Aotearoa today is a multicultural society; however racial integration has only occurred in the last 200 years. Prior to European settlement the Polynesian Māori alone occupied the land. A tribal culture, Māori society was highly stratified and territorial. Conflicts between iwi (tribes) were common and generally were over territory.
Warrior status was held in high esteem and warriors were fierce, powerful, unforgiving individuals excelling in the arts of hand-to-hand combat, ambush and surprise raids. A Māori warrior with face and body tattooed must have been a formidable spectacle.
The warrior reputation has been carried through to the present. New Zealand Māori and descendants have been to the forefront in many global conflicts and are fiercely competitive on the sports field.
This very nice piece of kauri had been stored in my workshop for over 20 years. I had always been reluctant to use it, waiting for the right idea to emerge. Perfect for my interpretation of a powerful, muscular athlete, it has become a Māori warrior.
*Exhibited in “Call of Taranaki”, August 16 – November 17, 2013 at Puke Ariki, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
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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