Maramataka – Once were Gardeners

Sunday August 1 at 6.30 PM on Maori Television

Series premiere! In the past Maori had to interpret the relationships between the earth, the skies and seasons to survive. This series explores the gifts the land and sea provide through the guidance of Maramataka – the lunar calendar.

‘He rukuruku na Whakaotirangi – the portion saved by Whakaotirangi’

On the voyage of the Arawa, Whakaotirangi saved a small portion of food in the bottom of a bag. One should be fully prepared for all eventualities by ensuring that something is kept for future needs.

The words of this old Maori proverb still hold true to this day. And so it was for our Maori ancestors who prepared themselves for their lean times by developing their own calendar – driven by the stars, the moon and the changing land and seasons.

The maramataka divided the traditional Maori year into 12 lunar months and November sees the new series of MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS – premiering on Maori Television on Sunday November 11 at 5.30 PM. The 13-part series is the contemporary take on Maori relationships with the land.

MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS is produced by Takahue-based Puriri Productions and presented by veteran actor Pete Smith (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri) who has featured in classic New Zealand films including Quiet Earth, Once Were Warriors and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.

The series looks at the gifts of the land provided through the guidance of maramataka and its influence on the lives of special New Zealanders. Each week, the programme looks at how people are applying this ancient art in their daily lives.

More than a gardening series, MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS is heavily laden with Maori lifestyle and cultural content, exploring how the necessities of life and the creativity of Maori artists, artisans, carers, weavers and healers have been guided by this tradition.

The series begins with a discussion on how maramataka was traditionally used and how relevant and applicable it is today. A fitness programme is devised using the maramataka and we discover why, according to the ancient calendar, fishermen could not catch snapper in the recent Snapper Classic.

This series will also look at an array of flora and fauna – the humble peru peru comes under close observation along with an investigation into home made bio fuel for the budget and conservation conscious.

Unlock the mysteries of the land on MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS with the series premiere on Maori Television on Sunday November 11 at 5.30 PM.