Matariki 2012 – Maori Rock Art, Stamp issueMatariki is celebrated throughout New Zealand, but in the south, Puaka (Rigel, part of the Orion constellation) appears in the sky at the same time as Matariki, and is widely acknowledged.
Māori rock art is visible throughout the country and the stamps in this issue depict examples of rock art documented in Te Waipounamu (the South Island) where more than 500 sites have been recorded to date.
Rock art is applied to a variety of stone types, and while the common perception is that rock art was created using a burnt stick, the majority of the ‘drawings’ in Te Waipounamu appear to have been applied as pigment in solution. The style of Māori rock art is similar to that from wider Polynesia, suggesting that it was a practice brought to New Zealand by its earliest people.
Māori rock art gives a glimpse of New Zealand’s history and culture, and the drawings included on the six self-adhesive stamps in this issue portray animals now long extinct, representations of everyday life and depictions of the supernatural.
The rauru (spiral design) on the stamps pays respect to Rangi and Papa, and the light and knowledge that came about from their separation. The colours used in the rauru reflect the land and environment, and the koru represent growth and life and pay respect to the past, present and future.
Source: New Zealand Post
Matariki 2012 - Maori Rock Art, Stamp issue,
These include further examples of the "Thunderbird" petroglyph (which looks to have a body the size of a human being) and the Plesiosaurian Taniwha once again. The latter does turn out to have a small head indicated by a loop on the front: once again this is a male with a single penis and limbs indicating the plesiosaurian flippers' bone structure. It is much bigger than the two-man canoe and a guess at its total length could be 40 or 50 feet. The eagle's wingspan would be about the size of the canoe.
Best Wishes, Dale D.