The Family Jewels Dunedin

Work of the Gods

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Tātai Arorangi: Māori Astronomy

Modern world astronomy is built on the knowledge of the past and the way in which the universe came to be and is ordered according to the theories or myths. The ancient Maori view of the heavens is only one small part of the total religious philosophy. We of this time and age, can appreciate that philosophy even if we may not completely understand it. In the myths and stories from Polynesia a particular map of the heavens is invoked. As the ancestors moved south so they adapted to the map to incorporate the stars seen from these latitudes. This was the work of learned men, scientist. Today we can take their work further into the far realms of Te Kore, to the origin of matter. The work of Kay and Richard follows the insight of the nineteenth century elders in recording their knowledge in writing, by making that knowledge available in published form. Young and old people of today and tomorrow may look and learn to see the heavens from a Maori perspective.