This undated pack was produced by Hanan Enterprises, Dunedin and was printed by Otago University Printery. It consists of 56 cards including 2 jokers and 2 extra cards giving the Maori names of the four suits, and a separate printed legend.
The suits approximate to the standard, but at the same time are intended to replicate elements of Maori art. The clubs resemble the Maori short club or kotiate; the hearts find echo in the rhythmic koru design used by Maori carvers; the spades resemble ornate short paddles; the diamonds replicate weaving patterns. The position of these pips is non-standard.
The court cards are un-named but show their wearers in authentic Maori clothing (e.g. dog skin, feathered cloaks) and they hold weapons or symbols of the period. The two jokers are sailors in the costume of the period of captain Cook.
The accompanying legend explains the suits and courts in greater detail, together with a little information about Maori history and culture. See the legend►
Member since July 27, 2022
I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.
Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.
Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.
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