This piece is a representation of royal Hawaiian Featherwork in the late 1800's, crafts people constructed feathered masks to honor gods or deities. Me depicting my face onto this breast plate is therefore implementing me into history as someone to be remembered or honored, something black and brown women haven't typically experienced even in their own circles. During my research of this time period I can across Queen Liliuokalani or Queen L as I call her, she was the first and only female Hawaiian monarch, inducted into power after the death of her brother. She stepped into this role unapologetically and with a ferocity that inspired me to in turn unapologetically uplift myself.
Birds were of course very important to the native Hawaiian people. I decided to turn Queen L into a bird, a symbol of a strong feminine power and a leader people can look up to. The gathered tulle was placed in the seams to mimic how a bird puffs out its feathers to show dominance, attract a mate or take flight. I like to think of Queen L wearing this to outwardly communicate how proud she is to be Queen of the Hawaiian people.