Homage is a show or demonstration of respect
Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity , and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected...

 or dedication
Dedication is the act of consecrating an altar, temple, church or other sacred building. It also refers to the inscription of books or other artifacts when these are specifically addressed or presented to a particular person. This practice, which once was used to gain the patronage and support of...

 to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic.

It was originally a declaration of fealty in the feudal system (see Homage (medieval)
Homage (medieval)
Homage in the Middle Ages was the ceremony in which a feudal tenant or vassal pledged reverence and submission to his feudal lord, receiving in exchange the symbolic title to his new position . It was a symbolic acknowledgment to the lord that the vassal was, literally, his man . The oath known as...

) - swearing that one was the man (French: homme) of the feudal lord. The concept then became used figuratively for an acknowledgement of quality or superiority.