Story: Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori

How Matariki was formed

In this clip, Pou Temara of Ngāi Tuhoe relates a legend of the formation of the Matariki star cluster. Tāwhirimātea, the atua (divine presence) of the winds and elements, wages war against his older brothers because they had separated their parents, Ranginui (the sky) and Papatūānuku (the earth). In his anger, he tore out his eyes and flung them into the heavens. Matariki is an abbreviation of ‘Ngā mata o te ariki Tāwhirimātea’ (‘The eyes of the god Tāwhirimātea’).

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TVNZ Television New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith, 'Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori - Heralding the new year', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2023)

Story by Paul Meredith, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 19 Jun 2021