Looking out for the nine stars of the Matariki this Māori New Year? Check out this article for tips on how to find the star cluster in the early morning sky.
Each iwi have their own associations to the stars of Matariki – but most weave aspects of nature and the environment into each whetū (star). These meanings come from the Te Mauria Whiritoi project:
Waitī – reflects freshwater environments and the animals and plants that live in them.
Waitā – reflects marine environments and the animals and plants that live in them.
Waipuna-ā-rangi – reflects precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, hail).
Tupu-ā-nuku – reflects cultivated foods grown in Papatūānuku (the earth).
Tupu-ā-rangi – reflects forest environments, and the animals and plants that live there.
Ururangi – reflects the winds.
Pōhutukawa – reflects a connection with the afterlife – remembering those who have passed on in the last year
Hiwa-i-te-rangi – is a wishing or hopeful star – reflects hopes and dreams for the future
Matariki – reflects the gathering of people together at the New Year for reflection and planning together.
For more detail see this Mana Magazine article: http://www.mana.co.nz/heritage/te-iwa-o-matariki.html