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Ka Hana No'eau I Ka Hulu
"The Art Of The Feather" Hawaiianfeathers.com

The name Ka Hana No'eau I Ka Hulu is a true expression. The old art of Hawaiian featherwork as it was done in Old Hawai'i, is a long pain-staking process with breathtaking results. I found that for me it was a blessing.  My ability to do what I do in the art of feather lei making is a true gift from God.  With that gift, I thank the Lord each day for my ability and every time I work on a feather lei.

I was able to teach myself the art of feather lei making through a book called Feather Lei As An Art (the only book of it's type), written by Auntie Mary Louise Kekuewa and Paulette Kahalepuna. Through their dedication, knowledge and their book, I was able to position myself to help perpetuate the art of feather lei making for generations to come.

My learning from Feather Lei As An Art started in 1999, and all of my progress has come from research, studying photos, listening to stories told to me by Kupuna that visit my booth at the Merrie Monarch each year, and trusting God and my sense of creativity.  It is 2010 now and I have since completed 2 full size and traditionally made mahiole (Gallery Collection link), and my first attempt of making a feather cape ('ahuli'i or 'ahu'ula, all natural red and gold feathers), also made in the traditional way of our Ancestors.

Since I have worked on these items and while completing my first cape, I had been talking with Kumu Hula John R. Kaha'i Topolinski.  Kumu Kaha'i is one of the last Kumu Hulu that teach the traditional Hawaiian methods of featherwork of Old Hawai'i.  He teaches these methods of feather lei making (lei hulu), feather capes ('ahu'ula), and Kahili.  These methods are all of natural products used to build all of these Hawaiian treasures, as they were done in Old Hawai'i.  In late March 2010 Kumu Kaha'i offered to teach me his methods as taught to him by his Kumu(s) and Kupuna, and offered to be my Kumu in his teachings.  I was honored to be asked to be a student of his and gladly accepted him as my Kumu Hulu.  My new journey to take my gift of featherwork to the next level has begun.

 

 

I have since started with Kumu Kaha'i and been studying books and journals that have been offered to me as well as books and journals that he has also written.  Having the support and teachings of Kumu Kaha'i has opened many doors of opportunity for me.

 

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