Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Tane (God of the Forest and its Creatures)  and the Long-Tailed Cuckoo (Koekoeā)


A son of Ranginui (God of the Sky) and Papatūānuku (God of the Earth), Tāne is the God regarded by Māori as the creators of birds, trees and other creatures of the land. After prying his parents apart and bringing light into the world, Tāne unsuccessfully seeks out a human female. Instead he couples with other forms of females and from these unions the hundreds of different species of birds are produced. Tāne then creates the trees and plants to provide his offspring with the sustenance and homes necessary to live.

The Koekoeā is a large cuckoo with speckled brown plumage and a very long tail. A spiritual bird, it was said that the mythical hero Tāwhaki after journeying to the sacred heights returned with three birds, Koekoeā, Huia and Kotuku (White Heron) to provide his wife with their plumes for adornment. Birds hold great significance to the Māori and are known as the “Children of Tāne”. The forest chorus of birds gave rise to the saying “te waha o Tāne” (the voice of Tāne) and was used in a metaphorical sense. This sculpture depicts Tāne in the guise of a bird, a Koekoeā or Long Tailed Cuckoo.

Artist Comment: All artworks have been sculpted and recycled from recovered damaged fragments from trees felled scores of years ago, which escaped the saws of the timber mill. By way of storm and flood relics eventually came to rest on oceans foreshores and river banks near the sculptor’s homes”.

Rex Homan

Rex Homan


Te Rarawa, Ngāti Paoa, Te Ātiawa

(1940- )

Rex Homan was born 1940 in Thames, New Zealand of Māori, Irish and Scottish ancestry. He lived in Auckland in his early years before moving to the Bay of Plenty. Rex has earned international recognition as a wood sculptor in the 1960s and 1970s and began working in bronze in the 1980s. His current work is influenced by the culture of the Pacific and displays uniqueness in its diversity of form and dramatic flow of lines. Rex has exhibited in solo, group and jury shows. He has won several national awards for “National Wood Skills” and is represented in corporate and private collections worldwide.