Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative Completes Master Feather Art Replica of Cloak and Helmet Worn by Great Hawaiian Chief Kahekili


The historic collection will be on permanent display at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk

Ahu ‘ula O Kahekili

Art replica of the cape and helmet worn by the great Hawaiian chief Kahekili

Art replica of the cape and helmet worn by the great Hawaiian chief Kahekili

Time-lapse video of Ahu ‘ula O Kahekili

HONOLULU, December 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Non-Profit Hawaiian Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) and Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk today unveiled a one-of-a-kind Hawaiian feather collection, ” Ahu ‘ula O Kahekili.

Created by famous Hawaiian feather artist Rick San Nicolas, the cape and helmet of the great Hawaiian chief Kahekili were inspired by the painting “Aha ‘ula O Kamehameha Kunuiākea” by Brook Kapukuniahi Parker, Hawaiian artist and historian. San Nicolas is one of the few Hawaiian artisans in the world who practice featherwork.

Kahekili was born in Hāli’imile on the island of Maui. His father was Kekaulike Kalani-nui-Kui-Hono-i-Kamoku, the 23rd Mo’i of Maui. His mother was Kekuiapoiwa-nui-Kalani-Kauhihiwakama Wanakapu (Kekuiapoiwa 1, Kekaulike’s half-sister). He lived from 1737 to 1794. He is believed to be the biological father of King Kamehameha the Great.

Ordered by HLRI, this set is the 5e in a series of 14, representing each of the Hawaiian leaders depicted in “Aha ‘ula O Kamehameha Kunuiākea”. This set will be on permanent display at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk in Oahu, housed in a personalized museum-quality koa case created by award-winning woodworker Alan Wilkinson.

Kahekili’s coat measures 65 inches in length and 84 inches in width at its base and contains approximately 27,000 individual Lady Amherst’s pheasant feathers, in addition to nearly 30,000 Chinese golden pheasant feathers and over 4,000 natural feathers. black rooster tail (which represent the Manu ‘Iwa). The crescent-shaped helmet has approximately 24,000 feathers. All feathers were ethically sourced as a by-product of pheasants harvested for food. Each piece is handwoven by San Nicolas using traditional craft methodologies from ancient Hawaii’s history, taking a total of 2,800 hours.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative to provide our clients with unique and enriching experiences that reflect the diverse culture and history of Hawaii. This effort aligns with one of our core brand and ownership values ​​of restoring a sense of belonging to Waikiki, ”said Simeon Miranda, General Manager, Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk.

“No feather piece or known depiction exists of Kahekili’s full cape, so I spent months researching the design around the back that matches the front sections shown in Brook Kapukuniahi Parker’s painting,” San said. Nicolas. “A reference I found in a book indicates that Kahekili may have been on the battlefield when Captain Cook was killed in Kealakekua Bay. I sought advice from experts at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu when starting the collection. It is such an honor to work on this project, and it represents a critical continuation of Hawaiian featherwork. Few modern pieces of this type are available to the public, and it is estimated in historical accounts that there are fewer than 30 ancient Hawaiian feather cloaks in the world.

In ancient times, these prized pieces were worn in battle and at important events by Hawaiian chiefs and rulers. They were made from bird feathers, including the ‘I’iwi (Hawaiian climbing plant) and the’ Ō’ō, an extinct bird that had tufts of yellow feathers under the wings and near the tail.

These reforestation efforts have restored critical habitat for many of these endemic Hawaiian species, some of which are endangered. This continuing collection of feather work provides an important connection between Hawaiian history and our efforts to preserve these rare forests for future generations.

HLRI works closely with legacy partners like Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk, as well as a formidable army of volunteers to plant 1.3 million rare native and endemic legacy trees. To date, over 550,000 of these trees have been successfully planted.

Watch the creation of the cape in a 1-minute time lapse video https://youtu.be/KMyZWEWG2lo

About HLRI
Using cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, the nonprofit HLRI works with landowners to establish and preserve economically viable and sustainable endemic Hawaiian forests, protect endangered species, sequester carbon and recharge watersheds. HLRI’s legacy trees are planted for permanent reforestation and are sponsored by businesses and individuals, with a portion of the proceeds going to charities around the world. To find out more, visit thegacyTrees.org. To learn more about Legacy Tree Planting Tours, visit HawaiianLegacyTours.com.

Teddi anderson
President, TLC PR
(808) 535-9099

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9431e311-c7a5-449f-9268-b2a404012e88

A video accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9e957400-4b96-4a0d-accc-1114bdf189ec


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