Symbols of Royalty

Royal accoutrements consisted of `aha`ula, mahiole, kahili, feather clothing (i.e., pa`u) and ki`i. Many of these items were covered with feathers from endemic Hawaiian birds and migratory sea birds. The feathers were attached to netting for a cloak, to a woven foundation for a helmet or image, or to coconut midribs to make a standard. These accoutrements were used during warfare, ceremonies, and funerals as symbols of rank.


thumb Kahili lele - (hand-held standards) used by ali`i. An attendant would wave the kahili lele in front of the ali`i to ward off bad mana (spiritual essence)

Material: Natural goose feathers, rooster hackles (other feathers are available)
Size: 48 inches


thumb thumb Lei niho palaoa - (neckpiece) was traditionally made from whale teeth suspended from multiple strands of braided human hair. The hook-like ornament signified that the wearer had the authority to speak. The lei niho palaoa was worn only by the ali`i.

Material: Pendent made of various types of ivory or mollusk shell; cordage of silk, nylon, or natural fiber