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Gussie R Bento

Thecrownwiththekahili.jpg

Gussie R Bento | Hawaii b.1932 | Na Kalaunu a me Na Kāhili o Kamehameha IV (The Kāhili and Crowns of Kamehameha IV) c.1980 | Commercial cotton cloth, synthetic batting, with hand applique and contour quilting | 252.7 x 266cm | Acc. 2010.481 | Purchased 2010. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation

Na Kalaunu a me Na Kāhili o Kamehamaha IV (The Kāhili and Crowns of Kamehameha IV) c.1980

Gussie Bentois a senior Hawaiian quilt maker, known for her striking exploration of bold colour and design. Trained in the art of kapa kuiki (quilting) as a young woman, Bento is one of a number of artists who explore the potential of this medium for expressing strong connections to ideas of Hawaiian identity and sovereignty

In Na Kalaunu a me Na Kāhili o Kamehamaha IV (The Kāhili and Crowns of Kamehameha IV) c.1980, four kahili (feather standards), a unique symbol of Hawaiian authority, have been used to signify the presence of ali’i (chiefs). They are joined in the centre by crown motifs that refer to the memory of King Kamehameha IV (reigned 1855-1863) and the last Hawaiian monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani (reigned 1855-1893). Through bold colour and intricate stitching, Bento acknowledges this history, asserting its continuing presence and value for Hawaiians today.