This is a traditional proverb or whakatauki signalling the beginning of the Māori New Year.
Ka kitea a Matariki When Matariki is seen
Ka rere te korokoro The korokoro migrate
“In ancient times Matariki arrived at the end of the harvest and was a time of plenty for our ancestors. The kumara and other root foods had been gathered. The migration of fish such as moki and korokoro made Matariki a time of bountiful catches. Visitors were showered with gifts of specially preserved eel, birds and other delicacies.
Matariki can be translated in two ways – Mata Riki (Tiny eyes) and Mata Ariki (Eyes of God). Either way the eyes are thought to watch over the land and its people.” (Maori Language Commission, 2015).
A simple waiata to practise the names of the stars of Matariki
Celebrate Matariki and teach yourself this simple waiata to help you remember the star names of Matariki in Māori. IT is sung to the tune of “Twinkle twinkle little star”. Listen to and view the actions to this waiata at BA Productions website for pronunciation and timing of the kupu or words.
Tirama tirama Matariki Twinkle Twinkle Matariki
me ana [nga] tamariki and her children
Tupuanuku, Tupuarangi, Tupuanuku, Tupuarangi
Waiti, Waita, Waiti, Waita
Waipunarangi e Waipunarangi
Ko te pōtiki ko Ururangi. The youngest child is Ururangi.