Nau Mai Haere Mai
Come Journey With Us To The Stars
The SMART Vision is to preserve Mäori astronomical knowledge, to encourage Mäori into science, to see the realisation of Mäori potential and to launch Mäori success.
WHAT IS MAORI ASTRONOMY?
Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand who had extensive knowledge of the night sky. The movements of constellations, the heliacal rising of stars, the arrival of comets, the phases of the moon and many other astronomical phenomena were noted and examined by them. This detailed astronomical knowledge resulted in Māori having a precise understanding of the seasons and helped the ancestors of the Māori people to navigate across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Māori astronomical knowledge is known as tātai arorangi. Tātai arorangi was considered to be part of the body of knowledge known as kauwae-runga, this contained the celestial knowledge, the knowledge of the creation, the gods, stars and time. The teachers and specialists of Māori astronomical knowledge were known as tohunga kokorangi and tohunga tātai arorangi. Although communities had a general knowledge of tātai arorangi, only a select few were ever taught the more indepth information and given the responsibility to hold and use this knowledge
WHO WE ARE AND WHY ARE WE INTERESTED?
In late 2000, a group called the Society of Māori Astronomy Research and Traditions (SMART) formed in 2009, this group was dedicated to the preservation and revitalisation of Māori astronomical knowledge. This group consists of Māori knowledge experts, educators, navigators and scientists. SMART has embarked on research and publications centered around Māori astronomical knowledge.
SMART consists of experts in Matauranga Maori Tatai Arorangi, Astrophysics and Celestial navigation. All of these individuals are passionate about our Maori starlore, its preservation and revitalisation. They are also passionate about empowering and propelling our rangatahi into a positive future.
We aim to spark memories and passion in others, through accessible knowledge transfer (Culture, Art, Audio visual & Cyber space).
Since our beginnings in 2009 with the International year of Astronomy, S.M.A.R.T. has sourced knowledge from astronomical educators, Matauranga Maori experts and research astronomers to create a trust that has been established to regain the long-neglected knowledge of New Zealand Maori astronomy.