Matariki and Puanga

Matariki and Puanga

Some Māori tribes believed that it was the rising of the star Puanga (Rigel in Orion) which heralded the new year, not Matariki. Hence the saying: ‘Puanga kai rau’ (Puanga of abundant food). This divergence was explained to the scholar Elsdon Best by a Māori elder: ‘The task of Puanga is to strive with Matariki (the Pleiades) that he may gain possession of the year.

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