Moving on to the next card - one that was in my favourites for a long time, and dear Heather decided to surprise my mailbox with it!
it shows two people from the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotoroua, doing the hongi, which is a traditional Maori greeting, where people touch their noses briefly once or twice as a way of saying 'hello'
Isn't that just lovely?? And I thought only the Eskimos had this nose-thing (though for them it is an act of kissing....)
The two lovely stamps are from a set of 6 issued in 2013, under the name Matariki - Koru. At first the name means nothing to me, but it turns out that when the star cluster known as Matariki appears in the night sky it signals the Maori New Year and a time of new beginnings. The Matariki 2013 stamp issue celebrates the koru - a pattern symbolising new life and regeneration.
Matariki is a significant event for Māori, and is widely acknowledged to signal a change of seasons. In traditional Māori society, Matariki was believed to foretell whether the year ahead would be plentiful. It was also a time of festivity, when communities would come together to reflect on the past and look ahead to new beginnings.
The message of new beginnings is represented in the koru pattern, which is derived from an unfurling silver fern frond. Each of the six self-adhesive stamps in this issue incorporates the koru pattern along with aspects of traditional Māori culture that have particular significance during the time of Matariki.
Thank you very very much Heather!