Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
38.

Pukeko • New Zealand Swamp Hens

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The Pukeko is a member of the Purple Gallinule family. It lives in the swamps of Africa, Asia, Indonesia and Australia. In New Zealand, the Pukeko is considered one of the more fortunate native birds, for it has benefited from the interference of man. Although primarily a swamp dweller and eater of water plants, fish, insects and worms, the Pukeko has moved readily into the new areas of open pasture, marshy paddocks and vegetable gardens. The Pukeko has also earned the reputation of being quick-witted and a fast learner.

In Maori mythology, the Pukeko was the child of Punga, father of nasty creatures such as sharks, rays, geckos and weta (insects). Tawhaki, Punga’s nephew, adopted Pukeko at birth and marked the bird’s brow with his own blood to signify their relationship, hence the handsome red bill and shield.

Rex Homan

Rex Homan

Māori

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.