Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Hei Matau Mangōpare • Fish Hook Hammerhead Shark


  • Medium: kauri, wood base
  • Size: 16 × 28 × 5 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: KR131206

For centuries to Māori people of New Zealand, the hei matau has been a legendary symbol representing strength, determination, prosperity, peace and good health. Today forms of the hei matau are popular as neck pendants. Using pounamu, bone and wood, artists have created dozens of shape variations all based on traditional fishhooks. My fish hook interpretation intentionally is perhaps a little different to most hei matau, the Mangōpare becomes the shank of the hook.

—Rex Homan

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.