Topic: Matariki

Matariki: When you wish upon a star

By Regan Paranihi

As Matariki starts to gather in the sky we take a look at the youngest star of the pack, Hiwa-i-te-Rangi.  Associate Professor Dr Rangi Mataamua says the star holds a lot of mana as it holds peoples aspirations.

It is said that when there is a gathering of stars there is a gathering of people, and Hiwa-i-te-.Rangi is believed to be the star that can give people what their heart desires.

Mataamua says, "During Matariki we pray to Hiwa-i-te-Rangi and it is Hiwa's job to look after peoples wishes."

Every year Mataamua and reo experts gather to celebrate Matariki by cooking a feast for the stars.

"That is the fest that feeds the stars of Matariki because Matariki is the star who brings food.  Therefore, this is a way for us to say 'here is some food, please bring us some food...come back this year with all the fruits you have so the year ahead is filled with food."

Mataamua says that Matariki is a time for those who believe in the process to pray to the stars and gods.

"If there is something you desire during Matariki you send your wish to Hiwa, but only to Hiwa.  Only you and Hiwa can know what it is you really want. The expert then performs their prayer."

Rahia Timutimu, Ngāi Tūhoe, was at the traditional ceremony for the stars last year where she made a very special wish to Hiwa, which has come true.

"Seven weeks after the traditional ceremony, my partner and I went to the doctors and sure enough I was pregnant.  The doctor told me I was seven weeks pregnant so I knew that it was from that traditional ceremony that I became pregnant," she says.

Mataamua says there are many fruits that come of this cluster of stars.  However, this is something you truly have to believe in for it to work.

"There are many hopes during Matariki and if the god you pray to wants to look after your prayer they will do their job."

Mataamua will be speaking more about the Matariki cluster in his roadshow tour which begins next month.