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Half-circle collar. Collar is bright yellow with black and red crescents.

ʻAhu ʻula (The Kalākaua Cape)

King David Kalākaua may have worn or displayed this feather cloak on the royal throne, as the ‘ahu ‘ula had become known as the “robe of state” by the mid-nineteenth century. Kalākaua was intent on uplifting Kānaka Maoli, or Native Hawaiian, culture. By the end of the century, featherwork was a powerful symbol of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The cape, which may be considered a portrait of Kalākaua, features feathers from native forest birds.

Maria Kealaulaokalani Lane Ena (1862–1924)
Late nineteenth century
Red ʻiʻiwi feathers, yellow and black ʻōʻō feathers, and olonā fiber
76.2 × 193 cm (30 × 76 in.)
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution