Exploring Matariki: Waitī and its Connection to Fresh Water
Matariki is a special time for many of us in Aotearoa. It is a time where we come together to celebrate new beginnings, new life and new opportunities. This year, we are taking a closer look at each star of the Matariki cluster and its connection to our culture and the land that surrounds us. In this rauemi and activity, we will be exploring Waitī, a star that has a special connection to fresh water and the kai that comes from it.
Waitī is one of the lesser-known stars in the Matariki cluster, but it has an important role to play. Waitī is associated with fresh water, such as rivers and lakes, and the kai that is sourced from these places. In Māori culture, fresh water is a taonga - a treasure that needs to be cherished and protected.
One way to explore Waitī and its connection to fresh water is by using the Waitī Poster and Activity pack. This pack contains illustrations of tuna (eels) and whitebait, which are some of the freshwater kai that are important to Māori. The pack also includes information about Waitī and an activity on how to make your own tuna (eel) to add to the tuff tray! By engaging in this activity, tamariki can gain a deeper understanding of the importance of fresh water in Māori culture.
To further explore Waitī and its connection to fresh water, we can create a tuff tray activity. We can use the laminated illustrations of tuna, whitebait and Waitī and place them in a tuff tray. Additional items such as rocks can be added to create a mini freshwater ecosystem. This tuff tray activity can be used as a tool to start conversations about the different food sources in freshwater ecosystems and different ways to take care of our lakes, rivers and streams.
Through exploring Waitī and its connection to fresh water, we can gain a deeper appreciation for Māori culture and the importance of taonga such as freshwater resources. By engaging in activities that explore Waitī and the freshwater ecosystem, tamariki can become more aware of the importance of caring for our natural environment.
Waitī is a lesser-known star in the Matariki cluster, but it holds an important role in Māori culture. Its connection to fresh water and the kai that comes from it is a reminder of the importance of protecting our natural environment. By exploring Waitī and its connection to fresh water through activities such as the tuff tray activity and using the Waitī Poster and Activity pack, we can educate tamariki about the importance of fresh water and the role it plays in Māori culture.