This Friday marks the beginning of Matariki - Maori New Year. To kick off our Matariki week the Justice League compared Matariki with Pleiades.
Introduction - Arina
Friday the 15th of June marks the day of the Maori New Year also known as Matariki. Matariki is a time to honour those who have passed away and think about our future. Matariki is also the name for a cluster of stars seen in the sky over Aotearoa in late May or early June. The star cluster Matariki is also known by another name, Pleiades. Matariki and Pleiades share many similarities and differences
Cultural Myths - Georgia
One similarity is that both Matariki and Pleiades are important cultural events. Matariki comes from the Maori people of Aotearoa, where as Pleiades comes from Greece in Southern Europe.
English Meaning - Isaac
Both Pleiades and Matariki have English names. Matariki is translated in English as the eyes of god or little eyes. However Pleiades is known in English as the seven sisters.
Sisters - Caroline
Both Matariki and Pleiades feature stories including sisters. For many Maori Matariki is the mother of six daughters. However in Greece there are only six sisters as one was punished for marrying a mortal.
Many Myths - Jack
Both Pleiades and Matariki have very different and special myths about why and how it happens. One myth in Maori has Tane Mahuta jealous of a bright star hurling the star and causing it to a splinter into seven pieces. One Greek myth has Zeus turning the daughters of Atlas into stars and placing them in the sky.
Overall we believe learning about Matariki helps us to understand and connect with Maori culture of the past in an interesting way. Some ways you could celebrate Matariki this year are learning about the myths, making kites and sharing kai during a hangi.