Today I was blown away by a kōrero from mātauranga Māori astronomer Dr Rangi Mataamua (Tūhoe). He spoke hilariously, accessibly and joyously about the constellation Matariki and for the first time I heard the hohonu meanings behind these stars which, given it is also my name, was something of a revelation to me. Matariki (which will rise on the 17th of July, not now as we have come to know) has provided a nice theme on which to base this week's whakaaro so I give to you some reflection and uplift. Kia pai ō koutou mutunga wiki.
1. Te Iwa o Matariki
Rangi spoke today about the nine stars of Matariki and the poignancy behind each of their names, they way they relate to different rituals / kai etc. It is a different understanding to that of the 'Seven Sisters' interpretation as known by the Greek Pleiades. During his talk he also played a fun video that will be showing at Auckland Museum during Matariki and you can find the times here.
2. Kaumatua Kapa Haka
At Te Papa this weekend, as part of the events for the Matariki Rising festival, we have Kaumatua Kapa Haka. If you've never been along to this before, it is highly, highly recommended for the huge amounts of energy, waiata and smiles on show. Come on down!
3. Kia Mau Festival
This week also marks the final week of the incredible Kia Mau Festival of Māori and Pacific theatre. I made it along to two shows, 'Fire in the Water, Fire in the Sky' by Mīria George and 'Riverside Kings' by Natano Keni and Sarita So. George's play took place at both Pātaka and Te Papa and highlighted the deft talent of the performers, I was absolutely blown away by the range of artforms through which they performed. What got me the most was the way in which they interacted with the exhibition taonga, it made my heart sing. 'Riverside Kings' was a different feeling, it was an instance in which the play was so immersive that I could easily read the lighting and music and the performers again just blew me away. For a more comprehensive (and better written) response, here is Maraea Rakuraku.
Today Rangi spoke about this star from the Matariki constellation and it's relationship to death including its position as part of the broader Te Waka o Rangi cluster. As we all know, there was a horrible fire in London last week in which many people lost their lives. The stories coming out in relation to the people lost are incredibly sad. One young woman who passed was photographer Khadija Saye whose work is currently on display as part of the Venice Biennale. This article, written by a close friend of hers was heartbreaking to read but was a beautiful insight into a cherished relationship. Ka aroha ki a rātou.
5. Art History Comes to Life
And to send you off into the weekend on a lighter note, check these paintings in (contemporary) situ.
And because this song was sung during 'Riverside Kings', you can listen along tooooooo: