Embark on a celestial journey as we delve into the profound connection between the stars Tupuanuku and Tupuarangi and the sustenance provided by the land and sky. These celestial guardians illuminate the intricacies of Māori food traditions, enriching cultural narratives and reflecting the delicate balance of nature’s bounty.
Tupuanuku: Earthly Abundance
Tupuanuku, the star associated with food grown within the earth, carries a name that echoes its essence. “Tupu” translates to ‘to grow,’ while “nuku” is derived from “Papatuanuku,” signifying ‘earth.’ As Matariki sets in the western sky during the month of May, the harvesting of crops from the land is completed, signaling the approach of winter. The brilliance of Tupuanuku resonates with the abundance that the land provides, and the completion of the harvest cycle is marked by its descent in the celestial tableau.
Tupuarangi: Celestial Nourishment
Tupuarangi is the star intricately tied to sustenance from the sky. Just as its name suggests, “Tupu” conveys growth, while “arangi” alludes to the heavens. As Matariki rises on the horizon, the time of gathering kererū, a native pigeon, arrives. These birds are harvested in significant numbers, cooked, and preserved in their own fat, becoming an essential source of sustenance. In addition to bird harvesting, Tupuarangi links the cluster of stars to the gathering of fruits and berries from the trees, completing the circle of celestial and terrestrial nourishment.
Harmony in the Cosmos and Cuisine
Tupuanuku and Tupuarangi illustrate the intricate dance between the cosmos and the cuisine of Te Ao Māori. The stars’ alignments mirror the cyclical rhythm of the land and the sky. This celestial choreography guides the timing of harvests, reflecting a profound understanding of the interplay between nature’s bounty and the celestial bodies above.
Preserving Traditions and Wisdom
These stars not only illuminate the past but also remind us of the importance of preserving cultural traditions and knowledge. Māori ancestors crafted a harmonious relationship with the land and the sky, understanding the seasons, and recognizing the significance of timing in sustenance gathering. Tupuanuku and Tupuarangi continue to whisper their wisdom to those who observe their celestial journey.
As you contemplate the stories of Tupuanuku and Tupuarangi, may you find inspiration in their celestial guardianship of sustenance. Their eternal dance resonates with the delicate equilibrium of nature’s offerings. As you gather and appreciate the fruits of the earth and the sky, may you honor the legacy of these celestial guides and the profound connection they forge between the cosmos and the table.