HLRI Completes Display Featuring Hawaiian High Chief Kekuhaupi‘o

HLRI Logo BWY.png

MEDIA CONTACT                                                                                                     
Teddi Anderson
President, TLC PR
(808) 535-9099


Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative Unveils Master Featherwork

and Painting Display Featuring Hawaiian High Chief Kekuhaupi‘o 

The Historic Pieces will be on Permanent Display at the Hawai‘i Convention Center

Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 27, 2016
– The nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) and the Hawai‘i Convention Center today unveiled a Hawaiian featherwork and painting exhibit to raise awareness of the state’s environment, history and culture. The pieces are part of a collection unlike any other in the world.


The display, which was announced at a gathering of state officials and hospitality leaders during the annual Hawai‘i Tourism Conference organized by the Hawai ‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), is located on the Center’s third floor near an interactive HLRI kiosk. It follows an announcement earlier this month that the Center will reforest 1 million endemic HLRI Legacy Trees throughout the state – HLRI’s largest-ever single commitment.


The installation is the third in a series of 14 historic master featherwork and original large-scale painting pairings commissioned by HLRI. Created by the renowned artist Rick San Nicolas, the featherwork cloak (ahu‘ula) and helmet (mahi‘ole) are modeled after those worn by Hawaiian High Chief Kekuhaupi‘o, a senior advisor to King Kamehameha I. The series honors many of the Hawaiian leaders depicted in the 2012 painting “Aha‘ula O Kamehameha Kunuiākea” by artist and Hawaiian historian Brook Kapukuniahi Parker.


Accompanying the featherwork exhibit is an original 6-by-8 foot painting by Parker featuring Kekuhaupi‘o. Parker works in coordination with San Nicolas, one of only a few known practicing Hawaiian featherwork artisans in the world. Each hand-woven featherwork display cumulatively takes nearly 4,500 hours and hundreds of thousands of feathers to complete, as well as rigorous research and planning. The featherwork is housed in a museum-quality custom koa case by Hawaiian wood artisan Alan Wilkinson. 


“In ancient times, prized featherwork was worn into battle and at important events by Hawaiian chiefs and leaders. Items were made from the feathers of endemic birds including the ‘I‘iwi, and the extinct Mamo and ‘Ō‘ō,” said Jeff Dunster, HLRI executive director. “The HLRI Legacy Forest is encouraging the return of rare and endangered wildlife, and we hope these pieces will bring a greater understanding of the environmental, cultural and historic significance of reforestation.” 


In the past 7 years, HLRI and sustainable forestry company HLH, LLC have planted more than 340,000 Legacy Trees across 1,000 acres of denuded pastureland on Hawaii Island, creating the only Legacy Forest of its kind worldwide.

About HLRI : Through state-of -the-art technologies and methodologies, the nonprofit organization 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 proceeds donated to charities worldwide. For more, visit legacytrees.org.



Joy MiyamotoHLRI, Aha ula, HCC, Cape 3