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Tiki Central Forums » » Collecting Tiki » » E.C. Bali Hai Restaurant Tikis?
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E.C. Bali Hai Restaurant Tikis?
Queen Kamehameha
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 1410
From: So Cal
Posted: 2007-05-07 5:36 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-07 15:37, bigbrotiki wrote:
....MUST....CONTROL....TIKI...CULTURE....!!!! ARRRGH!

You are so right, I must make piece with ....reality.
But just to make clear, I don't get mad at the people that buy these, but at the DEALERS that offer these under FALSE PRETENSES. These lying, pretending, "I-am-not-sure-but-I-FEEL-that-this-piece-of-firewood-is-WITCO!", S.o.B.s really get my goat.

And I am also pointing out why stylistically the Asian carvings seem off to me, personally. But again, I do not blame the carvers, or even question their abilities. It is understandable that they don't get the Tiki thing. Who really does...(sniff, whimper,)




Sven, LOL, I agree 100% Those who lie and cheat Tiki people are bad.You Know When I bought mine it was at half what they go on ebay for and I knew it was fake and the guy I got it from was on the east coast and did import them, atleast that is what he told me. So for me, it was a nice addition to my backyard, where it is overshadowed by all the cool items from the creative and talanted tiki artists.

You know, you are such an authority, think of all the people who have your books, including me. Who read what what you say, including me, You are an expert, You help set the standard, we will all try to get as close as we can

Amy

ps-, I am putting a paper bag over the head of my flat bellied, short armed, hard wood, asian made tiki guy this very instant!



[ This Message was edited by: Queen Kamehameha 2007-05-07 17:38 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11238
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-05-08 2:39 pm   Permalink

Hmmm, that's funny...all of a sudden I have nothing to disagree with in your last post! It somehow...rings so true, simple, yet eloquent...especially the last part! What can I say, if only all of the TC posts would......

No, nothing more to say, perhaps just (wait, there was a smiley for this, ah, here)


 
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AlienTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 424
From: MAUI No Ka'oi
Posted: 2007-05-09 05:04 am   Permalink

For what it's worth, these "Bali-Wood" Tikis have flooded the market here in Hawaii. I see tons of them all over the place. I can instantly tell them from the many other kinds of tiki found here. I honestly can say they suck ass. The carvers are technically skilled and the wood is of fine tropical hardwood that could not be purchased for these prices UN-CARVED. The designs and proportions are way off though and that's the dead giveaway to me. But the reason I don't like them is they are imported. Many of the sellers claim they are from the islands. And where the hell is the "island of the gods"? And by "Carved in the islands" they won't tell you they mean Philippines or Indonesia where the child who carved these wooden figures receives only a slightly better wage than their friends who work at the NIKE factory down the road.

I'm not trying to say it has to be from Hawaii to be "tiki/polypop" or even from the U.S. This is just a case of an American businessman making money off of the sweat and labor of the hard indigenous workers and gullibility and wealth of the American tikiphile.

There are many excellent tiki carvers here on TC, no need to go all the way to China to find one.


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Rattiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2003
Posts: 422
From: Key West, FL
Posted: 2007-05-09 1:15 pm   Permalink

Well having been a Floridian that 'designed' and commissioned Asian carvers to make Tikis that I sold in the USA I'll jump in on this one.

Firstly I mostly agree with Sven on this one and will go so far as to say that these are from Indonesia (BaliWood I love that! ) and even though I have traveled extensively in ASEAN (and India) I've never been to Indonesia. But my folks have several times for long periods and hence our garden is filled with classic and modern Javanese and Balinese stone carvings. Centuries and generations of Indian religious and cultural influence on these carvers is hard to erase from the style they cultivated, and it is all too evident in their work which just doesn't work for Tiki. Though lest we forget that some parts of ASEAN are very close to -culturally and artistically- to Oceania. PNG, Borneo and even the Ifugao of Luzon, Philippines were not influenced by the Asian subcontinental style. So I have found that the carvers in Banaue generally get it right especially since their traditional local style is based on ancestor worship and mana (as they are descendants of headhunters). Hence I have many 'real' local pieces that look quite PNG......which of course is one of the styles that was utilized in the original Enchanted Tiki Room at Disney.

