Cactus Gallery LA
'Akohewili by artist Jon Ching
Oil on wood, 16" x 16"
The Akohekohe, also known as the Crested Honeycreeper, is only found on the island of Maui and is a pollinator of many endemic flowering plants. Their striking colors and feather patterns, along with those handsome white crested head feathers makes them one of Jon's favorite Hawaiian birds.
The bird is perched on the flowers of the Wiliwili, an endemic and endangered Hawaiian tree. This tree's wood is strong yet light weight and was used by the ancient Hawaiians to make surfboards, as well as canoe paddles. It was likely reserved for chiefs and royalty as surfing was a royal pastime. In addition, it's seeds were used to make colorful leis, so this plant was very culturally significant.