Hawaiian Feather Lei
While I was in Hawaii I visited my favorite bookstore, Native Books Na Mea Hawaii, in Hololulu. They also sell clothing, art and crafts all made by people in Hawaii. I found a great book The Art of Featherwork in Old Hawaii. The image above is a feather lei from the 19th century. Feathers from native birds were fashioned into lengths that were worn on the head or around the neck. Feather decorations were generally reserved for royalty and these objects were very precious. Feathers were also fashioned into capes and helmets and other ceremonial decorations. I am always amazed with the time and skill it must have taken to create these objects. There are also books on how to make them yourself with modern materials. I think I might give it a try.