Endemic and extremely rare, New Zealand’s Takahe is a large, flightless member of the Rail family.
Bearing a striking resemblance to its close relative the Pukeko, the Takahe is larger, more heavily built with brighter coloured plumage.
One abundant throughout the whole of New Zealand, it was regarded as extinct by 1900, its demise thought to have been brought about by the introduced herds of deer competing for its food source, the tussock grass.
Dramatically however, a remnant population was surprisingly discovered in 1948 in the Murchison Ranges of the South Island’s Fiordland. An area was immediately set aside as a protected reserve and this small colony continues to survive 60 years later.
Today, other established sanctuaries are attempting to increase numbers by hatching Takahe eggs brought in from the wild. This operation has proved to be highly innovative and successful.
This highly stylized Takahe head is sculpted from a New Zealand native wood, Kauri (Agathis Australis).
The surface decoration is contemporary Māori 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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