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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 153mm high x 550mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $49 internationally.
Original oil painting on canvas available, contact us to inquire, 500 x 1800 mm, 2012
Te Hokioi was the largest eagle ever known. Eagles are impressive predators wherever they are found throughout the world – but this one must have been awesome. Its wing span was three metres. Its talons, as big as tiger’s claws, could penetrate a moa’s pelvis bone. Haast's eagle preyed on all large New Zealand birds – kereru, ducks, swans, geese, rails, and all moa. They were only in the South Island (where their bones have been found at more than 50 sites). and like most predators at the top of the food pyramid, they were probably never numerous.
Cave drawings confirm people’s knowledge of the eagle. Tools made of eagle bone add to the picture. One or two traditional Maori stories too, suggest an enduring folk memory of such a bird. The Haast's Eagle became extinct c. 1400 A.D. when its major food sources, the moa, were hunted to extinction by Maori living on the island and much of its dense-forest habitat was cleared. In some Māori legends, Pouakai kill humans, which scientists believe could have been possible, given the massive size and strength of the bird.
This painting was part of Minson's 2012 solo exhibition at Parnell Gallery.
Watch this Maori Television feature on the show:
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork