Belonging to the group of flightless birds known as Ratites, the now extinct Moa, once roamed the ancient forests and plains of New Zealand. Moa were herbivores and despite their height grazed with their head forward eating primarily leaves, twigs and fruit on low level vegetation.
A survivor of the fragmentation of the supercontinent Gondwana roughly eighty million years ago, the Moa, without real threat from predators other than the giant Haast Eagle, evolved into possibly fifteen different sized species.
The largest of these species, the South Island Giant Moa, was the tallest bird the world has known, standing erect reaching three meters or ten feet.
Without any vestige of wings, the Moa was heavily built with a long slender neck, small head and large powerful legs.
The first human inhabitants of New Zealand around 1000”“1200 AD, the Māori, eagerly sought these giant birds for food and through indiscriminate hunting they became extinct within 200 years, about 1200”“1400 AD.
This highly stylized Moa adopts the stance of a warrior and may be called Moatoa (Warrior Moa). The surface decoration is loosely based on the buttock and thigh moko (tattoo) worn by Māori warriors. It is purely decorative and has no significance in a traditional sense.
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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