The purpose of this project is to examine the Māori and Pacific archives in the Hocken Library pertaining to Tangaroa, the ocean and the sea. The intern will undertake archival research specifically within the Hocken Library and this will form part of the initial stages of the Māori programme of research within the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge.
Astronomy is the study of the objects in the sky (stars, planets, moons, galaxies, comets etc). Traditionally Māori held great knowledge of astronomy and their studies of the night sky played an important role in everyday life. Much of this knowledge remains recorded in te reo Māori and sits within karakia, waiata, whakataukī, and within place names. This project explores the language of Māori astronomy to understand how important it was to our ancestors. It will also help to revive the language of Māori astronomy exploring how this knowledge can be used in a modern world.
This research project’s origins date back 27 years when Dr Joe Te Rito helped establish local Māori radio station Radio Kahungunu at the Hawke’s Bay Polytechnic, Taradale. Joe saw how the dialect of his iwi Rongomaiwahine-Ngāti Kahungunu was diminishing in quality, in terms of grammatical and spoken fluency, with each generation. The station was to fill the gap for children who did not have Māori spoken in the home or role models to learn te reo from. While schools looked after education, the station wanted to bring the voices into the home.
He āta mātai, he rangahau i te oranga o te waitai i tētahi rohe o te Tairāwhiti kia mōhiotia ai he wai ora rānei, he tai ora rānei, he mate rānei tēnei momo taiao. Hei reira anō ka whakamōhiotia atu ki ngā mana tiaki o taua rohe, ka whakariterite tikanga hoki hei tiaki i te tai. Ko te rohe e tohua ana ko te ākau o Tokomaru i te raki ki Whāngārā i te tonga. Ko te rohe tēnei o ngā karangatanga hapū o Ngāti Porou, o Te Aitanga a Hauiti, o Ngāti Konohi, o Ngāti Ira anō hoki.