Ngā Whetū o Matariki
Stars of Matariki
Matariki, the healing star, mother of these eight interstellar children, is placed in the centre of the star cluster, guiding her children across the sky, night after night. She reflects the health and well being of all.
Pohutukawa is the eldest of the children and is the mourning star when we remember loved ones that have passed since the last Matariki and it’s her role to guide our way across the night sky and on to the after life.
Tupuānuku is the star connected to all that grows in the ground and with care she ensures all grow with abundance to produce kai, rongoa healing medicine and kakahu clothing. ‘‘tipu’ means to grow and ‘nuku’ is earth short word for papa tuanuku earth mother.
Tupuārangi is a male star associated with all the birds we traditionally harvested, the delicious titi or mutton birds and kereru that were caught in large numbers before the rising of Matariki, cooked and preserved in their own fat. He also is connected to everything that grows above our heads, fruit and berries.
Waitī is the female star that connects to all foods found in fresh water streams, lakes and rivers such as koura (fresh water crayfish), tuna (eel), korokoro (lamprey) inanga (whitebait) and kokopu (native fish). She also indicates the health of our rivers and waterways for the impending year.
Waitā is a male star with a strong association to all the creatures harvested from the ocean. Wai (ocean) ta (salt. This star also has a significant influence on tides when Matariki sits just above the horizon.
Waipunārangi is a female weather star that links the entire Matariki cluster to the rain that falls during the year. Her name itself means ‘water pools in the skies’. The pooling of rain on the ground caused by heavy rainstorms in mid winter is referred to as ‘Matariki tāpuapua’.
Ururangi means ‘winds of the skies’. This male star determines the nature of the winds for the year and is one of two weather stars in Matariki.
Hiwa-i-te-rangi is the youngest, a female star that represents life and is connected to the promise of a prosperous season. ‘Hiwa’ means vigorous growth. We send our wishes into the sky with the hope she will return them into the new year.