This large handsome bird, with lustrous black plumage and a raucous voice, is a member of the crow family and is widely distributed throughout the world. The variety native to New Zealand is extinct but fossilized evidence of this prehistoric species suggests it closely resembled the North American version.
For fame and renown the Raven has few rivals in the bird kingdom. From time immemorial it has, sadly, been considered in certain societies as a bird of ill omen, foreboding death, bringing disease and bad fortune. It is not all bad news for the Raven however, as in some cultures it commands esteem and respect. The First Nations people of North America admire it for its mysticism, spiritual symbolism, intelligence and gregarious nature. Many oral histories and legends have been woven around it.
Although little is known about the habits of the now extinct New Zealand Raven, it appears that in prehistory it was widespread in coastal areas. Archaeological evidence suggests that it existed and was hunted for food by the first human inhabitants of New Zealand, the Māori. The demise of the New Zealand Raven probably occurred around 1200 AD and was most likely caused by the impact of humans on the environment and the predation of its eggs and chicks by Pacific 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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