Matariki - the depth of field is us

Image: Susana Lei'ataua
Auckland War Museum via nzhistory.govt.nz
Susana Lei’ataua speaks of time, place and identity in the lead up to an important event.

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Mornings fold around us. Long dark lengths of sky lighting slowly from the horizon, a soft fade up so all that is in front of us is held in dark silhouette.

For a long time the distance has more light. Looking out on the Waitakere, the horizon has greater detail than the trees of this giant garden at this time of day, at this time of year, when the literal becomes blatant metaphor. This is the dawning of Matariki.

Sense of belonging

Kava ‘o Aotearoa will activate at dawn in front of Auckland War Memorial Museum. The ceremony will begin with the rising sun of the solstice signalling the arrival of Matariki.

The full ceremony will recognise Ngāti Whātua as mana whenua, and tangata whenua as whanau, fanau, aiga with the peoples of the islands of te Moana. Some 40 participants will make the sacred circle and represent the fenua of te Moana Nui a Kiwa.

The ocean and the land and the sky are indelibly one’s identity. The interweaving between each is an essential reference to understanding our sense of place. The lasting value of the story you tell - about yourself to yourself - is how clearly it articulates your sense of belonging.

Auckland War Museum via nzhistory.govt.nz

Pause to remember

Matariki for me is the annual points of reference viewed from Aotearoa, when these celestial markers signal for us to remember who and what has passed away, giving us a timing for coming together, and a timing for starting something new. 

Matariki for me is the annual points of reference viewed from Aotearoa, when these celestial markers signal for us to remember who and what has passed away, giving us a timing for coming together, and a timing for starting something new.

Nothing is more inherent than aligning with the timing of where you find yourself, of where you are. Unlike time as a measurement, timing includes judgement and choice for when something should be done. Matariki embodies this.

On mornings with a bright moon holding on 'til the sun arrives, the eyes of Tawhirimatea watch us pause to remember the scale of our relationship with where we are. This depth of field between us and the Matariki cluster is also us.

Susana Lei’ataua is a broadcaster and writer, and Mana Moana alumni participating in Kava ‘o Aotearoa.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

21 Jun 2019

The Big Idea Editor

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