Master Featherworker Rick San Nicolas Returns to Hawai’i


This episode of Big Blend Radio’s “Toast to The Arts & Parks” Show features Rick Makanaaloha Kia’imeaokekanaka San Nicolas (Kanaka Maoli) who returned for the fifth time as the National Parks Arts Foundation artist-in-residence at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.


Recognized as Ke Kumu Hulu Nui, meaning “Master of Hawaiian Featherwork of Old Hawai‘i,” San Nicolas is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating this art form. Through his expertise and passion, he ensures that the traditions of feather lei making continue for generations to come.

San Nicolas draws inspiration directly from the landscape of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, feeling a deep connection to the environment and its historical significance. He finds inspiration in the ancient Hawaiian featherwork tradition, particularly in the regalia worn by Hawaiian Royalty and warriors. This year Rick travels to Washington D.C. to present his featherwork for inclusion in the collection of the Museum of the Department of Interior as well as having it on display in the office of Secretary Deborah Haaland (Laguna Pueblo). He is also a consulting advisor in historical featherwork on the upcoming TV Series “Chief of War,” starring Jason Momoa.

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Learn more about the National Parks Arts Foundation’s unique artist residency programs in parks across the country at

National Parks Arts Foundatio

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