Meanwhile to be angry at utilizing these folk's artisan skills is a bit foolhardy as this is a traditional art-form and livelihood for them, with teenage boys being utilized solely as apprentices in this age old craft that is well affixed in their local cultures. Sports shoe making on the other hand is just capitalist exploitation


 
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Queen Kamehameha
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 1410
From: So Cal
Posted: 2007-05-09 1:18 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-09 05:04, AlienTiki wrote:

I'm not trying to say it has to be from Hawaii to be "tiki/polypop" or even from the U.S. This is just a case of an American businessman making money off of the sweat and labor of the hard indigenous workers and gullibility and wealth of the American tikiphile.




I hope that wasn't directed to Me AT, My yard is 90% product from people from this site, BK, Bosko, Ben, Ona, Kahaka, Many many others. I am sorry that they have been importing them to Hawaii but How do you know it's an american businessman?

People will buy what they like for whatever reason they want, it doesn't make them any less a fan or tikiphile. Its their individual right to do so, you can disagree, but calling me or anyone gullible is an insult and you asumed we didn't know what we bought, I certainly did. You can state an opinion without insulting anyone. What you said above is wrong.


Amy

[ This Message was edited by: Queen Kamehameha 2007-05-09 13:22 ]


 
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Queen Kamehameha
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 1410
From: So Cal
Posted: 2007-05-09 1:23 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-08 14:39, bigbrotiki wrote:
Hmmm, that's funny...all of a sudden I have nothing to disagree with in your last post! It somehow...rings so true, simple, yet eloquent...especially the last part! What can I say, if only all of the TC posts would......

No, nothing more to say, perhaps just (wait, there was a smiley for this, ah, here)



Thanks Sven


 
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AlienTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 424
From: MAUI No Ka'oi
Posted: 2007-05-09 3:26 pm   Permalink

I was affraid I might bait the Unscrupulous importer.
Quote:

On 2007-05-09 13:15, Rattiki wrote:


Meanwhile to be angry at utilizing these folk's artisan skills is a bit foolhardy as this is a traditional art-form and livelihood for them, with teenage boys being utilized solely as apprentices in this age old craft that is well affixed in their local cultures. Sports shoe making on the other hand is just capitalist exploitation



You can try and defend your actions all you want. The reason any person would look outside of the U.S for skilled artisans is MONEY, PROFIT and GREED. So the question is did you pay these carvers a living wage? Did you give them nearly what they were worth? 500% profit for the importer isn't exactly fare to the artist and then to pass that work off as being "made in the islands" is just insulting. Give the artists credit for what they have done. Ah yes "capitalist exploitation".

Now I'm not saying this is your situation. I'm saying I don't agree with these business practices. So call me foolhardy all you like, if it will make you feel better.

Quote:

On 2007-05-09 13:18, Queen Kamehameha wrote:

I am sorry that they have been importing them to Hawaii but How do you know it's an american businessman?

You can state an opinion without insulting anyone. What you said above is wrong.


Amy

[ This Message was edited by: Queen Kamehameha 2007-05-09 13:22 ]



Amy my words were not directed at you, but the fact that you took them to heart speaks volumes.

I KNOW American businessmen are importing them because I have spoken to them personally and asked them where they got the carvings. They said they get several containers full every couple of months. The guy even told me he makes a killing. They said they fly to Bali pick out the carvings (all Hawaiian themed stuff turtles, whales and tikis) and the hard working carvers even help pack the crates.

So I never assumed anything, just stated an opinion and a very valid one. And I'm glad you boast your backyard is 90% filled with TC stuff. That’s fantastic, you are a true patron.

What I said was 100% right and for you to think American businessmen never take advantage of indigenous peoples or of the gullibility of the buyer is just naive.

I meant no offence to you Amy, and I'm sorry you took insult from my words.

Aloha and caveat emptor
E


 
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Queen Kamehameha
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 1410
From: So Cal
Posted: 2007-05-09 4:44 pm   Permalink

Thanks AT, I appreciate it.

