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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The Jungle-style Thread - Pop Culture Iconography of the Dark Continent
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The Jungle-style Thread - Pop Culture Iconography of the Dark Continent
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11095
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-17 1:12 pm   Permalink

Wow, very nice set there, Big T! Please fill us in as to the origin of these artifacts.

With that turban, we are talking Indian/ Borneo Safari, here, Sabu-style...kind of like "The Flame" menu in Tiki Modern, which was also part of that "Tropics" genre...

And no ph. d. neccessary, John-0, some basic knowledge in primitive arts would tell you those pieces on the fabric are classic African art.

But mixing up Papua New Guinea and African art is not uncommon, case in point that paperback cover you posted:



The mask NOT being African (=Voodoo), but a Melanesian Tiki temple classic, from that bible of mid-century Tiki design, the book "Oceanic Art":


(The mask is from the Hamburg Museum, the book being originally German)

Oceanic Arts reprocuced it from that book, and it became a Tiki temple staple, hanging at such power places as the Mai Kai and the Kahiki:



The great thing is that it is still made from the same mold by O.A. today!



 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 5868
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-17 5:53 pm   Permalink

Those are very cool Sven.

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2682
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-17 6:03 pm   Permalink

Anyone got the scoop on this place?



The Embassy Hotel was built in 1941 and was originally known as the Trinity Auditorium. In the mid-1980's its basement hosted the underground Goth/Punk club "Scream". USC later used the property for student housing.

I'm not sure what the time line is on the Jungle Room.



[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2009-12-17 18:05 ]


 
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TheBigT
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 1245
From: Fabulous Houston
Posted: 2009-12-17 9:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-17 13:12, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wow, very nice set there, Big T! Please fill us in as to the origin of these artifacts.

With that turban, we are talking Indian/ Borneo Safari, here, Sabu-style...kind of like "The Flame" menu in Tiki Modern, which was also part of that "Tropics" genre...



The Safari served steaks, seafood and some Indian cuisine. I don't know the exact years of operations but they are in the phone books I have from 1964-1973.

Here's another look at the Safari and a quote from one of their ads:

At the Safari, a turboned waiter will guide you to your table near a wall to wall mural depicting the land of the Bengal Tiger. In this epicurean setting of India, dining is extra special.



I understand the Congo Jungle was open for only 10 years and I found them in the 1957 phone book. So I guess their approximate years of operation would be 1947-1957ish. There is some history of the Jamail family and great interior photos of the club in a DVD set (which I don't have) called Houston: Remember When, by the local PBS station.

Here's a look inside the drink menu. Unfortunately it doesn't fit on my scanner and this is about the best photo I could get of it for the moment.




 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11095
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-17 10:48 pm   Permalink

Wonderful imagery there, thank you! Kind of uncanny how much the Safari sign and the Sands sign in Las Vegas are alike....same architect, same sign company?






 
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TheBigT
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 1245
From: Fabulous Houston
Posted: 2009-12-18 08:39 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-17 22:48, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wonderful imagery there, thank you! Kind of uncanny how much the Safari sign and the Sands sign in Las Vegas are alike....same architect, same sign company?



You're welcome. That is pretty amazing. Maybe they were just "inspired" by the Sands?


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2682
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-18 08:49 am   Permalink

I can't believe no one's posted any Les Baxter yet.

Maybe because it's too obvious?





 
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Mister Naufrago
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 20, 2008
Posts: 214
From: Spain
Posted: 2009-12-18 11:41 am   Permalink

Some not less obvious records...




Jungle drums "pale cover" UK pressing



German 70s pressing




And some 45s






 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11095
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-18 11:59 am   Permalink

Les Baxter is actually much more African/Jungle/Tropics in his music than Polynesian. He not only scored tons of Jungle B-movies, but his music generally sounded like Adventure movie soundtracks. It was Martin Denny who brought in the Polynesian aspect because of being based in Hawaii.

Quiet Village was initially about a generic TROPICAL village:


Just as the seminal album cover of the Les Baxter album it came from depicted primitive art closer to African origin:



..and its general concept was about (and here we find my favorite term again), THE TROPICS:



After the success of Denny, Baxter included some Polynesian themes --the whole dvelopment mirroring the evolution of PRE-Tiki (TROPICS themes a la Baxter) in the 40s and early 50s, to TIKI (Polynesian pop a la Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman) in the late 50s and early 60s.



And since we are showing record covers, here is the ultimate Safari/Trader/Tiki coming together item:





"We all shot our animals and did our thing." Things were simple back then..

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-12-18 12:05 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11095
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-18 12:41 pm   Permalink

But I was not quite done with the Houston Safari restaurant/ Las Vegas Sands sign question. I remembered that my friend Chris Nichols wrote a wonderful book about the architect of THE SANDS, Wayne Mc Allister:



In it, I found this informative text, answering my earlier question:



I just got an e-mail back from Chris informing me that the SANDS sign was copied many times --and he had been unaware of the Safari version.

Oh, and since I know John-O is a fan of YESCO also, here a picture of my Yesco cap (on the iconic DSK Moai lamp)






Also in the McAllister book I found another early African themed eatery in Los Angeles, the 1937 ZEBRA ROOM:








 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2792
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-12-18 1:22 pm   Permalink

I'll have to see if I can find a copy of that book, Bigbro. I've been collecting ephemera from the Zebra Room for a while now, since that's the name of my home tiki bar.

There were "Zebra Rooms" scattered throughout the U.S. There's even one in Torrance, CA that's still open. Unfortunately, it no longer has its neon sign featuring a Zebra with "running motion" legs that I remember so fondly as a child.


_________________


 
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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2298
From: SoMass
Posted: 2009-12-18 2:26 pm   Permalink

How bout some pics of your Zebra Room, Sabu?

 
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TheBigT
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 1245
From: Fabulous Houston
Posted: 2009-12-18 6:44 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-18 12:41, bigbrotiki wrote:
But I was not quite done with the Houston Safari restaurant/ Las Vegas Sands sign question. I remembered that my friend Chris Nichols wrote a wonderful book about the architect of THE SANDS, Wayne Mc Allister:

I just got an e-mail back from Chris informing me that the SANDS sign was copied many times --and he had been unaware of the Safari version.




Wow, very cool. Quite likely copied from their design...


 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2568
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2009-12-18 6:54 pm   Permalink



Sorry


[ This Message was edited by: Bora Boris 2009-12-18 21:45 ]


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2682
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-18 8:56 pm   Permalink

Boris Boris,

Mr Naufrago already posted that 2nd album cover on page 5. Aren't you paying attention ??

You still owe us another African/Jungle/Safari exotica image !!

How about some African wahines? Maybe something like this.....




 
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