25 June marks the beginning of Matariki for 2017. This year HP and Design Assembly have collaborated with Wellington designer Tim Walter Hansen to create a typographic illustration that you can download as a desktop wallpaper and phone wallpaper or print out as an A4 calendar for June and July or a postcard to send to family or friends.
Click here to download
HP and Design Assembly invite you to celebrate Matariki with us, the place that we live in and give thanks to the land and sea we live by.
Tim says of his design: The lettering is designed around each of the seven ‘little eyes’ that make up the Matariki constellation. The colour palette references the iridescent paua shell eyes of Māori carved figures, and has a playful, celebratory vibe that comes with Matariki.
What is Matariki?
Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter – late May or early June. For many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year.
Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.
Matariki, or Māori New Year celebrations were once popular, but stopped in the 1940s. In 2000, they were revived. Only a few people took part at first, but in just a few years thousands were honouring the ‘New Zealand Thanksgiving’. A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.