Author(s): Wiremu Tawhai
Description: The dependence of Te Whanau-a-Apanui ancestors on the environment led them to closely study the changes and cycles in nature so they could ensure their survival in their tribal area. Knowledge of aspects such as the sea conditions and best planting and harvesting times at each day of the month were carefully observed and remembered and community activities were arranged according to the phases of the moon. This book records this traditional knowledge, handed down orally and through practical demonstration to Te Whanau-a-Apanui elders by their forebears, and from them to the next generations.
Prizes: Short-listed for Nga Kupu Ora Te Korero Pono / Non-Fiction Book Award 2014 and PANZ Book Design Awards: Best Educational Book 2014.
Originally researched and written as part of an academic study, Living by the Moon sets out and discusses the maramataka or lunar month and the understanding of the days and nights according Te Whanau-a-Apanui tribal knowledge.
Wiremu Tawhai (Te Whauau-a-Apanui) was a teacher of language and culture, scholar, author, actor and broadcaster. An elder of Te Whanau-a-Apanui, he learned traditional knowledge from a young age and was acknowledged as an expert on oral literature and marae protocols and an authority on marmataka, the Maori calendar. He was an advisor to national science organisations, on the board of Te Waka Toi and received a Ta Kingi Ihaka Award for his work in protecting and promoting Maori arts.