July 09, 2020
Feathered taonga returned to Hawai’i
An 'ahu 'ula (feather cloak) and mahiole (feather helmet) gifted to Captain Cook in 1779 by Hawaiian rangatira Kalani'ōpu'u have been returned permanently to Hawai'i.
The taonga were gifted to New Zealand's Dominion Museum in 1912 by Baron St Oswald from west Yorkshire, whose family had held them since 1819.
They were loaned by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to Bishop Museum in Honolulu in 2016 and will now be held there in trust for the people of Hawai'i.
Te Papa's kaihautū, Dr Arapata Hakiwai, says they are among the most significant cultural treasures in Hawaiian society and it was an honour to be able to return them.
The gift is supported by the descendants of Lord St Oswald.
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