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- DescriptionPainstakingly constructed by hand of plant fiber and precious feathers from endemic birds of Hawai'i, feather cloaks and capes provided spiritual protection to Hawaiian chiefs for centuries while proclaiming their royal status. Few of the artworks kwn as n? hulu ali'i, or royal feathers, survive today except in museums and private collections. Through photographs and scholarly essays, Royal Hawaiian Featherwork highlights approximately seventy-five rare examples of the finest featherwork extant: capes and cloaks ('ahu'ula), royal staffs (k?hili), feather lei (lei hulu manu), helmets (mahiole), feathered god images (akua hulu manu), and related paintings and works on paper. With their brilliant coloring and abstract compositions of crescents, triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, and lines, the artworks are both beautiful and rich in cultural significance. This lavishly illustrated volume also serves as the catalogue to accompany the first exhibition of Hawaiian featherwork to be staged on the U.S. continent, scheduled for a six-month run starting in August 2015 at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The book and exhibition provide an overdue opportunity for the public to discover the central role these artworks played in the culture and history of the Hawaiian Islands, to explore their unparalleled technical craftsmanship, and to discover an aesthetic tradition unique to the Hawaiian archipelago.
- Author BiographyLeah Pualaha'ole Caldeira is collections manager of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Archives, where she oversees manuscripts, art, photographs, recordings, and other archival materials related to Hawai'i and the Pacific. Christina Hellmich is curator in charge of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and a specialist in the arts of Oceania. Adrienne Kaeppler is curator of Oceanic ethnology at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian and has researched Hawaiian featherwork since the 1960s. Betty Lou Kam worked at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum for thirty-four years, studying primary source collections and cultural artifacts to present exhibitions, publications, programs, and lectures. Now retired, she serves as a vice-chair and commissioner for the Mayor's Office on Culture and the Arts in Honolulu, board member for the Damien and Marianne Memorial Museum Foundation, and researcher and consultant to agencies on other projects relating to Hawaii culture and history. Roger Rose is an anthropologist who has worked as a curator and consultant with the Bishop Museum's ethnological collections for more than four decades. His research and publications focus on k?hili in all their forms.
- PublisherUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Date of Publication30/09/2015
- SubjectFine Arts / Art History
- Place of PublicationHonolulu, HI
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Weight525 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Edited byLeah Caldeira
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