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A Guide to Some of the Amazing Light Displays at Tīrama Mai

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1            Tomokanga

By Ariki Creative and Pixel Productions Ltd         

Situated at the boundaries of the festival site, Tomokanga welcomes and farewells you to Tīrama Mai. Drawing inspiration from traditional Māori carving, tukutuku, kowhaiwhai and raranga, these magnificent structures act as a portal, inviting you to pass through them, transitioning from one state to another in a moment of reflection, celebration and hope for the future.

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  1. KAKANA (Team Player)

By Turumeke Harrington

Referencing the eight generations of wāhine in Harrington’s whānau to her namesake, Ema Turumeke, KAKANA (Team Player) is a sculpture of bright and luminous forms, huddled together as if bodies sharing secrets and knowledge.

The powerful forms act as tīpuna, and illuminate a pathway to an unknown future, guiding generations of playful, powerful and provocative Kāi Tahu wāhine.

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  1. MOTHER

By Xoë Hall

Mother is a magic portal between two worlds – she births the past into the future.

Mother is nature – her power is immense and incapable of being dominated.

Mother is ancient and all knowing. She knows the secrets of the world – they are buried within her.

Mother is Papatūānuku – she is me and she is you.

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  1. Engari te Ngaringari

By Ngaio Cowell and Alix Ashworth with support from Art Fetiche

What is Kai Sovereignty? Do we have it? Engari te Ngaringari.

Naau te rourou,

Naaku te rourou,

Ka ora ai te iwi

With your food basket, and my food basket, we feed our people.

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  1. Ki Uta

By Ariki Creative

Endangered species of the land, sky and fresh waterways move through a projected landscape a top of The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora Buildings, shining a light on our role as Kaitiaki of the natural environment.

Ki uta ki tai is a common expression in Te Ao Māori used to represent the all-encompassing approach to caring for and protecting our environment. Imagine standing on the shoreline at New Brighton with the sea to your back and looking west to Kā Tiritiri o te Moana The Southern Alps – this expression represent our role as kaitiaki over all the eye can see, from the shoreline at our feet to the tips of the maunga in the distance.

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  1. Ngao Matariki – Ka Tīaho, Ka Tūmanako

By Art Fetiche and Ariki Creative, Te Aotahi Rice Edwards, Eli Taueki and Hori Te Ariki Mataki with music by Kommi Tamati-Elliffe

In traditional Māori carving a toki (adze) is used to carve through wood or stone. Ngao Matariki – Ka Tīaho, Ka Tūmanako utilises light to cut through the darkness of each cube revealing colourful and important tohu (symbols) of Puaka Matariki. These symbols represent:

Puaka (near Rolleston Ave)

Rigel or Puaka, the South Island variation of Puanga, is the seventh brightest star in the sky and is seen above Tautoru (Orion’s Belt) in the eastern sky in the early morning.

Te Kete Mātauranga  (near Rolleston Ave)

Sharing and seeking new knowledge, the designs reflect taniko, kete and raranga with kowhaiwhai at the core symbolising whānau and community.

Te Kore – Te Pō  (near Montreal Street)

The infinite potential of Te Kore and the complete darkness of Te Po, the separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku.

 

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  1. Ngā Whetū, Ngā Manu

By Illuminati-NZ – Abe Fisher and Ariki Creative – Taane Flannagan

Ngā Whetu, Ngā Manu signifies the ten stars in the night sky that mark the beginning of the new year celebrations: Puaka and the Matariki star cluster – Matariki, Pōhutukawa, Waitī, Waitā, Waipuna-ā-rangi, Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi, Ururangi, and Hiwa-i-te-rangi. Each star has a unique indigenous narrative and seasonal reference, such as mahika kai, traditional foods, their sources, and methods of food gathering.

Renowned Māori scholar Professor Rangi Mātāmua (Tūhoe), Chief Advisor Matariki and Mātauranga Māori, notes:

each of the stars in Matariki are associated with different parts of the environment… one is connected to the dead, and another is a wishing star. The others represent the earth, forest, fresh water, salt water, rain, and wind.

Tohunga (experts) look to the Matariki star cluster to find out how abundant the upcoming year’s harvest will be. Bright, clear stars promise a warm and successful season. Hazy stars, however, warn of cold weather and poor crops. Ngā Whetu, Ngā Manu is delicately placed among trees, resembling birds, and radiate brightness, clarity, and intricate adornments, symbolising hope and warmth for the year to come.

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  1. Kā Pakiwaituhi

By Māui Studios Aotearoa                                         

This animation gives us some insight into the stars of Matariki and their significance to Kāi Tahu.

Do you have a favourite Matariki story? Share it with your friends and or family!

 

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  1. Matariki

By Art Fetiche and Māui Studios Aotearoa

Matariki appears as a hologram of a powerful māmā looking over her 8 tamariki — Pōhutukawa, Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi, Waitī, Waitā, Waipuna-ā-rangi, Ururangi, Hiwa-i-te-rangi.

She is connected to health and well-being and is often viewed as a sign of good fortune or health to come in the following year. If the Matariki star is bright and high in the sky, it is a signal of well-being, peace, and good luck for observers.

