Friday, May 19, 2017

Te Kahui Matariki - The 7 figures

While today outside looks blustery and Autumn-ish I thought I'd go through my archives since it's my day off and I found this one from last year at this time of a photo I took down by The Strand on Tauranga's waterfront area. 

Near the railway track and wharf is a park which holds 7 Maori carvings called "The 7 Poupou" created by James Tapiata. According to the Tauranga Memories page: The appearance of the Matariki constellation in the north eastern sky in late May, early June hails the arrival of the Maori new year. This is a time of new beginnings when karakia (prayers) are offered for the health of the soil, the seed, and the harvest. If the stars are clear and bright, the following year will be warm and fruitful: if hazy, a cold winter lies ahead. Matariki was also used as a navigational beacon for ocean travellers throughout the Moana-nui-a Kiwa (Pacific Ocean).

The first figure - Kahui Matariki reflects the status in the universe. The second - Tapu Nuku rising from the earth, the third - Tupu a Rangi is about the navigational aspects of Matariki. The forth - Waita details the travels taken by the Maori, the fifth - Waiti depicts food bringing. The sixth - Waipuna a Rangi portrays the arrival and life giving properties of water, the seventh - Ururangi pays respects to the links Tauranga Maori have with Kingitanga (Maori King movement).

Linking up with Skywatch Friday this week :-)


  1. Pretty cool how each of the carved figures represent a different and specific part of life!

  2. What a wonderful post and great photo ~ I am intrigued by the wooden figures and their meaning ~ thanks so much ~

    Wishing you a Happy Weekend ^_^

  3. The carving motif isn't that far removed from the totem poles of some of our First Nations peoples.

  4. Really fascinating. Isn't our human family an amazing thing?!

  5. I can't believe that I've never seen these. In fact I didn't even know they were there!

  6. I have not been to Tauranga but I would like to see these pou.

  7. A great way to enjoy art and learn history at the same time (with extra research on your part of course)...thanks for sharing the beauty and your knowledge.



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