“How could a female grouse not be seduced by the preposterous pouting, posturing poses of a handsome, puffed chest, male grouse seeking to attract a girlfriend. A fascinating subject.”
Grouse is a forest dweller that possessed abilities of caution and alertness. Grouse was most well known as the liaison between the human world and the supernatural world of the forest where he lived. He is the central figure in the presentation of the Atlakim, Dance of the Forest Spirits, which is part of the winter ceremony of the Kwakwaka’wakw. The Atlakim involve over forty masked dancers and each one is introduced by the grouse dancer. These characters are owned by a network of families that requires sustained political ties to present the series in its entirety. In this story a young chief ostracized by his family and village travels into the forest and sets a grouse trap before falling asleep. When he awakes, he finds a grouse caught in the snare and the grouse bargains for his life with the promise to show him the supernatural treasures of the forest. Each of the masks represents these great gifts. In the end, the boy awakes from a dream to find moss growing over his face and the realization that he has been asleep for many months. In the trap is a grouse that he sets free and he then returns to his village to reclaim his birthrights using he new skills and knowledge of the forest world.
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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