“The only hummingbird I have seen was at an airport hotel in Los Angeles. I remember being totally enchanted by its tiny body and helicopter-like flight.”
The hummingbird, a beautiful mesmerizing little aviator, is not portrayed as a crest and seems to have limited presence in historical art works. The hummingbird has become more common with the contemporary art form as there is an affinity with its remarkable attributes, beginning with its small scale and great speed. Some stories in the Kwakwaka’wakw link hummingbirds to nesting in the unkempt hair of Tsonoqua (Wild Woman of the Woods), the guardian of the forest and hummingbirds, whereas stories in the Haida link hummingbirds to beauty, wealth and prestige of their high-ranking women. The hummingbirds arrive at the same time as the eulachon run on the coast and were therefore associated with luck and prosperity. The eulachon, a small smelt-like fish, also known as the candle fish due to its high oil content, had both medicinal and ceremonial value to many of the Northwest Coast nations.
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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