It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Na Hulu Ali'i

The full name is Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Na Hulu Ali'i - it is one of the current exhibitions at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

I was in The City (that's San Francisco for you non-west coasters) this week, and decided, since it was a gorgeous day,  to enjoy some time in GG Park.   I checked on the exhibits at the de Young Museum (I admit it, I LOVE my smart phone!) and realized that the Feather Capes of the Hawaiian Royals were still there - I rushed my hiney right over, since this went on my wish list when I first heard of it!

I had seen a couple of the pieces at the Bishop during my time in Hawaii in the 70's, but this was a beautiful and inclusive, albeit still small exhibit, and very do-able in an hour or so.

So worth it!

This cape - an 'Ahu 'ula, is floor length.  
Although it LOOKS heavy, it probably weighs about 6 pounds.  
Only the Royals, and only men, were allowed to wear these.  From the 18th century.
(Note:  They did not display the capes on mannequins with shoulders because of the potential damage to the pressure points.  There's a good reason to have narrow shoulders, no?  
Yeah, well...no.)

 Close-Up of the feathers:



 A non-traditional women's cape from the 30's or 40's, made of pheasant feathers.   
Wouldn't you wear this?   In a heart beat I would!!!   Just give me a place to go!




Lei hulu (feather lei). 
These were worn on the head or neck by women and girls.




Mahiole (feathered helmet).   This one was from the 18th century or earlier.  
All things considered, these are darn well preserved!



Those black feathers!!!   Drool...   
When this cape was new and fresh it must have been uber-stunning!


All of the pieces were enclosed in plexiglass.   Photography was allowed (no, I didn't need to be a surreptitious sneak!!!   Not that I'm above that [koff koff])

Next door was a small exhibit covering the preservation of feathers, and including a few later pieces.   If you go, be sure to check this room out too!

Aleutian parka - OMG I would SO wear this one in cold weather!   
Although I start shivering when it hits 55° these days...

A hat.
Yes, it's a hat.  
From New Guinea, and made of cassowary feathers.   
The smaller, more sedate lump behind it is also a hat, but I was so fascinated by this...umm...headpiece that I'm afraid I ignored the other one.

This is another hat.
I will say no more.


Afterwards I took the elevator up to the rooftop view area, which is one of SF's finest spots to know about!   You can get in to this section of the museum for free, and enjoy a fabulous 360° view of the City and beyond!


On the observation deck, looking South over the  Music Concourse, 
where many fantastic concerts are held.
The building with the grassy mounds on the roof is the Natural History Museum,
and you can see some of the UCSF Medical buildings behind that - buildings I've become all too familiar with lately!   (but I'm incredibly blessed to have those amazing doctors near me!)

The day was so clear and warm and beautiful, and the entire experience left me missing my years living in SF!   This was a thoroughly delightful reminder of just how beautiful this city really is - one of the best in the world, and right next door!

Note to Self:  Spend more time there.

5 comments:

  1. Absolutely stunning feather pieces. And you said it - so well preserved. Thanks for this mini show!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so you Jilly- spectacular, surprising, creative apparel. Then too there's the Hawaiian sense for coaxing the best out of nature's beauty. Thanks for sharing. Love your song to My City.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the Cassowary feather hat! I'd wear it to the races

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a treat to see this show from afar up close thanks to your pics. I would wear that cape in a second even if I had to find a place to go. The City, as always, looks beautiful and you are reminding me that DH and i must plan a trip out west next year.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are truly blessed to live close enough to see such fabulous specimens! Just imagining women attaching every one of those feathers by hand is mind boggling! The colors are just so vibrant and you can imagine with the chief appears wearing that cape and headdress that the crowd just gasps! Thank you for sharing!!!!

    ReplyDelete