Dr Matamua is Associate Professor of Maaori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato , specialising in Maaori language, culture and history, and author of the recently published book Matariki: The Star of the Year.
Along with his colleagues Dr Hemi Whaanga and Dr Ann Hardy, he collaborated with Waikato Museum to curate Te Whaanau Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies, an exhibition examining the traditional Maaori societal view of the night sky and how that perspective is being revitalised in the modern world.
A manuscript initiated by Dr Matamua’s great-great-grandfather, Maaori astronomy tohunga Te Kōkau Himiona Te Pikikotuku, in 1898, complements his academic research, and Matariki: The Star of the Year weaves these strands of knowledge together.
The talk at Waikato Museum from 5.30pm – 6.30pm on 3 August will reveal the origins of how Matariki was observed so it can be better understood and celebrated in modern society.
Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says it is a privilege to have partnered with Dr Matamua on Te Whaanau Maarama and have him share his expertise at his upcoming talk.
“There a very few people in Aotearoa who could hold a candle to Dr Matamua’s knowledge of Maaori astronomy, which makes this talk a must-do event,” she says.
Dr Matamua’s Matariki: The Star of the Year talk is from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Thursday 3 August 2017 at Waikato Museum. Entry is free but bookings are recommended as seats are limited. Go to waikatomuseum.co.nz for details. The Matariki: The Star of the Year book is for sale at Waikato Museum for $35.
Te Whaanau Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies runs until 13 July 2018. Entry is free. Waikato Museum is open daily 10am – 5pm.