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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » The real Dr. Funk
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The real Dr. Funk
Carmine Verandah
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 23, 2007
Posts: 107
From: Denver area
Posted: 2010-01-24 6:02 pm   Permalink

Dr. Funk appears worthy of a toast or two...

 
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Rattiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2003
Posts: 422
From: Key West, FL
Posted: 2011-07-04 10:29 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-01-24 18:02, Carmine Verandah wrote:
Dr. Funk appears worthy of a toast or two...

. Another amazingly kewl kocktail thread I'll now go forth to spread the Foonk amongst the Key West mixoligists ...whether they like it or not! =}


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 670
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-12-21 1:25 pm   Permalink

In this 1920 Frederick O’Brien book review of Richard Curles’ Wanderings: A Book of Travel and Reminiscence, we get another colorful description of the ubiquity, ingredients and deadly effects of Dr. Funk’s namesake cocktail...

New York Times July 18, 1920





Mr. Bali Hai at an earlier post in this thread cited an excerpt from Frederick O’Brien’s travel book, Mystic Isles of the South Seas. I’d recommend this as reading for those who might enjoy an escape to a Polynesian paradise of an earlier era (a good fit for some of us). It was originally published in 1921 and is freely available online through Project Gutenberg with this stipulation:

Quote:
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net.



It’s also available as a download for a buck or two from Barnes and Noble, iTunes, etc.

Here is an excerpt of the foreword...




In Chapter 6, O’Brien relates his experiences in Cercle Bougainville, one of the two social clubs of the time in Papeete, Tahiti. Here he recounts his acquaintance with a certain cocktail. Though Mr. Bali Hai’s earlier post included the key part about the recipe, I’ve expanded it a bit so you can see what Paul Gauguin was stated to have said about Dr. Funk and his drink...





-Tom
_________________


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 670
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-12-21 5:31 pm   Permalink

I found this letter to the editor posted by a great-grandniece of Dr. Funk in the online edition of the Samoa Observer. There is no date that I can find, but the sub-heading on the web page is “Old Observer Archive,” suggesting it is not recent, but there is a hint in the narrative that it’s not too old either. It provides a sketch of the enigmatic Dr. Funk’s life, interests and humanity, but no photo (she was hoping someone could yet locate photos)...






There exists a 37-page copy of a Dr. Funk biography, Going "troppo" in the South Pacific : Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa, 1844-1911 by Leilani Burgoyne published by the University of Auckland, Dept. of German and Slavonic Studies, in 2007. It might contain a photo, but is not available in an online edition, nor is it for sale at any of the retailers that I know to check. It is available for viewing in the Main Reading Room at the National Library of Australia and also at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where it was published. Maybe one of our TC Ohana in the Southern Hemisphere can figure out how to get a copy of a Dr. Funk photo, if it exists in this work.

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 670
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-12-22 4:58 pm   Permalink

I’ve found a bit more in the news archives of Dr. Bernhard (Bernard) Funk in action. I know that this is a bit heavy on the archaeology for the Tiki Drinks and Food forum, but it seems better to keep this in one thread. The man, place and times are fascinating. Keep in mind that the articles were written a hundred or more years ago, so cultural sensibilities were different than now.

The first article from Google News reports the death of Robert Louis Stevenson, in the presence of Dr. Funk as an attending physician...

The Sydney Mail December 22, 1894 (page 13)






In this Google News article, Dr. Funk, in his first year of service in Samoa, helps a boy who almost got served up as “long pig”...

The Sydney Morning Herald December 23, 1880 (page 4)




Uprisings and a civil war erupted in Samoa over the appointment of Malietoa Laupepa as King of Samoa by the colonial powers. Malietoa was an ineffectual leader and a puppet to carry out the will of the colonial nations. The Samoan people’s choice was Mata`afa Losefo, Alli Sili `O Samoa (Supreme Chief of Samoa), who outranked Malietoa among the indigenous royalty and was a widely respected, charismatic leader. When civil war broke out, we see Dr. Funk in the middle of the horror tending the wounded from all sides, as this article digitized by The National Library of New Zealand illustrates...

