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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki A Collection of Cannibals
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A Collection of Cannibals
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4082
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-01-09 4:15 pm   Permalink

PTD,

Well that lamp has turned into quite an extraordinary find, my friend. Nicely done. Were you on holiday in Salt Lake City?

DC


 
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Psycho Tiki D
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 1793
From: The river Styx, can you pay the toll?
Posted: 2012-01-09 4:46 pm   Permalink

bigbro,

Wiring is in excellent shape and the lamp works extrememly well. I would date the wiring to the timeframe you indicated, no earlier.

dusty,

I wish. I am here due to a very severe ill family member, which seems to be most of my reasons to travel to Salt Lake. My father has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma and it has spread and he is in stage 4 right now. Good diversion to otherwise bleak days...he came with me to buy it though. Now I just have to get it home!

PTD


 
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Bay Park Buzzy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2795
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2012-01-09 8:25 pm   Permalink

This one went for about $350 a few years ago on ebay:



Buzzy Out!
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4082
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-09-17 9:15 pm   Permalink

Time to bump this great Tiki-Kate thread.

A color photo of the cannibal posts at the Chicago Don the Beachcomber.






DC


 
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HOUSE OF KU
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 15, 2005
Posts: 538
From: TIKILAND, USA
Posted: 2013-04-11 03:07 am   Permalink

Weekend Swap meet find..... A pair of Cannibal lamp bases....



Oceanic Arts?



 
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Hale Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 1798
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2013-04-11 04:09 am   Permalink

NICE FIND KU!

 
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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2196
From: SoMass
Posted: 2013-04-11 07:19 am   Permalink

WOW! Great score!

 
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ron-tiki
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 24, 2007
Posts: 365
From: los angeles
Posted: 2013-04-11 10:16 am   Permalink

I miss TIKI KATE !!!

 
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SandraDee
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 11, 2011
Posts: 914
Posted: 2013-04-11 10:28 am   Permalink

House of Ku for the win!

Great find my friend!!


 
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kiara
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 06, 2005
Posts: 112
Posted: 2013-04-11 12:33 pm   Permalink

Here's a shot of some of my cannibles
I gave the 2 on the left to a friend.



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-11 2:16 pm   Permalink

These are sooooo rare. I don't think OA ever made these, but then who did? Maybe they stood around at some of the early Don The Beachcomber franchises back in the day....

 
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Bay Park Buzzy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2795
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2013-04-11 3:46 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-04-11 14:16, bigbrotiki wrote:
These are sooooo rare. I don't think OA ever made these, but then who did?



I've had this theory swimming in my head after I checked out Kate's tikis and was wondering about the 1923 date on them. Because, it seemed real early for tourist pieces, (which these obviously were) when most other islands' prevalent and recognizable tourist/trade produced examples seem to have come after World War II(except maybe Maori?)...
I figure Gauguin was in Tahiti in 1891, which would have put the isles into the European consciousness from thereabouts until the turn of the century. Interest would spawn adventures and cruises to those lands, thus bringing in a tourist based carving economy as a result. 20 years down the line, Kate's tikis are made, and then a long decade later, Don's looks for fixtures in the new place and spies(or even has) these cool lamps from Tahiti(If these were ever in a Don's-I'm just using this as hypothetical because it would fit in the timeline...)
Tahiti wasn't exactly isolated from Hawaii, as far as trade and interaction were concerned. So thirty years of Tahiti producing tourist grade pieces would have given plenty of time for examples of that piece to get around. How many cruises could haven gone to Tahiti, and then Hawaii, to the mainland(and Europe) and back again in those 30 years? And how many Cannibal pieces were carved, bought, and produced in that time? Hundreds, if not thousands? Those large Cannibal lamps were probably the high end big spender souvineer you bought for yourself , and Kate's trio were probably like buying a $5 ironwood Mexican marlin carving in Puerta Vallerta now for your friends back home when you go on a cruise. Maybe more would surface if people actually knew what they were? Most were probably, broken, painted, and thrown away by now. Given the small sampling of people who would actually know that motif today, odds are low that one of those few would ever actually run into one. Looks like in the tiki world, maybe a dozen or so of those folks were at the right place at the right time and have one or the old set. I saw one on the shelf of a used bookstore a few years back. Guy didn;t know what it was, but had it so long he wouldn't sell it. It's kind of a vague concept without the background of the trio or being familar with Tahitian culture. One of the trio alone is almost meaningless. Thus, they languish as old and unknown wooden oddities in barns and attics across the continents.


