New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Fibre Arts

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A Maori perspective on the use of natural fibre is the subject of this four stamp issue, designed by Nga Puna Waihanga (an organisation of Maori artists, writers and designers).

Issue information

To the Maori people, indigenous fibres had qualities embracing all aspects of living as well as providing a medium for art and craft. Cultivation, harvesting and preparation methods and rituals were carefully adhered to by Maori people and reflected the extent to which they depended on fibre products for trapping, snaring, cooking, storage, building, clothing and other utilitarian purposes.

The designs featured on these stamps are graphic representations that embrace broad concepts of the working of fibre.

Product Listing for Fibre Arts

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Pona - Knot' gummed stamp.

The knotting process is used in both simple and complex ways. Its basic function is to make articles secure. In its most developed forms it parallels weaving techniques. The torehe or fishing net shown here provides an example of this knot.

Single Stamp 

Single 60c "Herehere - Binding' gummed stamp.

Binding and lashing is basic to a wide range of articles from the making of fish hooks to the much larger constructions of canoe and house building and demonstrates the bringing together of different materials. The matau or fishhook is made up of two or more different materials and a typical binding is illustrated.

Single Stamp 

Single 80c "Whiri - Plait' gummed stamp.

Plaiting is a highly developed art and craft form using 2 to 9 strands and has the particular effect of strengthening the fibre. A basic plait being made is shown

Single Stamp

Single 85c 'Whitau - Flax Fibre' gummed stamp.

Fibre that has been extracted from the green flax blade and processed to a fine pliable material may be used in many specialised ways. The significance of depicting whitau relates to the special lengthy preparation which results in a highly valued fibre. Korowai or cloak weaving is shown in this design.

First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $2.82

Technical information

Date of issue: 4 November 1987
Denominations and designs: 40c Pona - Knot, 60c Herehere - Binding, 80c Whiri - Plait, 85c Whitau - Flax fibre
Designer: Nga Puna Waihanga, Rotorua
Printer and process: Security Printers,(M) Sdn. Bhd. Malaysia; Lithography
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 35mm (vertical)
Number of stamps per sheet:  100 (10 rows of 10)
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 30 November 1988.