Leah Pualahaole Caldeira, Author, Editor
Christina Hellmich, Adrienne Kaeppler, Betty Lou Kam, Roger Rose, Editors
Date of Publication: August 2015
Painstakingly handcrafted using plant fiber and innumerable valuable feathers from birds of the islands, works of "Na Hulu Ali'i", or royal feathers, provided spiritual protection to Hawaiian chiefs for centuries while proclaiming their status and power. With their brilliant coloring and abstract compositions of crecents, triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, and lines, the works of art are both beautiful and rich in cultural significance, preserving the legacies of the islands powerful chiefs and monarchs.
This catalogue accompanies a major exhibition at the de Young museum in San Francisco, documents the first comprehensive showing of Hawaiian featherwork mounted on the US Mainland. It features rare and stunning examples of some of the finest featherwork in the world, including capes and cloaks ('ahu'ula), royal staffs of feathers (kahili), feather lei (lei hulu), helmets (mahiole), and god images (akua hulu). 18th and 19th century paintings and historical photographs. A unique selectin of feather garments, objects, and other works are from the royal Hawaiian collectins in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. This lavishly illustrated book explores the central rol that these sacred works of art played in the culture and history of the Hawaiian Islands, their unparalleled technical craftsmanship, and an aesthetic tradition unique to the Hawaiian archipelago.
225 color and 20 black & white illustrations
This title exemplify exceptional scholarship and engaging presentation to promote the field of textile studies. This book brings a multidisciplinary perspective to these spectacular textiles in a beautifully illustrated and accessible exhibition catalogue. Sensitively incorporating the voices of indigenous Hawaiian artists, the ecology of the islands and the birds that provided the materials, and new scholarship on the historic uses of featherwork by Hawaiians and Europeans, the varied perspectives will appeal to a wide variety of audiences while making an original contribution to textile scholarship.