I am also showing two pieces of wall art in the Cloak exhibition, part of my Cloaked in Feathers series.
Since earliest times Feather Cloaks have been worn. Druids and Shaman, the central figures of an ancient clan's magical and religious life, are recorded as having the power to transform themselves into different forms, in particular the bird. Bards, Druids and Shaman also wore very colourful cloaks made from the skins of birds.
In traditional Maori culture many birds were seen as chiefly and the korowai or feather cloak is still used as a sign of rank and respect.
I am weaving this series to share the beauty of our native birds of New Zealand so people learn to treasure and protect them, hopefully avoiding any more species from going extinct.
The flightless takahe is a unique bird and a survivor. Even though the takahe remains on the critically endangered list it has clung to existence despite introduced preditors, hunting and habitat destruction.
The Takahe was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1948. Its night cry was described by Maori as the sound of two pieces of ponamu being struck together.
The Tui, endemic to New Zealand, are boisterous, medium sized, common and widespread birds of forest and suburbia. They look black from a distance but in good light tui have a blue, green and bronze irridescent sheen and distinctive white throat tufts (poi).
Adults have a notch on the 8th primary feather and this feather quivers from the narrow part creating the whirring sound common in flight. They have a noisy unusual call but can also replicate human speech.
Tui are notoriously aggressive and will defend a flowering or fruiting tree from all comers. They vigorously chase other birds away from their feeding territory.