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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: 11157
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-11-30 12:34 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-29 23:18, Atomic Tiki Punk wrote:
Well Thank you Sven, I think? and John you just let me know when Bettie is pertinent to the topic,until then consider me in the Doghouse,
Now in the immortal words of Mr.Pop "I Wanna Be Your Dog "

P.S. Sven do you have a new book in the pipeline?



Indeed, I included myself in that assessment, did I not post a leopard clad-beauty as the first image in my post?

Book-wise I am still working on the Tiki shirt book, my next publication will be a Tiki CD in March/April.

So lets see some Safari Motel signs and matchbooks and postcards and so on.
I have a special African Exotica post from the homeland in the works...


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11157
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-11-30 11:24 pm   Permalink

We-helllll..?
O.K., I am not gonna hold back any longer, here are some "Afrika Exotika" from Germany:

1950s Germans romanticized the negro, because they knew nothing of slavery, Civil War, racial strife and segregated businesses. There just were too few black folk around in them parts -which in fact made them "exotic". Blacks were either IN Africa, which was a far way exotic land, or they were Jazz musicians, --both being considered cool.



Though the Nazis had equally discriminated radically against all non-Arians, that uncomfortable recent history was suppressed, and naive imagery from the turn-of-the-century period of the African German colonies was re-employed. I remember that until the late 70s, a common type of kid's marshmallow was called "Negerkuss" (Negro Kiss).



To this day I can see nothing wrong with that. I think it's very poetic.

As part of this naive fascination with the exotic other, decorative ceramic figures were made. Today they are as collectible as Tiki ceramics







Some are more beautiful and "modern" than others:





The manufacturer of these beauties is Cortendorf:
http://cgi.ebay.at/MID-CENTURY-FIGUR-AFRIKANERIN-NEGERIN-CORTENDORF-50er-_W0QQitemZ260493070421QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20091019?IMSfp=TL091019236001r3881#ht_1165wt_921

..but they don't come cheap, have to be paid in Euro, and are easily breakable.

And some were just black Exotica girls:



Some were utilized for other purposes, like this bottle stopper:



I believe I already posted this in my "Pop Primitivism" thread (another TC thread that did not elicit much response):



Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into German Afrika kitsch, now back to American Jungle/Safari pop culture!


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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6059
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-11-30 11:52 pm   Permalink

Thanks Sven, are these from your own collection?

 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-12-01 12:22 am   Permalink

A bunch of animal heads on the wall does not necessarily a JUNGLE Atmosphere create:






The "African Room" in Carefree, Arizona does a much better job:


Especially here, with the leopard-skin booths and the frightening Witch Doctor:



_________________


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2691
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-01 01:37 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-30 23:24, bigbrotiki wrote:

O.K., I am not gonna hold back any longer, here are some "Afrika Exotika" from Germany:




Wow, I really dig those "Exotica" figurines. Definitely a lot more respectful than a lot of the Black caricatures that were coming out of America in the mid-century.

I'm assuming all of those figurines are vintage and are no longer being produced. (If not, I want to buy a reproduction. ) I see a whole new subject matter for American "Low Brow" artists. I'll buy mine at the Soap Plant.

Thanks for sharing that !! When I titled this thread "Pop Culture Iconography of the Dark Continent", I never figured other countries might have their own unique take on the subject.


[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2009-12-01 14:08 ]


 
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Pikeys Dog
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Jun 03, 2008
Posts: 302
From: England
Posted: 2009-12-01 08:54 am   Permalink

It must have been a European phenomena, as figurines, wall masks and all manner of 'black African' ware were sold in the UK during the late 50s - early 60s.

Next time I'm out round the Antique stalls I'll take a few snaps to back the statement up.


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2691
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-01 09:23 am   Permalink

Cool. This almost mirrors mid-century tourist Hawaiiana. The same level of affection for (respectful) African imagery never took off in the US. At least not that I'm aware of. It would be interesting to see what came out of "Kitsch" crazy Asian countries like Japan.

 
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Mister Naufrago
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 20, 2008
Posts: 214
From: Spain
Posted: 2009-12-01 1:09 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-01 08:54, Pikeys Dog wrote:
It must have been a European phenomena, as figurines, wall masks and all manner of 'black African' ware were sold in the UK during the late 50s - early 60s.

Next time I'm out round the Antique stalls I'll take a few snaps to back the statement up.



