Ulu Nui: The Tree of Life by Patrice Federspiel

Ulu Nui: The Tree of Life by Patrice Federspiel

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Original watercolor - unframed

22" h x 30" w

"The Ulu, or Breadfruit Tree, is also known as the Tree of Life to island communities," shares Patrice Federspiel. "To say this tree grows quickly is to understate its amazing regeneration capabilities. I’ve seen one trimmed down to the trunk in one season, producing fruits by the end of the next. The beauty of the Ulu leaves is legendary; they’re widely depicted on Hawaiian quilts.

Ulu is prized for the beauty and shade provided by the leaves, as well as for the starchy breadfruit they produce. The fruits themselves don’t have much flavor but rely on the seasonings with which they’re cooked.

The leaves portrayed in this painting were blanketing the ground under the Ulu Tree in my cousin’s yard on Hawai`i Island. Their ability to retain their beauty in the myriad of subtle colors brings joy to my heart, reminding me that there is much more to life than meets the naked eye."

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