In this painting the sticky pods of the Papala Kepau plant catch a floating feather from a passing I‘iwi bird. The Papala Kepau plant was used by Hawaiians to collect feathers from the birds. The seed pods are very sticky. Feathers from the birds would stick to the pods or the “glue” from the pods was placed on a branch to entrap the birds. The Hawaiian bird catcher or “Kanaka Kahea Manu” would pluck a few feathers before releasing the entrapped bird. The Hawaiian ali‘i (chiefs) wore beautiful capes and headdresses crafted by weaving in thousands of tiny bird feathers. Only indigenous plants from Hawaii are depicted in this painting.
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