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Kapa Haka means to stand in a row or rank (kapa) and dance (haka). Distinctive from other indigenous performing arts, Kapa Haka combines song, dance, expression and movement. It's an art form that takes on various disciplines, as illustrated in New Zealand Post's latest stamp issue that captures the dynamism and strong cultural tradition of Kapa Haka.

Performed both ceremonially and competitively, the power of Kapa Haka to convey a range of emotions is undeniable. Every two years, the nation's most elite Kapa Haka performers come together to compete at Te Matatini National Festival – widely regarded as the 'premier Maori cultural performing arts festival'. Taking place in Gisborne on 16-20 February, the 2011 Te Matatini Festival will attract upwards of 30,000 participants and visitors.

The six self-adhesive stamps in this compelling issue feature stances that illustrate six aspects of Kapa Haka performance. Each team competing at Te Matatini Festival consists of 20 or more members and performs for 30 minutes, during which time they cover each of the six disciplines of Kapa Haka.

The groups featured on the stamps represent excellence at Te Matatini 2009 as defined by Te Matatini Society. The five teams that appear on the stamps achieved a top three overall placing, or were winners of one of the six disciplines.

60c – Whakaeke

Whakaeke is a choreographed entrance onto the performance area, where elements of all disciplines are utilised. Te Waka Huia of the Tamaki Makaurau region were the winners of Whakaeke in 2009 and placed first in the overall competition.

60c – Poi

Poi is a graceful aspect of the Kapa Haka performance, where the dancer (usually female) swings a raupo ball on the end of a flax cord. In 2009, Te Whanau a Apanui from the Mataatua region were the winners of this discipline, and placed third overall in the competition.

$1.20 – Waiata-a-ringa

Waiata-a-ringa are action songs, where the hands, face, eyes and body combine to bring form to the words. The 2009 winners of Waiata-a-ringa were Te Iti Kahurangi of the Tainui region.

$1.90 – Haka

The Haka is the most widely known discipline, made famous worldwide by New Zealand's sports teams. It's an aspect of Maori culture embraced by all New Zealanders, and in 2009, Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao of the Te Arawa region were the winners of the Haka performance.


$2.40 – Whakawatea

Whakawatea is a choreographed exit off the performance area, where once again elements of all disciplines are utilised. Te Waka Huia from the Tamaki Makaurau region were also the winners of this discipline in 2009, and placed first overall.


$2.90 – Moteatea

The discipline of Moteatea is a traditional chant, however contemporary compositions are becoming more common. In recognition of Whangara mai Tawhiti (from the Tairawhiti region) placing second overall in Te Matatini 2009, they feature on the Moteatea stamp.

The miniature sheet, first day cover and miniature sheet first day cover capture the essence of Te Matatini, meaning 'the many faces'. All six stamps are displayed together, forming a complete picture of the six aspects of Kapa Haka. The miniature sheet is produced in a gummed format, where as the stamp sheets are in a self-adhesive format.


 Technical details

Date of issue: 17 February 2011.
Number of stamps: Six selfadhesive stamps.
Miniature sheet: One sheet with six gummed stamps. 
Denominations: 60c (x2), $1.20, $1.90, $2.40 and $2.90.
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Tai Kerekere, KE Design,Wellington, New Zealand. 
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography. 
Number of colours: Four process colours. 
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 30mm (vertical). 
Paper type: Self adhesive stamps printed on Avery Dennison B90 Kraft Back WLK5 Adhesive 210gsm. 
Gummed miniature sheets printed on Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper. 
Number of stamps per sheet: 25. 
Perforation gauge: Gummed: 13.33 x 13.60. Self-adhesive: die-cut. 
Period of sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 16 February 2012.


Source:Kapa Haka 2011 http://bit.ly/i9nEdk


Yimber Gaviria, Colombia


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