Sure.
A strong fad in Spain too during the 50s/60s.
So strong, that believe it or not, even plastic versions of this ceramics were produced, like this one:



Spanish plaster wall plaque



Im a German's exotic ceramics recovering addict.
Because of Bigbros post Im in serious danger of a relapse.
For the moment just undusted a couple of my favorite pieces.



Ashtray with impressive smoke through the mouth effect.



And figurine that combines ceramic, wood and metal.




 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11157
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-01 2:40 pm   Permalink

He he he...check out THIS beauty!:








But don't worry folks, I don't own any of the items I posted, they're all clipped from e-bay Germany (and I think I just seriously damaged my chances of affording one by posting them! )

I just have some of the standard American stuff, like this lil vase



It almost fits on THIS container



Here's my only piece from a flea market in Germany:



And back to the States, here a nice modernist 14 inch plate by Marc Bellaire:



And last not least this fine lamp is from Duke Carter's collection:



The fact that Europe had so much more of these African Exotica clearly has to do with the lack of, and distance to, a black population and the social issues resulting from that, allowing people to "exoticise" the theme in a more naive and carefree manner -just like the U.S. mainland's distance to Polynesia left people free to fantasize about it more here than on Hawaii.

In the works: Safari matchbooks and Witco Africana!


[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-12-02 08:29 ]


 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2009-12-01 2:42 pm   Permalink

Digging that lamp! And bring on the witco Africana!

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2691
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-01 6:36 pm   Permalink

Actually I'm not ready to leave the 1930's just yet.

I forgot to include one of the more infamous mid-century portrayals of exotic "African" culture - the jungle natives of Skull Island in the original 1933 "King Kong".



Here's a colorized version of them (Damn you, Ted Turner !!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMyPFDMSG_M

This was the stereotypical American flip-side to the more affectionate European pop culture interpretations of Africa that BigBro and Mister Naufrago shared (although there was a 20-year gap). How embarrassing !!

Also Skull Island was the first in a long line of mysterious jungle islands to have dark-skinned inhabitants. My childhood favorite was the "Danger Island" serial on the Banana Splits TV show in the late 1960's. "Uh-oh Chongo, it's Danger Island time !!" Dig that jazzy score which was typical of so many of TV's opening themes of the time. Also notice the wild mixture of exotic elements. I saw Caribbean pirates, South American Indians, animals indigenous to Africa, and check out the guy in the fez !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ql7dIIItdo

And if you want to ask "So where there any Tikis on Danger Island?", please start a separate thread. (Sorry for jumping ahead 3 decades but my childhood nostalgia got the better of me.)

And yeah, I know I probably should be focusing more on an "academic" analysis of African Pop Primitism and its role in Tiki-style, but sorry my mid-century cultural tastes lean towards the low brow and kitschy.

Coming up next from me, more Jungle Girls.....


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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2009-12-01 7:01 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-01 18:36, JOHN-O wrote:

Also Skull Island was the first in a long line of mysterious jungle islands to have dark-skinned inhabitants. My childhood favorite was the "Danger Island" serial on the Banana Splits TV show in the late 1960's. "Uh-oh Chongo, it's Danger Island time !!" Dig that jazzy score which was typical of so many of TV's opening themes of the time. Also notice the wild mixture of exotic elements. I saw Caribbean pirates, South American Indians, animals indigenous to Africa, and check out the guy in the fez !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ql7dIIItdo




Absolutely fantastic music!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11157
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-01 7:05 pm   Permalink

No no, we know this is not a TIKI thread, but a side subject/ related/ Exotica thread. And scholarly shmolarly, this is visceral fun, the same fun that the folks shooting that show obviously had.

Cool title sequence, I had never heard of the show. It makes clear that by the 70s all the" Jungle Island" cliches we are so fond of could only be presented in the form of a spoof....which, after the joke became old, just became an old hat, to be discarded wholesale.


 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 706
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2009-12-01 7:33 pm   Permalink

I can't help but think that this episode of I Love Lucy had to have had some impact on peoples ideas of "The Dark Continent". Or perhaps this episode was just a reflection of what people already thought of the place/culture? It's obviously culturally significant because it is I Love Lucy. In fact, when this episode (Lucy Goes To The Hospital-1953) aired, it was the most watched episode in the history of television. (estimates are 63%-75% of the nations tv viewers watched it).





[ This Message was edited by: tiki shaker 2009-12-01 23:05 ]


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6059
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-01 8:54 pm   Permalink

I yay yay.....curumba

 
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