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'.
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.