A New Zealand endemic, the Karearea is a powerful, swift, medium-sized bird of prey with long-fingered wings, a long tail, a short hooked bill and long sharp talons. Primarily a bird of the forest and bush, loss of habitat by human encroachment has severely reduced its range and driven it out of settled areas into more remote regions. Unlike the larger Kahu (Australasian Harrier), the Karearea does not normally eat carrion, preferring to feed chiefly on birds caught on the wing. Renowned for its ferocity and aggression, to the old time Māori it was considered that a Warrior who wore a Karearea plume was asserting that he had the attributes of the bird. Many tribes also believed the Karearea were brought to earth as captive by Tāne. Its designated role was to be envoy to and from the gods.
A strange, perhaps amusing, but certainly interesting tale. A few years ago I was bequeathed by a close relative, a table crafted from kauri demolition wood. I was to use the wood from the table for carving. I recently dismantled the table and from the central cotton reel leg I made this falcon.
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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