Matariki Cluster & Manu Tukutuku (Kite) Double Sided Wooden Puzzle (2 puzzles in 1) with "What Matariki Means to Us" Photo Collage Image Tray
Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also known as “the Seven Sisters”. In Aotearoa/New Zealand it comes into view in the last days of May or in early June. This heralds the “Maori New Year”. For Iwi, the importance of Matariki has been captured in proverbs and songs. Matariki literally means the ‘Eyes of God’ (Mata Ariki) or ‘Little Eyes’ (Mata Riki). Traditionally, Māori were keen observers of the night sky, determining from the stars the time and seasons, and using them to navigate the oceans. For Māori, this time signified planning, remembrance and celebration.
Kite flying traditions have a highly symbolic connection to Matariki; the two were historically inseparable. Kites were seen as connectors between the heavens and earth. Kites welcomed Matariki. In modern times, fireworks etc, symbolising kites are used.
During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to our land (whenua) on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth (Papatuanuku). Throughout Matariki we learn about those who came before us, our history, our family. Matariki signals growth. It’s a time of change, it’s a time to prepare, it’s a time for action and a time to celebrate. During Matariki we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give. Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It’s a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.