ARTICE/Matariki: A Time To Dream

Jul 17 / Lillian Hetet Owen
Sharing a Puketapu-Hetet whānau tradition with you and hoping it will inspire your weaving dreams!

Matariki: A Time To Dream

This time of year, (in the Southern Hemisphere), the sun is lower in the sky, the days are shorter, the nights longer and temperatures cooler. The activities of summer and autumn are have come to an end. Umbrellas and gumboots jostle for position by front doors and warm jacketed stalwarts are on the sidelines of sports fields on crisp weekend mornings. Kitchens are filled with the comforting smells of soup and scones and casseroles. Scorching Summer days feel a long way off.

It's a time of hibernation for many plants and animals - a time to turn inwards and reserve energy. We, too, draw inside - to the warmth of our homes and a different rhythm.

There are several contemporary tukutuku panels at Wainuiomata marae that our mother Erenora designed, that feature Mataariki. They tell the story of the natural world, the plants and the seasons.

Mataariki was a favourite time of year for Mum. Back in the early 1980s, Mum commemorated Matariki by dressing the trees at our marae, in Waiwhetu, with white feathers. She would celebrate this time of year in numerous ways including decorating the outside of her house with fairy lights for her mokopuna to enjoy. (Veranoa once spied Mum skipping down the drive late one night, over to the park across from her house, then jumping around with delight to take in the twinkle of all those lights).

Summer in Mum's house was always a bustle of harvesting and prepping weaving materials, of plenty of weaving, amongst a myriad of other projects she had on the go. But when winter arrived, it was a time for taaniko and whatu alongside quiet contemplation: dreaming about and planning for the spring and summer months ahead.

As winter and Mataariki draws in, we wanted to share this memory of our Mum and this time of year with you 

Dreamtime was actually a 'thing' in our whānau. It was a whole-of-whānau activity when we all got to sit around after a meal together and imagine for our individual selves what we would like to achieve in the future. Mum, whiteboard pen in hand (or often, mistakenly, a permanent red marker!) would then urge us to share our visions for the future.

Whether it was something we wanted to achieve over the coming year, or decade, whether it was a little goal or a HUGE one. And, in the spirit of "build it and they will come" - we had to say it out loud, while Mum wrote it on the whiteboard . . . and, somehow, we all knew that the naming and declaring of our dream to each other meant that we would achieve it.

In the tradition of our mum (and no doubt many of our tupuna and other whānau) our family continue to dream, to name those dreams and declare them to each other so that we are then obliged to work toward making them a reality. It's work. Yes. But it's satisfying and purposeful. And it's one sure-fire way to get. stuff. done!

We invite you to dream, to name your dream and declare your dream