October 19, 2006
MEDIA CONTACT: Caroline Witherspoon
or Jocelyn Collado
BISHOP MUSEUM LOANS RARE ARTIFACTS TO KAUA‘I
*King Kaumu‘ali‘i's Mahiole and Cape to be on Display at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Kaua‘i Museum*
HONOLULU - As part of Bishop Museum's ongoing commitment to share its mission with all of Hawai‘i, the State Museum of Cultural and Natural History has loaned two significant artifacts from its collections to the island of Kaua‘i.
The 200-year-old Kaumu‘ali‘i mahiole (feathered helmet) and cape will be on display as part of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Hawaiiana Festival from October 20 through 22, 2006, and then on exhibit at the Kaua‘i Museum from October 23 through November 26, 2006.
Kaumu‘ali‘i's precious mahiole is comprised of delicate ‘ie ‘ie (aerial rootlets), red ‘i‘iwi, yellow and black feathers, and olonā (cordage) skillfully made by hand, and knotted a million times into a lacy filigree. The mahiole was a gift from Kamehameha I in 1810 after Kaumu‘ali‘i stepped down as high chief of Kaua'i. It is the only feathered mahiole whose owner can be confirmed.
The brilliant and regal feather cape, reserved only for ali'i (royalty), was worn by King Kaumu‘ali‘i during his reign as the 23rd high chief of Kaua‘i. The last ali‘i (ruler) of the islands of Kaua'i and Ni‘ihau, Kaumu‘ali‘i reigned until 1810, when King Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian Islands. Kaumu'ali'i remained governor until his death on May 26, 1824.
"Bishop Museum is thrilled to share these beautiful featherwork pieces with both visitors and residents of Kaua‘i as part of our ongoing community support and outreach to the neighbor islands," said Bill Brown, president of Bishop Museum. "Although we have the world's largest featherwork collection, many of the most outstanding pieces like Kaumu‘ali‘i's mahiole and cape have seldom been displayed to the public. So, it is our honor and pleasure to make this possible given the pieces' historical significance to the Garden Island."
With nearly 400,000 visitors each year, Bishop Museum serves as one of Hawai‘i's top destinations, providing hands-on educational experiences to help residents and visitors appreciate and embrace Hawai‘i's rich culture. By combining education, history and culture, the Museum strives to fulfill its mission set with its founding in 1889, "to study, preserve and tell the stories of the cultures and natural history of Hawai‘i and the Pacific." Located at 1525 Bernice Street, the Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14.95 for adults; $11.95 for youth 4-12 years, plus special rates for kama‘āina, seniors and military; children under 4 years and Bishop Museum Members are free. For information, call 847-3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.# # # Editor's Note: Images of renderings and historical photos are available by contacting Becker Communications at (808) 533-4165.