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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 550mm high x 550mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $49 internationally.
Original painting available throughParnell Gallery, acrylic and flashe on canvas, 300 x 300mm, 2013
In traditional Māori life the huia’s white-tipped black feathers were worn by people of high rank and were kept in a special carved box called a waka huia.
Huia went extinct in the early 20th century due to rampant overhunting to procure huia skins for mounted specimens, which were in worldwide demand by museums and wealthy private collectors, as well for their feathers for traditional Māori headdresses. The second major cause of extinction was the widespread deforestation of the lowlands of the North Island by European settlers to create pasture for agriculture.
Most Huia had black plumage with a green metallic tinge and distinctive rounded bright orange wattles at the gape. This artwork by Minson, adapted from a painting by J.G. Keulemanssome, depicts a male and also a very rare albinistic female.
The beak of the male was short and robust, very similar to that of the closely related saddleback, while the female's beak was finer, longer at around 10 cm, and curved downward like that of a hummingbird or honeyeater.
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork