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Royal Hawaiian Featherwork, de Young Museum

'Ahu 'ula (cape), Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Ethnology Collection

‘Ahu ‘ula (cape), pre 1861, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Ethnology Collection

The first major exhibition of royal Hawaiian featherwork ever to be held in the continental United States will be on show at San Francisco’s de Young Museum from 29 August 2015 – 28 February 2016.

‘Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali’, has been developed by the Fine arts Museums of San Francisco in partnership with the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu, which, not surprisingly, holds the world’s greatest collection of this rare but visually stunning material. The show will feature some 75 of the finest featherwork capes and cloaks (‘ahu‘ula) known, as well as feathered royal staffs (kāhili), feather lei (lei hulu manu – above), feather helmets (mahiole), feathered deity images (akua hulu manu), and related 18th and 19th century paintings and works on paper.

lei hulu manu, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu

lei hulu manu, feathered lei or garland, Hawaii, 19th century, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Ethnology collection

See ‘Power, Prayer and Plumage’, HALI 175, p. 90 – 99 for an in depth article on Hawaiian featherwork. HALI 184 features three feather lei on Last Page, out soon. Subscribe to HALI to receive the new issue and to gain digital access to every back issue from the last 9 years.

Preview the exhibition on the de Young Museum website

'Ahu 'ula (cape), Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu

‘Ahu ‘ula (cape), possibly 19th century, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Kapi’olani-Kalaniana’ole Collection

'Ahu 'ula (cape), Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu

‘Ahu ‘ula (cape), possibly late 18th – early 19th century, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Ethnology Collection

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