Te Whanau Marama – ‘The family of light’
Dr Rangi Matamua has started a journey and arguably, an invaluable one to revitalise traditional Maori knowledge, philosophy through teachings he retained from his elders.
The tikanga Maori or Maori philosophy and law and how Maori interpreted the stars in conjunction with Te Ra (The Sun) and Te Marama (The Moon) to adjust to the change in seasons, foretell weather and when to plant crops and even social relationships for example were all written in a book – ‘pukapuka’ developed by certain Tohunga or High Priests despite the advent of christian teachings when European immigrants started migrating to Aotearoa in the early to mid nineteenth century.
The research, teachings and philosophy revitalised by Dr Matamua indicate a very ancient knowledge retained for successive generations needless to say te Reo has been adjusted in meaning and comprehension into an English thought process when in tradition the language was particularly suited to interpretations of the natural world.
Dr Matamua has transformed the knowledge passed down to him into a book as well titled;
‘Matariki the Star of the Year’ or in te Reo Maori ‘Matariki te Whetu tapu o te Tau’.
Image Credit: Living By The Stars
The report and research prepared for but yet to be filed onto the Waitangi Tribunal casebook archive by members of the society on behalf claimants also covers Maori traditional knowledge, philosophy expanding on research by expat New Zealander Dr Barry Fell and a connection – trading routes – between Pacific nations – peoples including Aotearoa and Maori with South East Asia up through the Indian Ocean and into the Middle East or vice versa millennia before European Explorer Columbus discovered the Americas around 1492.
Dr Fells research pre-dates modern historical theories as evidence of early seafaring capability by two thousand years and of course many aspects of South American flora, fauna and wildlife developed into common use today e.g. the Potato, the humble chicken or Kumara and Gourd plant known and used by Maori for centuries as some of many examples.
Decorative examples of Gourd used by Maori for centuries. Origins, South America
Image credit: Newsroom
The interesting thing about Gourd is that it has been growing wildly in Abyssinia now called Ethiopia and in parts of India which undoubtedly indicates earlier interaction between seafaring peoples of Southern America, Pacific and the African continent.
The question raised here – is there any correlation between traditional Maori knowledge and philosophy, Matariki te Whetu tapu o te Tau and ancient Middle Eastern philosophy? and, we just need to look at the famous pyramids on the Giza plateau – the alignment with the Orion constellation to realise that there is indeed an ancient philosophy lost or mis-interpreted by early historical philosophers for one reason or another lost in the archives.
The Famous Giza Pyramids and alignment with ‘Orion’s Belt’
Image Credit: Osr.org
Dr Matamuas’ work is most interesting in this regard suggesting the very ancient philosophy retained by Maori Tohunga despite settler indifference.
Christian philosophy – claimed to be monotheism in nature as opposed to polytheism which according to Wikipedia sources;
Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. In most religions which accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, and can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator deity or transcendentalabsolute principle (monistic theologies), which manifests immanently in nature (panentheistic and pantheistic theologies).
That interpretation between these seemingly distinct philosophies is I think too pragmatic if true history is studied but polytheism most definitely includes most if not all of the older indigenous peoples vis a vis christian beliefs and ideals said to be of fairly recent construction.
The society hopes to invite Dr Rangi Matamua for a session, talk and discussion – ‘Korero’ event at some time in the future to share more knowledge with the society and the wider community.