Audio description content. Beginning at the left hand end of the third wall of the observation section.

Panel text content. The moon in mythology. The moon has always been an important part of human culture. Moon-related gods and goddesses are found across the world’s religions and belief systems. Many of the stories share common attributes, the sun is often a sibling, and moon deities are often associated with fertility. Many also travel across the sky in a chariot or behind horses. Here are some of the moon deities that have sprung from the cultures of earth.

Audio description content. A large circular panel protrudes slightly from the wall. It is painted to depict the moon’s surface. At the centre of the moon is a peephole, through which a portion of a world map may be viewed. Across from this, at three o’clock, is a much larger peephole, through which can be seen black text on an orange background. The text describes a lunar deity relating to the area of the map viewable on the smaller peephole. The map and it’s associated myths are manipulated by turning the wheel behind the image, at a point around five o’clock. The following are two of an unknown number of stories.

Panel text content. Change’e, China. There are many stories about the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e. The most popular tells how she came to live in the moon. Her husband had been given an immortality potion. He gave it to Chang’e to look after. But when a thief tried to steal it, she drank it. As soon as it was swallowed, she flew up into the sky to live forever on the moon, from where she could still see her husband. Full of sorrow, her husband left out her favourite cakes. China’s mid-autumn festival celebrates this story. People leave out sweets and fruit for Chang’e to bless and eat mooncakes decorated with her image.

Panel text content. Rona, Aotearoa. Late one evening, Rona set out to refill the taha / water containers for her whanau. On the way to the spring a cloud suddenly covered Te Marama, the moon. In the dark, Rona tripped on the roots of a ngaio tree, hurting herself and breaking the taha. Rona blamed the moon and made the mistake of calling out insults to Te Marama. Te Marama, an honoured Atua/goddess, took offense and swept down and grabbed Rona. Rona tried to anchor herself by clutching to the ngaio tree, but Te Marama was to strong. Te Marama carried Rona, her taha, and the ngaio tree up into the sky to be forever with the moon. Rona found peace on the moon and joined Te Marama in the important role of conducting the seasons and controlling the tides.

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