The Tui is a nectar eating forest bird exclusive to New Zealand and was named by New Zealand’s first human inhabitants, the Māori. Many years later when English settlers arrived in New Zealand they called it the “Parson Bird” on account of its white double throat tuft and lacy collar of white feathers contrasting with the rest of its dark iridescent plumage. Possessing an extraordinary voice, the Tui was a popular cage bird with the Māori and with its ability to mimic could be trained to recite as many as forty to fifty words.
To certain Māori tribes the presence of the Tui was regarded as the spirits of deceased persons returning to visit. This bird was once found throughout much of New Zealand but populations have declined through European settlement, the destruction of their habitat and the predation by introduced mammals, particularly stoats and rats.
Te Rarawa, Ngāti Paoa, Te Ātiawa
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.
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