Matariki – It’s New Year around the world and, specifically, in my world!
Mid-winter in New Zealand traditionally marks the time of Matariki, or New Year to the Maori people. Matariki occurs when the constellation of Pleiades reappears in the morning sky after an absence of approximately 28 days. When this happens, Maori people begin to celebrate the New Year and plan for the coming seasons.
It is not a tradition unique to Maori, however – the reappearance of this constellation in the morning sky is celebrated across the Pacific Ocean, from Japan (where it is called Suburu) to Hawaii (where it is called Makali’l) and as far afield as Denmark and South Africa.
Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.
This year I am bringing back some of my favouite jewellery pieces – Star Maps and specifically Matariki Star Maps. New pieces are joining old pieces for a brand-new collection honouring the stars and the stories and maps they hold within.