I bought mine from a guy in MD, who runs an import warehouse. I met him thru a friend in NY who knew I loved Tiki. He told me he imports them from Bali and Indonesia. He was Asian, from Malaysia. That is why I said "american businessman". I can see why some Businessman would buy these at this price and resell on ebay or other places. They are obviously doing well with these and its obvious that you don't have to be American to import and sell these.

I did take offense to the terms "gullibility of the American Tikiphile". I got exactly what I thought.I got a statue for 300.00. I thought it was a good deal and it was a nice item for the money, wood, heavy. sorta real looking. I happen to like it, its an impressive piece. I knew it was fake, but real wood. I didn't buy it to resell, and if I never sell it, I think I got a good deal for the $$. I do have many pieces from bosko, OC, Ona, many Statues from BK, Witco fountain real, Keigs witco carvings, A whole Bar by Bamboo Ben. and I can't even tell you how many statues, lamps, masks, etc from closed restaurants and bars.

I can tell you are passionate about this, as is the rest of us. but still you don't have to be insulting, someone might think its directed to them and it isn't and see what happens....

Thanks for the clarification.


Amy




[ This Message was edited by: Queen Kamehameha 2007-05-09 17:11 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Queen Kamehameha 2007-05-10 15:31 ]


 
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Rattiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2003
Posts: 422
From: Key West, FL
Posted: 2007-05-10 10:54 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-09 15:26, AlienTiki wrote:
I was affraid I might bait the Unscrupulous importer.
You can try and defend your actions all you want. The reason any person would look outside of the U.S for skilled artisans is MONEY, PROFIT and GREED. So the question is did you pay these carvers a living wage? Did you give them nearly what they were worth? 500% profit for the importer isn't exactly fare to the artist and then to pass that work off as being "made in the islands" is just insulting. Give the artists credit for what they have done. Ah yes "capitalist exploitation".

Now I'm not saying this is your situation. I'm saying I don't agree with these business practices. So call me foolhardy all you like, if it will make you feel better.



My business practices are above board, and I deal with a family that I like and yes I paid them what they were worth, actually 50%-100% more than the local going rate.....you know it is easy to make your kind of statements when you probably have no idea what it's like to live in, or do biz in the 3rd world....did you know if you pay them too much they just think you're a fool, go and hire someone else to do the work and then pawn it off as their own! A 500% mark up above what I paid for them is not a 500% profit for me. If I pay $4-$5 for a piece in Banuae it means I must go there, order it directly because you must always make sure they REALLY understand what you want. Then I must return later to pick the work up otherwise they may never actually get it finished or they may screw up the work (I find this is always a problem, whether in Mexico with silver jewelery, or Honduras for cigars or...) Then there is the shipping cost which is around the same cost as the piece itself costs. So by the time I sell it for $25 it has cost me EASILY $12.50 for each one. Now I could have gotten the costs down if I had chosen to have them crank out the same things over and over again (though you must still always stay on top of quality or it will go down!) but then you must maintain a business address etc. which is also added costs.....just living in the West is many times more expensive, there are no new homes for $5000 (like there are in Banuae) in my neighborhood!

Now why doesn't a buyer just get American carvers to make Tikis? Because the market won't bear the price it would cost to do that. Granted if an artist makes a name for themselves like Bosco with his unique stylized work they can get good bucks -say $75-$200 or more per piece- but just to recreate classic works it's just not cost effective because it is very difficult to get $50-100+ for an 18" mask unless it is in a high end retail outlet .....and then of course there are extra cost with that as well.

So in the end it is about money and profit but not greed, at least not for me.....the truth be told, if you want to make big bucks in carvings it is the Indonesian hard stone Buddhas and Hindu Gods that garner the big profits with them selling for $1000s when they cost less than $100 from the carvers!



BTW the Hawaiian Islands are not the only islands in the Pacific Ocean or the only ones that traditionally make wood 'Tiki' carvings! I'm sure I could get quality, low cost work done in PNG and Vanuatu as well and carving is also a part of their long traditional culture which I would then be supporting. AND I think their Traditional Tikis are more bitchin than Hawaiian (or FLA) Tikis!


 
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