Sunday October 22, 2017   Last updated 20:57PM

On Air Now | Radio Waatea

06:00pm - 07:00pm
Polynesian astronomy in spotlight

Share to Email
Share to RSS
Share to Print

The return of Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokule’a to Aotearoa is a reminder of the value of traditional Polynesian navigation based on observation of the heavens and the environment.

Over the next couple of years researchers from the University of Waikato, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Hawai‘i will delve further into those astronomical traditions with the help of a $710,000 Marsden Fund grant.

Lead researcher Rangi Matamua says the project, called Te Mauria Whiritoi: The sky as a cultural resource, is a chance to preserve a significant body of Maori astronomical knowledge that might otherwise be lost.

Dr Matamua, who has been obsessed with the subject since being given his great great grandfather’s 400 page manuscript on traditional astronomy, says the fact Maori and Hawaiians both have ceremonies around the star cluster Matariki or Pleiades shows how knowledge has travelled the Pacific.

" Maori astronomy is still embedded in things like waiata and karakia and in place names. We want to explore that in more depth. We want to also triangulate the knowledge that exits of rising of different stars or astronomical bodies, with certain viewpoints and locations. You could call them traditional observatories with ecological events and how that manifests itself into ceremony " he says.

Dr Matamua says the project should generate resources for schools and other interested people so traditional astronomy can find a place in modern Maori society.


Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

TWWoA RadioWeb 300x150-Waatea
Rheumatic Fever
2017 Te Wero
Waatea TV
Irirangi Waatea Kaiwhakahaere Bernie O'Donnell, Te Ati Awa
Huhana Lyndon Nominated for Whangarei Byelection
Nominations for the byelection in Whangarei's Denby Ward have been received with 2 nominations.
John Fenwick Chair of Waikite
John Fenwick's links to the Waikite Rugby and Sports Club stretch back to the 1970's when as a 10-year-old he'd help his dad, the then treasurer, count the previous night's bar takings and raffle money.
Phil Anderson Customers Manager Callaghan Innovations
A full house turned out at the Succeed in a Changing World event hosted by Callaghan Innovation and Activate Tairawhiti and designed to inspire innovation.
Glen Katu Maraeroa CE
A South Waikato ginseng producer is ready to approach potential investors to increase its production and exports with the help of funding of up to $40,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Boyd Broughton from ASH
An updated version of Auckland Council's 2013 Smokefree Policy was presented to the Environment and Community Committee on 17 October and the committee adopted the amended policy and implementation plan.
Mana Party Leader Hone Harawira
Breakfast Host: Dale Husband
Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern
Winston Peters decides the government this afternoon.
3 Wiremu Huta Martin | Te Kupenga Paa
Hei teenei wiki mutunga nei ka whakamauhara taatou i te pakanga nui i tuu ki te paa o Te Kupenga. Kei a Wiremu Huta Martin te roanga o ngaa whakaritenga mo teenei kaupapa
As we celebrate a magnificent political win let's remember those who could not survive National
MARTYN BOMBER BRADBURY: As we celebrate a magnificent political win - let's remember those who could not survive National's 9 years in office We should be ecstatic. Big money, big corporate farming and big business interest...
Don't put the blame solely on Winston !
JOHN TAMIHERE: I can recall carrying a cardboard cutout picture of Winston Peters around the Otara Flea Market in 1999 pretending to debate him. Why? Because he wouldn’t enter into a debate with me.
Metiria Turei vs Jian Yang - Compare the media values at work
MARTYN 'BOMBER' BRADBURY: There are times when the mainstream media coverage of two events manages to say more about the real bias at work within the media than the news worthiness of their focus.
p waateap listenp podcastp rssp facebookp twittercontactus




To receive regular updates from Waatea News.