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FRINGE '04: Mai Te Ao Kohatu Ki Te Ao Maarama

Mai Te Ao Kohatu Ki Te Ao Maarama

Rangi Over Stonehenge

Getting to the stars will never be so easy after Stonehenge Aotearoa goes on stage at 2004 Fringe NZ Festival in Wellington.

Stonehenge Aotearoa / Mai Te Ao Kohatu Ki Te Ao Marama (literally 'from the stone-age to the world of understanding') is an audio visual concert that celebrates the journey some of our ancestors made from under northern hemisphere skies to the Pacific. Journey's end is now being set up in a henge of stones on the Wairarapa site of the Phoenix Astronomical Society incorporating Maori navigational star lore along with the tracking of our southern hemisphere stars and planets.

Stonehenge producer, Piripi Whaanga says his Irish and Maori ancestors understood the heavens and used them to mark seasons for planting and hunting as well as fishing and harvesting. "Kei te nohotahi oku tupuna i te ao kohatu i waenga i a Papatuanuku raua ko Ranginui. They lived in harmony with their natural world."

Hine-nui-te-po Over Stonehenge

Piripi says the link between the earth and the heavens was recorded in groupings of stones or henges around the world and celebrated in the arts such as song, dance and paintings and carvings. "Early humans who had knowledge of the heavens were also artists. It's been a relatively recent development that the sciences and arts became separate disciplines."

He says Stonehenge Aotearoa, the concert links the hearts and minds again through our ancestors journey and brings us back home to ourselves in Aotearoa. "It shows we have a common heritage that predates the current foreshore debate and gives us a bigger perspective of on this planet."

Mai Te Ao Kohatu – The Henge

- Stonehenge Aotearoa is a joint projcet of the Phoenix Astronomical Society and Tu Tangata Maori Productions Ltd. The venue is Thistle Hall, upper Cuba St and runs from Friday Feb 27 to Wed Mar 3 at 7.30 pm each night. Matinees run on Sat and Sun at 2pm. Tickets cost $10 and can be booked on (04) 4770284 or online

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