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The story of the huia feather is sad one and symbolic of a lot of the short term thinking towards the world resources that exists even today. The beautiful Huia bird, with it’s twelve distinctive black and white tail feathers, was overhunted and used for trade. The feathers were prized and worn in the hair or around the neck by Māori chiefs and others of high rank. The beautiful birds extinction was precipitated by the Duke of York wearing one in his hat, after he was presented it in 1901 at an official Māori welcome in Rotorua, thus making it very fashionable and even more collectible. By 1907, the birds were extinct.
Acrylic and gold leaf on oak