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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Snapshot of Don the Beachcomber Sign In Hawaii 1940s
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Snapshot of Don the Beachcomber Sign In Hawaii 1940s
Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4431
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2008-07-22 5:32 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-18 09:57, bigbrotiki wrote:
Thank you. As a point of caution though: These DO look like they are not your average Don's Luau, but professionally shot, perhaps for promotional purposes. Like Don called all his friends and said: Everybody dress in island gear and come on over for a photo shoot...

But then again, I seem to remember from invites I have seen that Aloha garb was mandatory at the Waikiki Beachcomber Luaus, so these could not have been that far off.



OK, I am just catching up with this thread after vacation and I see that it has morphed into Tiki mug history, which, by the way, is fascinating.

I wanted to post a couple of pics from an early Don the Beachcomber brochure I have from Hawaii. The first is a picture of the Luau party which shows the guests decked out in island garb. You can also see that they are using a bamboo styled mug rather than the coconut mugs that were in Sabu pictures.


The second is the text from the brochure which describes the thrills of dining Polynesian style. You will note at the end of the text it states that "Appropriate South Pacific Garb Mandatory". Thus the photos from Sabu may not have been staged.



The text from the brochure certainly echos Bigbro's description of the Pre-Tiki Polynesian experience that was Don's.


 
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Angry Idol
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Joined: Jan 11, 2008
Posts: 24
From: The late Tiki Gardens, FL
Posted: 2008-07-22 6:24 pm   Permalink

Quote:


I decided to make use of this opportunity to remind those folks who have the Book of Tiki of the "Evolution of Polynesian Pop" chart, and show to those who do not own it that there is a method to this madness (by the way, there is a hardcover on Amazon for 52.- bucks right now!)



Sven,

Thought you should know the BOT was reviewed and chosen as QMR Book of the week 7/7/08 on
http://www.bookthink.com/0124/124qmrx.htm

Caveat; it's recommends buying it on eBay for $5-10, because it could resale for up to $50. Apparently they're not paying attention. At $10, I'd have a bunch of them.



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[ This Message was edited by: Angry Idol 2008-07-22 18:27 ]


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-22 6:45 pm   Permalink

Ha, thank you!
Maybe he knowingly pretends that it's still available for 5.- to 10.- bucks and predicts it will gain up to 50.- bucks in value so that when people go look for it, and find it starts at 50.-, they will take note and say: "Man that Craig Stark sure knows what he's talking about, there you go, it's over 50.- bucks now!"



But back to the STIMULATING "Pre-Tiki/Tiki period" and "When did the 1st Tiki mug appear?" discussion...


[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-07-22 18:54 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-22 8:22 pm   Permalink

...with THIS example, for example:



This beauty is being offered by 1961surf right now,
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=29182&forum=12&0

...and apparently it is dated, 1955, and voila!, not ONE Tiki mug. But we do know that the Miami Luau did have a Tiki mug, which can be seen on Page 65 of Tiki Modern...WHEN did it appear? Menu collection owners, please?


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Pakalolo Man
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Joined: Sep 07, 2007
Posts: 32
Posted: 2008-07-22 9:06 pm   Permalink

Sorry to steer this back to DTB luaus, (maybe this should be broken into 2 topics??) but I had to post these pics I also recently purchased on ebay. Not sure if they are from Don the Beachcomber, but they are also taken by Billy Howell (just as Sabu's are).

Can anyone identify where these were taken?

...and notice no tiki mugs




 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-22 9:14 pm   Permalink

Nice shots. I love the crispness and rich b&w contrast of those old photos.
...now I'm hungry! I'm gonna go and make myself some yams.


 
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TabooDan
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Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2008-07-22 10:04 pm   Permalink

Great photos that started up this topic and now the mug debate.
Menu's would probably be the best place to help track down the right information but they very seldom have dates on them and if they do, it may be just a copyright date. For a quick example, some Trader Vic's have a date of 1946 on them. That doesn't mean they were serving those drinks in those mugs back in 1946.

I don't want to ramble but give me a minute here. Go grab another drink now!

I think to really try and track the dates down of when the first mugs were used and where, we all really have to go through and hunt over old pictures, postcards, advertisements of bars and restaurants and really try to see what is in the background or how things were being served. At least with some of these postcards or photos you may have dates of mail or something else that can help you.

