Robert Bebee

Chicken Hackle Feather Lei - Robert Bebee

$1,600.00 USD

Chicken Hackle Feather Lei, $1,600.00

Pictured, fifth from bottom of case in photograph.

Robert Bebee, upon moving to Hawai'i and taking a class on feather lei making, has become one of the foremost artists in this medium on the Big Island.  Robert painstakingly selects the individual feathers and hand ties each to create stunning combinations of color and texture, each lei a unique collection.


Says Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi in her article for Maui Magazine, "The first settlers from the Marquesas brought the art of feather work to Hawai‘i 1,500 years ago. By the time Captain Cook arrived, the Hawaiians were making magnificent feather lei, cloaks, capes, helmets and kahili (royal standards)—cherished symbols of wealth, prestige and power that could be owned and worn only by ali‘i (Hawaiian royalty). Among the handful of native birds whose feathers they harvested, most valued were those that yielded the royal colors: ‘i‘iwi and ‘apapane for red, ‘o‘o for pale yellow, and mamo for a deeper gold.

Long ago, lei were the only feather adornments women of noble rank were allowed to make and wear. The tedious work involved sorting the feathers by size and color, tying them in small bunches and fastening the bunches to an ‘olona-fiber cord. How the feathers were cut and placed created different patterns and textures. Wili poepoe lei were wispy and fluffy, while feathers in the kamoe style were bound together flat, in a “sleeping” position, so the finished product resembled a rope. Pauku lei featured solid bands of alternating colors, and the pani‘o technique produced a spiral of various hues."



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