Michaels Original Work: White Kaka Beak.
Oil on Canvas | 2022
Size: 150cm x 50cm
Please contact before purchasing to discuss shipping and delivery.
Purchase your limited edition signed print of White Kaka Beak here.
This beautiful white flower only grew wild on the slopes around my mothers village of Te Reinga on the East Coast of New Zealand. We called it Ngutu Korako (aka White Kaka Beak, Kowhai ngutu kak ma and botanically Clianthus puniceus 'alba').
We were its kaitiaki, or guardians, and we treasured its pure beauty as it shone bright against our deep green fern covered slopes and valleys.
In the 1950s it tragically disappeared and became extinct.
At the same time, my mother lived through the disappearance of our village, as the young were drawn to the city lights, leaving the elderly behind with ever fading memories of happiness. My mothers eyes would always well-up at the thought of her lost village, her lost world - and but for funerals, it was always too painful for her to return to the one place she truly loved.
In the 2000's we started a village Facebook page and slowly our whanau (family) started to join and reconnect. Our cyber village was born!
Around the same time some strange seeds were discovered in a shed located in the remains of the old village. These seeds were scattered around the village and allowed to grow. Miraculously, these seeds were that of our Ngutu Korako, and back from extinction she rose.
The parallels between the loss and rediscovery of our flower and our village is undeniable.
This beautiful flower has been replanted on the slopes around our village and represents the resilience, hopes and dreams of my Ngati Hine Hika people as we boldly march into the future.
Kia Kaha! (Strength to us all)