The stars that are embroidered into the tapestry of the night sky have guided Māori people since the beginning of time. These stars enabled Māori to traverse the greatest expanse of ocean on the planet to arrive here in Aotearoa.
Our ancestors not only observed the stars, they also observed the moon, the movement of the sun and key ecological markers. These ecological markers included the migration and spawning of fish species, the tides, the blooming of plants and trees, the birdsong of different species of birds, the cry of different species of insects to name a few. It was these events and those of the Lunar Stella Calendar, or the Maramataka ā-whetū, that connected our ancestors to the world they lived in. Detailed observations of the stars, moon, sun and the environment enabled them to measure time throughout the year, and subsequently allowed them to flourish here in Aotearoa.
This 4-part docuseries gives us a better understanding on what the Māori year, or Te Tau Māori looked like for our people, and how te marama (moon), ngā whetū (stars), te rā (sun) me te taiao (ecological markers) are all connected. We look at each major season of the Māori year. We also discuss how our ancestors used the Lunar Stella Calendar in conjunction with ecological markers to measure time throughout the year, and very seldom observed these markers in isolation of one and other. Most importantly it will prove that our ancestors were scientists, and will show how Matariki was used to regulate the year and our division of time.