New Zealand post proudly mark the occasion with a unique stamp collection focused on manu tukutuku (traditional Maori kites). Authentic emblems of Maori cultural practice, these kites are also rich in cultural significance and an integral part of Maori folklore and rituals. Traditionally manu tukutuku were produced and flown at the time of Matariki.
50c – Manu Aute
Maori made many of their kites in the shape of birds (manu), reflecting their belief that this was how a person’s soul or spirit was made manifest. ‘Manu aute’ was one of the largest birdlike kites, and the one featured on our 50 cent stamp is the oldest of all surviving specimens. Read the presentation pack to find out where you can see it for yourself.
$1.00 – Manu Patiki
New Zealand’s indigenous plants and birds provided Maori with ample materials for making manu tukutuku – from the leaves and bark of aute (paper mulberry), raupo (native bulrush), manuka (tea tree) and kareao (supplejack) to the feathers of pigeons, hawks and other birds. Read more about manu tukutuku and and Matariki celebrations in the Limited Edition.
$1.80 – Manu Taratahi
Only four known specimens of manu taratahi have survived to the present day – one is located at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, two (including the one on the stamp) at the Auckland Museum and one in Honolulu. Named after the single projecting plume at its upper end (taratahi means ‘end point’), this 700-millimetre-wide triangular kite would have been a spectacular sight for young and old.
$2.30 – Upoko Tangata
Maori children would have delighted in the upoko tangata (named after the plant from which its covering was made). Smaller than most other kites and essentially rectangular in shape, it featured two short, wing-like extensions that reduced instability in flight – so it was probably designed especially for the younger generation. The kites depicted on this stamp and on the $1.00 stamp were designed by Veranoa Hetet – applying contemporary materials to traditional designs.
Title: Matariki 2010 – Manu Tukutuku
Date of Issue: 9 June 2010
Country: New Zealand
Denominations: 50c, $1.00, $1.80, $2.30