three-piece group Trinity Roots play dub/reggae/jungle/roots. Free entry.

Storytelling with Moira Wairama
2pm – 3pm, The Marae, Level 4.
A Wellington storyteller, poet, playwright, and teacher, Moira specialises in creating New Zealand stories and in telling Mäori legends bilingually. Free entry.

Sunday 2 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Make a Matariki mobile
11am – 12 noon, Te Huka ä Tai, Level 4.
Kids, make a Matariki mobile in Te Huka ä Tai Discovery Centre. Cost $2.

Floortalk with Arnold Wilson
12 noon, The Boulevard, Level 5.
Esteemed elder and artist Arnold Wilson gives a floortalk in the Taiäwhio exhibition.
Free entry.

Big Belly Woman
12 noon – 1pm, The Marae, Level 4.
They describe the sound of their music as ‘healing vibrations melded together by traditional and modern instruments’. Big Belly Woman take us on a uniquely Mäori musical journey.
Free entry.

Storytelling with Rangimoana Taylor
2pm – 3pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Well-known storyteller Rangimoana Taylor tells Mäori stories for all ages, using expression and movement to bring them to life. Free entry.

Monday 3 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Illustrated talks with Tracey Tawhiao
12 noon & 2pm, Rangimarie Rooms, TelstraClear Centre, Level 3.
Dynamic performance poet, writer, and artist Tracey Tawhiao gives two illustrated talks using mulit-media in conjunction with the Taiäwhio exhibition. Free entry.

Hinemoana Baker
1pm – 2pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Kinky indigenous symphonies is how Hinemoana’s music has been described. Her extraordinary vocal range and lyrical expertise, in both Mäori and English, make her a vibrant musical storyteller. Free entry.

Thursday 6 June
Lecture by Kay Leather
6.30pm – 7.30pm, Soundings Theatre, Level 2.
Kay Leather, of the Carter National Observatory, presents a lecture on Star Lore and Celestial Navigation by Mäori. Free entry.

Saturday 8 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

MATARIKI CELEBRATIONS AT TE PAPA – PAGE 5, EVENT PROGRAMME

Floortalks with Hemi MacGregor
12 noon & 2pm, The Boulevard, Level 5.
Conceptual painter and sculptor Hemi MacGregor gives two floortalks in the Taiäwhio exhibition. Free entry.

Mika Haka
1pm – 1.30pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Mika Haka, a young Mäori and Pacific Island dance crew, shake the stage in an explosion of song and dance, pulsating with tikanga Mäori, Pasifika and Club Culture. Free entry.

Sunday 9 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Floortalks with Jolene Douglas
12 noon & 2pm, The Boulevard, Level 5.
Artist and curator Jolene Douglas gives two floortalks in the Taiäwhio exhibition. Free entry.

Moana Maniapoto
1pm – 2pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Moana Maniapoto, described as a ‘Diva of Mäori Music’, delivers a charismatic, contemporary Mäori performance. Free entry.

Thursday 13 June
Uia Ngä Käinga
9am – 5pm, The Concourse, Level 3.
The conference theme 'language in the home' is reflected in the name of the
conference 'Uia Ngä Käinga'.

Illustrated lecture by Robert Jahnke
6.30pm – 7.30pm, Soundings Theatre, Level 2.
Robert Jahnke, from the School of Mäori Studies, Massey University, gives an illustrated lecture on contemporary Mäori visual culture in conjunction with the Taiäwhio exhibition.
Free entry.

Friday 14 June
Uia Ngä Käinga
9am – 5pm, The Concourse, Level 3.
The second day of the Uia Ngä Käinga conference, continuing the theme of ‘language in the home’.

Saturday 15 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Te Waka Huia
1pm – 2pm, Wellington Foyer, Level 2.
Te Waka Huia give an enigmatic Kapa Haka performance that has dazzled audiences nationally and internationally.
Free entry.

Illustrated talks by Shona Rapira Davies
12 noon & 2pm, Rangimarie Rooms, TelstraClear Centre, Level 3.
Leading female artist Shona Rapira Davies gives two illustrated talks about her work in association with the Taiäwhio exhibition. Free entry.

MATARIKI CELEBRATIONS AT TE PAPA – PAGE 6, EVENT PROGRAMME

Sunday 16 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Ariana Tikao
1pm – 2pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Ariana performs fresh, contemporary Mäori music with a blend of Pacific rhythms and seventies retro funk. Free entry.

Saturday 22 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Toolmaking and weaving demonstrations
12 noon – 3pm, The Boulevard, Level 5.
Toolmaking demonstrations with Dante Bonica and Anaru Rondon, and weaving demonstrations with Hemoata Henare, in the Taiäwhio exhibition. Free entry.

Toni Huata
1pm – 2pm, The Marae, Level 4.
Experience a spellbinding fusion of jazz, jungle, dub, dance, and tradition. This is a performance not to be missed! Free entry.

Sunday 23 June
Starlab
11am – 11.45am & 2pm – 2.45pm, Level 4 Workshop.

Toolmaking and weaving demonstrations
12 noon – 3pm, The Boulevard, Level 5.
Toolmaking demonstrations with Dante Bonica and Anaru Rondon, and weaving demonstrations with Hemoata Henare, in the Taiäwhio exhibition. Free entry.

WAI 100%
1pm – 2pm, The Marae, Level 4.
WAI 100% is original Mäori waiata that presents the atmosphere, warmth, and dynamic strength of the South Pacific’s indigenous people, linking the sounds of today with the rich culture and traditional heritage of the Mäori people. Free entry.

Discovery Sunday, The Mysteries of Matariki
2pm – 2.45pm, NatureSpace, Level 2.
Kids, join Te Papa's Curator Pacific, Janet Davidson, in NatureSpace Discovery Centre, as she takes you on a journey to discover the secrets of the Aotearoa/Pacific New Year. Join in a fun Matariki activity after Janet's talk! Free entry.

ENDS


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