So my final hypothesis is: That they were the earliest examples of Tahiti's locally produced, whimsical tourist oriented pieces based on original Polynesian motifs and themes. The true first wave of the PolyPop carver.


I now present this hypothesis for peer review and debate.


Thank you for your time.
Buzzy Out!
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-11 11:26 pm   Permalink

I think your theory has a lot of merit, Buzz-man. The motif of the cannibal Tiki was produced by some Marquesan carver for the Tahitian tourist trade. The interesting thing about THESE is that they were machine-made on a lathe, mine have the cross marks on the bottom. That seems more like a mainland US deal. Or other Asian wood-item manufacturing country? Maybe the lamps were re-imported to Tahiti?

 
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Bay Park Buzzy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2795
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2013-04-12 12:32 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-04-11 23:26, bigbrotiki wrote:
Or other Asian wood-item manufacturing country? Maybe the lamps were re-imported to Tahiti?


The hardest part I guess I have with accepting your theory fully on the non Tahitian manufactured origin of these, is that for it to be true, then there couldn't have been a lathe in use in all of Tahiti. And that just seems too improbable to me. It would also have to entirely discredit Tahiti as having their own wood manufacturing economy altogether.


My counter argument: Lathes, in one mechanical form or another, were already widely in use for hundreds of years. It wouldn't make sense for there not to be any lathes in use in Tahiti. If they were working with wood there, then they would have had access to those tools for a long time by then.

My opinion on the execution of the carvings of these pieces on a lathe:
The piece of wood in those(your) carvings was definitely placed in lathe at some time, but that more likely would have been done in the log prep stage. Those carvings weren't done on a lathe totally, but the raw carving log was definitely prepped on a lathe. If you look at the way the carving was done, there are not any places that can be explained on the finished form from the use of a lathe. At most, the very tops of heads may have been partially formed on a lathe. That would minimally credit the use of a lathe in the manufacture of these carvings. However, the way the carver first removed the sides in relation to the original log footprint, shows that the only time a lathe would have been used on any of the profile was on the very exterior perimeter, and that was only initially. The first thing the carver did when carving the pieces was to chunk off the sides, effectively making it in a rectangular or elliptical form, both of which couldn't be produced with a lathe. That makes me think the log was debarked, and brought to a standard and consistent dimension by a logging mill type operation. The carver may have even bought his logs prepped on the lathe from the local lumber mill, or more likely speed cleaned his logs with his own lathe. Making the raw logs in a standard dimension on a lathe would have made it possible for the carver to stencil his pieces from one master, thus quickening the process of repeating many of the same pieces. Which seems in the tourist mass produced carving shop,would be the goal.

My final thought: Thinking that the pieces were made by another wood-item manufacturing country solely based on the tool marks, seems to ignore many simpler and practical explanations.


An open call to all of TC to help us finally get to the bottom of this. I've been thnking about this crap for years...

Does anyone out there have one of these with the original manufacturer tags or price stickers? How about an old dated tourist photo with dozens of these lined up in Tahitian flea market. maybe an old ebay listing with a verified factula account of their origin. Any of those would help....Anyone?


Buzzy Out!

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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-12 12:04 pm   Permalink

Buzzy, thanks for your "experienced wood worker" perspective! My sole thinking of "why not done in Tahiti if machine-carved" was based on the fact that the majority of Tikis for sale to tourists in Tahiti up until the 60s were hand-carved, so: Not hand-carved = Not carved in Tahiti.

Which, as you pointed out, is way oversimplifying the matter. You are right, who says there weren't lathes used in Tahiti then.

I still also want to know if the basic concept of the Cannibal carvings had roots in some traditional pieces that did not survive the missionaries, or if they were conceived as "whimsical" tourist carvings to begin with.


 
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