I would say the old authentic bars that were actually in the Pacific had the first 'Tiki' mugs. Probably the most underrated mugs (for their historical reference) out there are the hand carved Tiki mugs and Head/Face Lady/Man carved mugs. I believe these to be the first, as we would say, traditional mugs.

I also think that the REAL Bamboo, Coconut and maybe even the Pineapple mugs were the first to be drunk out of at some of these bars. The natives would have only had these to drink out of so I don't think they would have used anything else.



This one is an old bamboo mug very simply marked "Trader Vic's" on it in black letters. Maybe this is one of the first mugs that they used?

Now enter the travelling Westerners coming over to the Islands and paying close attention to how the natives lived, what they ate and what they used around their habitat.

The sophisticated Westerners thought it would be great and also exotic to have another piece of the tropical paradise back home if the common people could experience these things that they saw on the Islands. So why not import the Bamboo, Coconut and carved mugs along with all that rum and other decor!!

I don't think these mugs were carved into the exact Tiki mugs that you see for the tourist trade of yesterday and today. Those I do believe to be exaggerated to make them a little more fierce and interesting. They also wouldn't have had names of places on them but I do think the general idea is close. Example:



But I do believe, as can be seen in many Oceanic books, that mugs and bowls used for drinking were hand carved and had been for a long time. When actual drinking holes did start to pop up across the Islands (during the 1930's and 40's) they used variations of these mugs.

Once these real mugs were here in the West, they had a impact. People liked the fact they were actually one step closer to some savage in the jungle or using something that came from the Tropics (Which it probably didn't specifically). We were still Westerners though, and I don't think that everyone really liked drinking out of carved wood or coconuts. We liked the look but maybe wanted a little cleaner approach.
Maybe that too is why the big switch to ceramic. The options and possibilities with ceramic over wood/natural is also a hell of alot larger!! Restaurants/Bars here probably wanted more pieces, more color, something to put their name or logo on. I think that is what started the rush of the ceramic drinking vessels here.
Plus, how many people here were carving and making mugs? Much easier to shop through a catalog and tell them what you want. Times were changing!

I guess just one small example of what I am trying to get across here with the research we need to try to do would be the following great picture:



This picture is of a great looking Tiki Bar called The Makihana Bar at the Kokee Lodge on Kawai. I believe this picture to date pre-1955 but am not certain. Awesome decor, great carvings and hey...what's that....behind the bar....a stack of coconut mugs and also a hand carved face mug. Not a Tiki but a lady's face.



Just like the following mug that you see all over the place today. Some are old some newer made specifically for the tourist trade.



Now you do see variations of this but pretty much this is probably one of the mugs that started it all. Wouldn't you rather have a nice ceramic mug over one of these? I know I would but I do believe that every Tiki mug collection out there should at least salute the earliest of mugs.

Oh, I guess I did ramble. Oh well, thanks for tagging along!!
TabooDan


[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2008-07-22 22:05 ]


 
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Gilligan
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 12
From: St. Augustine, Florida
Posted: 2008-07-22 10:54 pm   Permalink

I'm inspired by sabu's photos, and enlightened by sven and swanky's volley. In my own logic "tiki" has become anything non-walmart!

 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-23 11:02 am   Permalink

An admirable theory, Taboo Dan, perhaps akin to Thor Heyerdahl's attempt to prove the Polynesians came from South America by noting the similarities between Pre-Columbian and Tiki statues. Very interesting and unique angle, very much in the Kirsten-school-of-thought.
Unfortunately his theory got shot down by the scholars. ...BUT it was hugely influential (as we all know and love), and if you can make this thesis into a bestseller, maybe yours will be too, no matter how skewed it is!


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-07-23 11:43 am   Permalink

Copyright dates on menus can date it, but very often when you get old menus they do have a penciled in date from when the original person visited and brought it home as a souvenir. So, it can be found on a menu that way, not just a postmarked card.

So, if I print a menu in 1944 and it says copyright 1944, what does that entail? Does it not date the origianl art or images on that menu to 1944, or is it for the trade name, etc?


