Story: Maramataka – the lunar calendar

When to plant and fish

Traditionally, Māori measured time according to the nights rather than the days. Nightly cycles began with the new moon. Each night of a lunar month was named and described according to how favourable or unfavourable it was for fishing, eeling or planting. Te Matarēhua Wikiriwhi describes how Māori planted and fished according to the nights of the moon.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Te Mana Māori/Reference number MPT 4706).

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Reference: Em0738LC8
Photograph by John Hunt

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith, 'Maramataka – the lunar calendar - Nights of the month', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 October 2022)

Story by Paul Meredith, published 12 Jun 2006