Christmas 2019
4 December 2019


Tokelau: Christmas 2019, 4 December 2019. Images from New Zealand Post.

As the majority of inhabitants are practicing Christians, Christmas is an essential festival on the atolls of Tokelau. This element of Tokelauan culture is reflected in their national badge – a tuluma that bears a white cross, and an inscription that reads ‘Tokelau mo te Atua’ (Tokelau for God).

Issue information
Tuluma are wooden boxes used by the fishermen of Tokelau to keep their fishing tackle and other items dry while at sea. They are some of the most valuable family possessions in the Tokelau community. Carved in many shapes and sizes, tuluma are also used in the household, and can be offered as gifts.

Tokelau’s 2019 Christmas issue features a variety of tuluma in their various forms, embellished with a whimsical Christmas sparkle.

Tuluma come in all shapes and sizes. Medium sized tuluma might hold fishing gear or be used to store household items.

Most tuluma in Tokelau are made from the wood of the kanava tree. They are expertly carved to have water-tight lids.

The smallest tuluma can be held in one hand. They can be given as gifts and souvenirs to visitors.

Not only can tuluma contain treasures – they are a treasure of Tokelauan heritage.

Technical information
Date of issue: 4 December 2019
Number of stamps: Four gummed stamps
Denominations: 45c, $1.40, $2.00 & $3.00
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Saint Andrew Matautia, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer: Collectables and Solutions Centre, New Zealand Post, Whanganui, New Zealand
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 40mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 16
Perforation gauge: 13.33
Special blocks: Plate blocks and value blocks may be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet.
Period of sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 3 December 2020.

These stamps and other philatelic products can be ordered from New Zealand Post.

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