Aligning the Ancestors: the orientation of meeting houses in New Zealand.
This article addresses the question of whether some meeting houses (wharenui) in New Zealand are oriented towards a sacred marae on the island of Raiatea, near Tahiti. Methods included the use Google Earth, spherical trigonometry calculations and a fieldwork campaign of limited scope. It was concluded that there is a slightly higher chance of meeting houses being oriented towards Raiatea but that a number of other symbolic and practical considerations are likely to overshadow orientation preference.
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
Keywords: Meeting house orientation; Marae; Polynesian navigation; Home-based reference systems
Research Type: Journal Article