 
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Hiphipahula
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: May 27, 2006
Posts: 2426
From: The Valley! Female, leo,fav color pink.
Posted: 2008-07-25 03:47 am   Permalink


[quote]
On 2008-07-18 01:38, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
Three vintage 8x10 photos of a Luau taken at the Don The Beachcomber in Waikiki were just sold on eBay. I managed to win one of them, but thought I'd post all three eBay photos here as a historical reference. The photographer was Billy Howell, and he looks like he was a professional. Wonder if these were slated to be publicity photos.





Thanks for sharing Sabu fascinating photos here and EXCELLENT quality, it looks like William H. Macy loved Tiki too

Sven? I love your "Method to this Madness" quick explanation, good reminder. Just for the record, I'd love to Luau on the floor any time gang, it's getting up that's the hard part. Great Thread, I'm staying tuned...

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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 701
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-07-25 08:43 am   Permalink

So, was the genesis - or, at least, the proliferation - of "tiki" mugs (and their cousins - Fu Manchu, Hula Girl, et al.) largely as a take-home souvenir for the customer, do you think?
I don't recall the specialty mugs and glasses from visits to Trader Vic's (back in the day), so much as in Chinese restaurants. It seems that as the Poly Pop/Tiki places were in decline (1970's), their bar menus were adopted and lived on in Chinese restaurants, after a fashion. They used lots of fancy mugs, and mimicked the style of drink descriptions, but in unintentionally confused and hilarious "chinglish" (Suffering Barstard, Viscous Virgin).


 
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tikiyaki
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Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2710
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-07-25 08:47 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-25 03:47, Hiphipahula wrote:


Thanks for sharing Sabu fascinating photos here and EXCELLENT quality, it looks like William H. Macy loved Tiki too

Sven? I love your "Method to this Madness" quick explanation, good reminder. Just for the record, I'd love to Luau on the floor any time gang, it's getting up that's the hard part. Great Thread, I'm staying tuned...





William H Macy ! LOL. He sure does look like he's enjoying himself. Nice Lei.

Well, Being on the floor means having less distance to fall down once you've drank too much, in which case you won't need to get up.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-25 11:19 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-25 08:43, Limbo Lizard wrote:
So, was the genesis - or, at least, the proliferation - of "tiki" mugs (and their cousins - Fu Manchu, Hula Girl, et al.) largely as a take-home souvenir for the customer, do you think?
I don't recall the specialty mugs and glasses from visits to Trader Vic's (back in the day), so much as in Chinese restaurants. It seems that as the Poly Pop/Tiki places were in decline (1970's), their bar menus were adopted and lived on in Chinese restaurants, after a fashion. They used lots of fancy mugs, and mimicked the style of drink descriptions, but in unintentionally confused and hilarious "chinglish" (Suffering Barstard, Viscous Virgin).



The COMMERCIAL raison d'etre for the Tiki Mug is certainly that of a Restaurant Logo souvenir, with it's name and location on the back or underneath. These mugs cost the restaurateur less than a buck a piece, and they tacked that on to the cocktail. It's a good point to note that the idea to make a Tiki into a mug was probably commercially motivated. But WHO thought of it and WHEN?

Quote:

On 2008-07-21 22:39, bigbrotiki wrote:
....But even Vic never served cocktails in Tiki mugs, nor did Don...



While I would say that by the 70s there probably still were quite a few genuine Polynesian restaurants around (those that had survived) that served their cocktails in Tiki mugs, you are certainly right that by the 1980s the only eateries left (with the exception of the great survivors like the Kahiki and the Mai Kai) serving drinks in Tiki mugs were the Chinese restaurants...even if the establishments were not Tiki in style. That was a function of the fact that A.) Chinese restaurants jumped on the Tiki wagon kind of late, and B.) that their wholesale supplier for Chinese restaurant decor and wares offered Tiki mugs as cocktail vessels.

By the time I began seriously researching Tiki in the early 90s, I did not encounter one restaurant in Southern California that still used Tiki mugs as daily drink vessels.


 
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Tipsy McStagger
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Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3533
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-07-25 11:24 am   Permalink

..don't forget...chef shangri-la opened in the mid seventies, and that place is loaded with vintage decor...i'm sure there were others too....it's nice to know that i'm older than at least one vintage tiki bar out there!!!
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