New Zealand pays tribute to richness and complexity of its native Maori culture with a set of six colorful stamps. These stamps, featuring Maori myths, are the first of four-issue series dedicated to this unique culture of New Zealand.
The new stamps just released display six Maori myths that have been passed on for many generations and gives the world valuable insight into the way the Maori people viewed the earth, sea and sky.The 45 cents shows Maui, a mythological demigod, who fished in many Polynesian islands. The 80 cents depicts Roma, a goddess who was pulled into the sky for cursing at the moon. The $1 pictures Maui attacking an eel.
The $1.20 illustrates Tane, the forest god, separating heaven from earth. The $1.50 portrays Matakauri slaying the Giant of Wakatipu. The $1.80 has an artist's rendition of Pamenchu, a Maori chief, catching "koura,' which is a special crawfish enjoyed by the Maori people.
According to New Zealand postal officials, the myths "are all a part of the tradition of Maori storytelling, giving all a fascinating insight into the native people's relations with their environment."
The New Zealand stamps are available (mint) for $14.95 from the Exotic Collectors Society, P.O. Box 4103, Hollywood, CA 90078.
- Syd Kronish