Auckland Star August 11, 1893











After tidal waves strike the R.M.S. Alameda, Dr. Funk is presented with the mangled lower extremities of the popular Chief Officer, from another article digitized by The National Library of New Zealand...

Auckland Star December 29, 1892






Who do you call when a shark dines on a swimmer? Dr. Funk, of course...

The Auckland Evening Star September 9, 1890






A later article indicates that, under the skillful treatment of Dr. Funk, the swimmer suffering grievous wounds from a shark attack actually recovers...

Auckland Star October 6, 1890



And that, my fellow TC'ers, was the really real Dr. Funk!

-Tom


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Vince Martini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 277
From: Iki Pohaku, Arkansas
Posted: 2011-12-26 1:58 pm   Permalink

I am sure the original recipe is interesting, although I am not a big fan of the flavor of abisinthe as a central ingredient to anything. I much prefer Jeff Berry's recipe which he reproduced from Don the Beachcomber's original recipe from 1953. The bit of Pernod in this recipe is much more palatable.

It is interesting that the islands still has abisinthe at this time, because this is just a few years after abisinthe became the first alcohol to be deemed illegal. This became law in France in 1915. Primarily propelled by the wine/champagne growers, with the help of politicians, of France (and Western Europe) who were trying to re-establish their markets after being devastated by a disease known as phylloxera that destroyed much of the vineyards in 1870, further helping propel the popularity of abisinthe. So, I guess what remaining abisinthe which had already been produced, was shipped off to far away colonies and contributing to the rise of this recipe.

A good refernce on the history of abisinthe:
http://www.youngmiller.nl/abisinthe/content.asp?MenuID=1140273105687

[ This Message was edited by: Vince Martini 2011-12-26 14:01 ]


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Professor G
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 03, 2011
Posts: 331
From: the Tiki Wastelands
Posted: 2011-12-27 04:57 am   Permalink

Sure, pastis is easier to find and gentler on the palate, but absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

I don't remember if that joke has been used before: I must be an absinthe-minded professor.

Whew. I've been holding those in for weeks. I feel much better, now. Thanks.


 
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Little fragrant Tiare
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 12, 2007
Posts: 198
Posted: 2012-02-02 12:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:


It is interesting that the islands still has abisinthe at this time, because this is just a few years after abisinthe became the first alcohol to be deemed illegal. This became law in France in 1915. Primarily propelled by the wine/champagne growers, with the help of politicians, of France (and Western Europe) who were trying to re-establish their markets after being devastated by a disease known as phylloxera that destroyed much of the vineyards in 1870, further helping propel the popularity of abisinthe. So, I guess what remaining abisinthe which had already been produced, was shipped off to far away colonies and contributing to the rise of this recipe.




Interesting indeed! and interesting thread - and it reminded me about my long ago written blog post about Dr Funk and Dr Funk`s son -
http://www.amountainofcrushedice.com/?p=35

I remember i wrote that post because i was fascinated about these two drinks history and because i wanted to try to make those ice "glasses"...


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11094
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-02 6:46 pm   Permalink

Tom, I just noticed that I had not commented on your recent posts here as I had intended to when you first put them up. Well, I wanted to commend you on your findings, excellent archive archeology again. It is becoming evident that it's worth it to go back and search for the same thing again and again, because new material gets added to this vast data base that is the internet everyday. One has to know how to dig though, too, and you do.

 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 670
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-02-04 09:13 am   Permalink

Mahalo, Sven. I've still not given up on finding an image of Dr. Bernhard Funk. It's got to be out there somewhere. I'd consider that the grail of this thread, so I'm hoping that all the folks out there keep a lookout.

