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Ahuula (feather cloak or cape) consisting of red, yellow, and black bird feathers woven on to an olona fiber netted backing. This ahuula is woven with the forest bird feathers of Hawaii. The red feathers came from apapane and iiwi birds, while the yellow came from mamo and oo birds. The black feathers likely came from mamo or oo birds.

Ahuula were associated and reserved for alii (chiefs, royalty). Imbued with mana (spiritual power), ahuula connected alii to the spiritual realm and mark their sacred presence. During battles, ahuula were worn by alii and often became prizes of war. Some alii had dozens of ahuula to account for their success on the battlefield. Yet, ahuula were not reserved only for the battlefield. They were also important for securing political relationships and to recognize guests of high esteem or authority.

Details

  • Title: Ahuula
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: circa. 19th century
  • Location Created: Hawaii
  • Provenance: Donated by Heidi Snow in Memory of Heather Damon Sorenson, Passed down through the descendants of Samuel Mills Damon, King Kalakaua's financial advisor. The donor is Damon's great-great-granddaughter.
  • Subject Keywords: Ahuula, Alii, Featherwork
  • Type: Feather Cloak, Ahuula
  • Medium: Featherwork

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