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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Covarrubias - 1953 Easter Island magazine cover
Covarrubias - 1953 Easter Island magazine cover
ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2007-01-16 5:45 pm   Permalink

I recently discovered a magaine cover of Easter Island that was painted by Miguel Covarrubias - the man who painted the inside cover map murals in the Book of Tiki.

The magazine is the June 1953 (Vol 35, No. 2) of the Lamp, which was a promotional magazine put out by Standard Oil. This issue (puiblished 5 years before Heyerdahl's 'Aku Aku') featured articles on the need for oil imports, cowboys using helicopters at round-up time, oil tank trucks on the highway, and one titled 'Oil and Faraway Islands' which is about how the standard of living on remote islands is enhanced by the import of oil.

I love the cover for this issue. It was slightly damaged, as some of the cover was stuck to the inside of the "protective" binder, but overall I still think it looks great. I will likely frame this, and place it next to my Covarrubias map hanging in my tiki room.



The inside article featured 4 additional black and white drawings by Covarrubias - one of a giant Napolean figure standing on St. Helena, one of Robinson Crusoe on Mas-a-Tiera in the Juan Fernandez Islands, one of Tristan de Cunha, and this one, of Easter Island - obviously when sheep herding was still a major commodity of the island.



The article lists the population of Easter Island as 740 Polynesians, 30 Chileans, and 40,000-50,000 Merino sheep. The following is one of the pro-oil paragraphs from the article ...

"It takes a jeep, a truck and three motorboats to run this mid-ocean sheep ranch. A Diesel engine furnishes power for the Chilean Navy's radio station on the island, and some of the clapboard and sheet-iron houses in the settlement use kerosene oil. The volume of oil required to meet these needs is of no great importance except to the islanders; but to them, of course, it is indispensable."

My purchase included 12 issues of the Lamp, and it is interesting to read this material from the era when oil was all good and plentiful ... it is almost a pro-petroleum slanted version of National Geographic, with some great drawings, photos and artwork. I have to share this cover photo, from the March 1952 issue. (the inside article is about teaching children how to use and obey traffic signals)



Enjoy!

Vern










[ This Message was edited by: ikitnrev 2007-01-16 18:04 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11171
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-01-16 7:45 pm   Permalink

Tres coo-elle, Vern! Wonder how old Miguel felt about working for the "man", while in his heart he was a pre-Columbian art lover and archaeologist, very well aware that oil drilling might not bring only benefits to the island!

The similarity to the Aku Aku cover (merely flipped) might prove that he was the originator of yet another Polynesian Pop icon, just like the Don The Beachcomber menu cover and the Trader Vic's logo mask!

On the other hand, many people know of the importance of human scale when depicting giant Tikis, here is Miguel demonstrating that himself in Bali in the 30s:



..and here he is in 1938 painting the very map that we all know and love:



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11171
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-01-16 10:30 pm   Permalink

Here is a nice shot of Miguel and his talented wife Rosa in front of the "Economy of the Pacific", the most elaborate of the 6 maps at the 1939 S.F. Expo:


...and here is your urban archaeologist, happy about his discovery of 5 of those maps at the S.F. Port building in the mid 90s. I am pointing at the Marquesan hut in the "Native Dwellings of the Pacific Area" map that can be found on page 56/57 of the BOT. (Anybody has an update on where these are now?):


And to give novices an inkling of Covarrubias' talent, here are some of his illustrations for a 1935 reprint of Melville's "Typee".

An old Marquesan warrior:


At a native dance:


One of his most elaborate works was his book on Bali. Here is the floor plan of a Balinese temple, which always reminded me of the Kahiki floor plan:


My personal favorite is this beautiful rendering of a Balinese bather:


Aaaaah....


 
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tiki atomica
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 13, 2008
Posts: 20
From: everywhere,anywhere,nowhere
Posted: 2009-01-14 10:32 pm   Permalink

Exquisite.

 
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