The monkey is the ninth animal in the Chinese zodiac and is considered clever and cheeky. People born in the Year of the Monkey are witty and intelligent with magnetic personalities, and tend to be fast learners and astute opportunists. Personality traits such as mischievousness and curiosity mean that people often perceive monkeys as ‘naughty’.
The 2016 Year of the Monkey stamp issue celebrates the multicultural nature of New Zealand by bringing together New Zealand and Chinese design elements. The stamps are inspired by the Chinese folk arts of calligraphy, paper-cutting and line-art illustration and incorporate New Zealand’s iconic ‘long white cloud’ in the background.
80c – Pictogram
The red colour of this stamp mirrors the integral part that red plays in Chinese New Year. Together with the ancient pictographic character for ‘monkey’, the overall design is one of restrained style rooted in tradition.
$1.40 – Paper-cut Monkey
Paper cuttings are traditionally used as interior decorations during Chinese New Year. Contained within the design of this paper-cut monkey are Mäori cultural motifs, which bring the diverse Mäori and Chinese influences together. The monkey is depicted holding a peach, which is known as one of the best foods for monkeys.
$2.00 – The Monkey
The monkey often appears in Chinese culture and is widely used to describe certain aspects of people and affairs. This design captures the monkey’s restless nature in a fun, exaggerated way. The silver fern frond from which it hangs and the curled shape of its long tail are features of New Zealand design that give the stamp a distinctly local feel.
$2.50 – Monkey Island
Monkey Island lies off the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, and is thought to be named after the ‘monkey winch’ that was used to haul boats ashore. The stamp design contains an artistic representation of Monkey Island’s landscape as well as a bar-tailed godwit, a migratory bird that flies annually from New Zealand to north-eastern China.