Female Huia Pendant/Brooch - By Aimee Gruar
Part of the wattle bird family which includes Kokako, and Saddleback, Huia were black birds with an iridescent green gloss, and an orange wattle at the base of their ivory beaks. Huia had a distinguishing band of white at the end of their tail feathers which were often worn as a status symbol and were regarded as taonga(treasure). They are the only known bird in the world in which the beak size differs so radically between the sexes, and were originally thought to be two seperate species. The hen's slender curved beak was around 10cms long, while in contrast, the cock's was stubby and measured about 6cms. Mating for life, the birds were rarely seen apart and worked as a team while foraging for the insects, larvae, and berries that largely made up their diet. The male used his beak to break open the outer layers of decaying wood, thereby allowing the female to probe into areas inaccessible to the male. Native to New Zealand but now extinct, the last official sighting of Huia was of two males and one female on December the 28th, 1907.
Using old vinyl records, Aimee has created Huia birds which are attached to recycled native New Zealand wood and wrapped with an old guitar string. These adjustable pendants have a magnetic clasp on the back which enables them to be worn as a brooch if preferred. A presentation box is included with each pendant.
Width - 35mm x Height - 110mm