 

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  1. Ki Tai

By Ariki Creative and Streamliner

Showcasing the importance of the great oceans around Aotearoa and the magical and wildlife within it, Ki Tai turns Harley Chambers into a vibrant underwater landscape, telling a story of the tides, of time and of culture.

Ki uta ki tai is a common expression used to represent the all-encompassing approach to caring for and protecting our environment. Imagine standing on the shoreline at New Brighton with the sea to your back and looking west to Kā Tiritiri o te Moana The Southern Alps – this expression represent our role as kaitiaki over all the eye can see, from the shoreline at our feet to the tips of the maunga in the distance.

 

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  1. Pōhutukawa

By Miss Tino, aka Jess Collins                                         

Suspended high above Pōhutukawa shines like a bright whetū (star), casting images and symbols of pīwakawaka – messengers from our ancestors – onto the ground below.

Pōhutukawa (Sterope/Asterope) is the eldest child of Matariki. Her name is associated with the ancient Pōhutukawa tree that sits on the edge of Te Rerenga Wairua and is where our wairua goes once it leaves our body and travels through Te Ara Wairua to Pōhutukawa.

Pōhutukawa encourages us to take time to remember those who have passed and to acknowledge their impact on our lives.

 

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  1. Te Ara o Tākaro
    By Rachael Rakena

Featuring Ngāi Tahu tohunga rāranga (Master Weaver) Reihana Parata QSM with her mokopuna, Koha-o-Rangi and Nukutawhiti, playing in the safe clean waters of the Ōtākaro river at night.

This work reminds us that Ōtakaro was once a pristine spring-fed river that was part of an interconnected network of traditional travel routes into a wetland ecosystem. The wetland was home to many threatened birds and animals, including 67% of freshwater and estuarine fish, and 13% of endangered plants. Before the wetland was drained it provided a vast abundance of food, building and weaving resources. Wetlands serve as the kidneys of Papatūānuku maintaining water quality, capturing carbon, and regulating atmospheric gases.

The term mokopuna refers to the spring of descendants who will look into the clean clear waters of Ōtakaro and see reflected the likeness of their ancestors who dwelt there. Te Puna o Waiwhetū, the spring nearby, is named for the way it reflects the stars in the sky. At this time of Matariki, we acknowledge Waitī, the star connected to fresh water and ask ourselves, ‘Will we be the worthy kaitiaki like our ancestors were?’

Kaitohu Rachael Rakena
Kaiwhakaataata Reihana Parata QSM, Koha-o-Rangi Mackey-Harrison-Parata, Nukutawhiti Mackey-Harrison
Kairapu kiriata / Kaihautū Kerepeti Paraone
Kaipuoro / Pūkengaoro Laughton Kora
Pūkenga Kākahu Reihana Parata QSM
Taonga Puoro Te Rawhitiroa Bosch
Kaihanga Patrick Paraone
Kaimahi Raymond Lum, Hēmi Baker
Kaimanaaki Kiri Jarden, Caitlyn Mackey-Harrison, Chantelle Mackey-Harrison, Kohine Mackey-Harrison, Cathy-Jade Simeon Rogers, Cecelia Rangiaho
Kaitautoko Ripeka Paraone, Te Pā o Rakaihautū, Jodi Cameron, Shipleys

 

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  1. Dark Sky Project Takapō

Nā te pō, ko te ao, ko te ao Mārama
From the darkest depths of the night we become enlightened 

Simply looking up at the night sky has a powerful effect on humankind. For millennia, it has created a sense of awe and wonder, prompted spiritual and technological curiosity and discovery.

Dark Sky Project connects manuhiri (visitors) to our night skies, igniting a lifelong passion for dark sky preservation and what lies above.

Takapō (Tekapo) and the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is home to some of the world’s darkest skies. It may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe. From here, at Te Tahitaha o Te Raki (the earth’s edge) we search the sky for understanding of creation, knowledge of space, and we try to make sense of these strands of light.

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  1. Tomokanga

By Ariki Creative and Pixel Productions Ltd         

Situated at the boundaries of the festival site, Tomokanga welcomes and farewells you to Tīrama Mai. Drawing inspiration from traditional Māori carving, tukutuku, kowhaiwhai and raranga, these magnificent structure act as a portal, inviting you to pass through them, transitioning from one state to another in a moment of reflection, celebration and hope for the future.

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  1. Ngao Matariki – Ka Tīaho, Ka Tūmanako

By Art Fetiche and Ariki Creative, Te Aotahi Rice Edwards, Eli Taueki and Hori Te Ariki Mataki with music by Kommi Tamati-Elliffe

In traditional Māori carving a toki (adze) is used to carve through wood or stone. Ngao Matariki – Ka Tīaho, Ka Tūmanako utilises light to cut through the darkness of each cube revealing colourful and important tohu (symbols) of Puaka Matariki. The symbol on this cube represents Mahika Kai. This design depicts Tuna (Eel), a traditional staple food found in the rivers and streams of Ōtautahi (Christchurch) and Horomaka (Banks Peninsula).

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