A species of Shearwater, the Titi abounds in New Zealand waters and breeds on islands and mainland headlands. The Titi is frequently seen in huge numbers in coastal waters feeding on small surface fish which are taken in shallow dives. A favourite food of the Māori, chicks of the Titi are harvested from nesting burrows, cooked and preserved in their own fat for later consumption. Due to the flavour of their flesh, they were called mutton birds by early European settlers and the name persists.
The bird flies in a “shearing” movement, dipping side to side on stiff wings with a few wing beats, with wingtips almost touching the water. The dark plumage is responsible for its name.
The saying, “he manawa titi”, seems to refer to the powers of flight possessed by the titi and so a man possessed of a good staying power may be described as “manawa titi.”
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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