Dr. Funk lives on as an interesting subject of academia. In Safua Akeli's 2007 Master's thesis at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand,
"Leprosy in Samoa 1890 to 1922: Race, Colonial Politics and Disempowerment," footnote 207 states:
Quote:
Dr Funk had arrived in Samoa in 1880 as medical officer for the Godeffroy und Sohn of Hamburg firm and was later employed as the medical health officer for the Municipality [of Apia].



J.C. Godeffroy & Sohn was a German trading firm dealing in such items as copra, coconut oil and pearl shell. In 1860, it established an office at Apia, Samoa, making it the central outpost for its South Pacific operations in 1872. There's some interesting reading on the company here.

The company's founder created a Museum Godeffroy in Hamburg to house the extensive collection of material brought back to Germany by his ship's captains and collectors. This existed, according to Wikipedia, from 1861 to 1885, when Godeffroy sold his collection just before his death. Many items survive today in exhibits at the Museum of Ethnology in Leipzig, according to Wikipedia. If you go to the museum web site and can't read German, use the Google translator at the top of the screen, which seems to work really well.

-Tom


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thePorpoise
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1160
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2012-02-04 12:46 pm   Permalink

I wonder if Doctor Funk was related to Doctor Sax...

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11094
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-06 06:54 am   Permalink

Tom, thank you for the connection between Dr.Funk and Godeffroy, I had no idea. It is heartening to see that there are folks who are digging into PRE-Pre-Tiki history, especially into a part where my own background and Tiki Style converge. Growing up in Germany until I was 25, I never had any direct contact or memory of mid-century American Tiki like many here did. However, coming from a shipping line family (a traditional business in the port town of Hamburg), I do have roots in the original trader history:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=27345&forum=16&vpost=361045&hilite=godeffroy

I also had referred to the Godeffroy family here before...
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=10096&forum=1&vpost=104061&hilite=godeffroy

...but failed to mention that I knew one of the grand-grand daughters personally. So I did go to see a recent exhibition on their collection in Hamburg:







Luckily, the Hamburg Museum fuer Volkerkunde managed to to get the OTHER large part of the collection, after the Leipzig Museum had beat them to the first. I almost made it to the Leipzig Museum when I was shooting in Dresden last year. There are a bunch of museums in smaller German cities that I still need to visit that have some great collections of Oceanic artifacts, like the Bremen Overseas Museum...



....and the Linden Museum in Stuttgart



There's even a book out called "Hidden Treasures from German Ethnographic Museums"...
http://www.amazon.com/Verborgene-Völkerkundemuseen-Lippisches-Landesmuseum-10-10-2003/dp/B006MJLLJM/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328538783&sr=1-13
...because they amassed so many artifacts in the 19th Century through their colonies.

On a related note, I made some progress in my research regarding the origins of the book that was the blueprint for American Tiki carvers, "Oceanic Art", as mentioned here:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=42034&forum=1&vpost=621592

I found out that the author of the book, Herbert Tischner, was indeed the head of the South Seas department of the Hamburg Museum at the time. I still need to verify if the exhibition which the book is based on took place there, also. In the meantime I got a wonderful little book by him on RAURU, my favorite Maori meeting house now in that museum:



http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=33736&forum=16&vpost=580743



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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 670
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-02-11 07:19 am   Permalink

Fascinating stuff, bigbrotiki, particularly those personal connections...

When you next go museum touring, consider adding the
Regional Museum of Neubrandenburg to the itinerary...




While sifting through German web pages in search of Dr. Funk, I came across an oddity with the Google translator... as soon as I thought I’d hit pay dirt amongst German text and invoked the translator, the apparent reference just evaporated with the translation. After a couple of these experiences, I realized what was going on: Dr. “Funk” was translated as Dr. “radio”

Continuing with the historical connections, Dr. Funk befriended the renowned German ethnologist, Dr. Augustin Krämer. In his definitive two-volume work on Samoan culture, The Samoa Islands, Dr. Krämer expressed his gratitude to Dr. Funk and his Samoan wife in the preface of Volume I...






