Many variations of tī rākau (stick games – also known as tītī tōrea, tītī touretua, tītī tourea and poi rākau) were played by both men and women. Players often formed two rows facing each other, then threw and caught rākau (sticks) in time to a chant.
Some games involved seated players throwing rākau to each other. In others the participants stood. There were also games where large groups of players threw sticks, and each participant who dropped a stick was ‘out’. The game continued until only one player was left.
We learnt that Matariki is a cluster of stars which was used by Polynesians throughout the Pacific to navigate the oceans. This constellation is also known as Pleiades. Matariki signals the beginning of the Māori New Year.