Story: Matariki – Māori New Year

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: one meaning of Matariki is ‘little eyes’.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith, 'Matariki – Māori New Year - Heralding the new year', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 May 2021)

Story by Paul Meredith, published 12 Jun 2006