The images from this book are interesting and may be found on this web site, though they are a bit grainy. Much better are those in the eBook, among the most expensive of eBooks that I’ve ever come across.

Sven Mönter’s 2010 PhD thesis at the University of Auckland, “Dr. Augustin Krämer: A German Ethnologist in the Pacific” suggests that Dr. Funk was quite the social butterfly...

Quote:
Krämer certainly enjoyed the company of Dr. Funk and his Samoan wife Senitima,
whom he described as “liebenswürdig” (“charming”).38 It was certainly through his
friendship with Dr. Funk and his wife that Krämer made contact with a variety of
Samoans and Europeans alike. Among them was Apia’s most famous European
inhabitant, the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, who was a close friend of
Funk.39

38 Augustin Krämer Die Samoa-Inseln: Entwurf einer Monographie mit besonderer Berücksichtigung
Deutsch-Samoas, Herg. Mit Unterstützung der Kolonialabteilung des Auswärtigen Amts, Stuttgart: E.
Schweizerbart, 1902, Vol. I, p. 7. See also Krämer’s diaries, which reveal that he was indeed a frequent visitor to the Funk’s house. He also accompanied Dr. Funk on a number of trips around the island, see
Krämer’s diaries held at the Linden-Museum.

39 See Booth & Mehew, eds. The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson: Volume Seven: September 1890 –
December 1892, p. 408, where it is stated that Stevenson remarked in relation to Dr. Funk: “it would
never do [good] to quarrel with the doctor – and the doctor, though he tipples a little and gabbles much, is a good man whom I respect”. See also Burgoyne’s article “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844-1911”, pp. 11-13. Krämer’s diaries and writings illustrate that Krämer,
at least, had contact with Stevenson’s relatives, Mrs. Strong and Lloyd Osborne, see Krämer Hawaii,
Ostmikronesien und Samoa
, p. 56; as well as his diaries, held at the Linden-Museum.



Robert Louis Stevenson’s quoted remark (“he tipples a little and gabbles much”) suggests that Dr. Funk would be quite at home in Tiki Central... wonder what his screen name would be and what forum he would most frequent?

We also have Sven Mönter to thank for an illuminating thesis on a “a bizarre South Pacific colony of German vegetarian nudist sun-worshippers who lived on coconuts” written about in this 2006 New Zealand Herald article...




That’s a group worthy of a Darwin Award nomination...

-Tom


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Squid Row Mama
Member

Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Posts: 7
From: Salinas
Posted: 2012-02-12 12:26 pm   Permalink

As an enthusiast of both RLS and of absinthe/pernod, this whole thread is of definite interest to me. Thank you for the elaborate and amusing entries! Now where did I put that bottle of absinthe?

 
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PeguDoug
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 27, 2008
Posts: 12
From: Powell, OH
Posted: 2012-02-13 12:05 pm   Permalink

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread. You all gave me the courage to try this drink, especially in its original form.

As part of my Tiki Month makeover of my usually classic cocktail blog, I just put up a post which borrows heavily from many of you.

Tiki Drink: Dr. Funk

Thanks again.
Don's Version:

Vic's Version:

Dr. Funk's Version:


Oh, and if you missed it elsewhere, for my sins I am hosting the monthly cocktail blog carnival, Mixology Monday this February 20th. I mention it here because the theme is Tiki this time around. The announcement post is here:
http://www.killingtime.com/Pegu/2012/01/28/call-for-submissions-mxmo-lxiv-tiki/

Even if you don't have a blog but have a Tiki drink offering or anything else about Tiki decor, music, clothes, whatever, that you'd like to share with the more mainstream cocktail world, you can post it as a reply over on this thread here:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewforum.php?forum=10&24537
Or you can contact me, and I'll set you up with a guest account on my own blog and I'll post your stuff there on the 20th.

_________________

Doug Winship
THE PEGU BLOG
A site about Pegus, and other ramblings on the Cocktail Life.

[ This Message was edited by: PeguDoug 2012-02-13 12:13 ]


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