‘Ahu ‘ula O Kīwala'ō

On display at the


In 2016, Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative commissioned the 4th collection of featherwork art reproductions: a cape and helmet worn by High Chief Kīwala'ō.

The pieces were dedicated in a private ceremony and blessing at the Alohilani Resort on Oahu Island, where they will remain on display in a custom created koa wood case by award-winning wood artisan, Alan Wilkinson. 


This magnificent cloak is the creation of renowned feather worker Rick San Nicolas. It is made with individual Chinese Golden Pheasant feathers (the equivalent of 685 birds), in addition to nearly 50,000 feathers from the Lady Amherst Pheasant (the equivalent of 1,700 birds). All feathers were ethically sourced as a bi-product of pheasants grown for food. 


This stunning crescent-shaped helmet features an additional 42,000 feathers. Each piece is hand-woven in keeping with traditional artisan methodologies from ancient Hawaiian history. 


The malo is hand crafted clothing using traditional Hawaiian methods, natural dyes, and kapa (from the bark of the wauke tree). A stamping pattern is created using the ‘ohe kāpala (handmade bamboo stamps).


The lei niho palaoa was only worn by men and women of chiefly rank. This lei palaoa is handmade with petrified walrus ivory (1.5 million years old) and finished with more than two miles of fine braided material (braided hair was used in ancient Hawaiian times).


The literal translation is “lei of sharks teeth.” These weapons were reserved for the ali‘i nui (supreme rulers). It is made form endangered Hawaiian kauila wood, known as the “iron” of the forest for its strength. Handcrafted by Manuel Mattos.


The stunning heirloom presentation case and matching podium were created by the award-winning master craftsman and wood artisan, Alan Wilkinson. The case contains endemic curly koa, milo, East Indian rosewood, and pheasantwood from a tree found at the home of Queen Lili‘uokalani, the last monarch of Hawai‘i.