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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Any info on this tiki? please?
Any info on this tiki? please?
justsayjulie
Member

Joined: Jan 26, 2010
Posts: 3
From: NYC
Posted: 2010-01-26 9:27 pm   Permalink

Aloha,
I'm a tiki newbie. And have been reading this forum for HOURS tonight, and am fully obsessed with everything tiki now. My bf and I just returned from Kauai and brought this handsome tiki dude back with us. However, we know nothing about him other than he is pretty old(50yrs?). We tried to do some research to find out what his name is, but turned up nothing. We found other tiki's that look like him but ours has a penis and his hair(braids) go all the way down to his feet, the others did not.

So if anyone has any info on our new roommate it would be greatly appreciated.




Thanks in advance,

Julie


 
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1961surf
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2007
Posts: 1925
From: Newport Beach, Ca .
Posted: 2010-01-26 10:21 pm   Permalink

Looks like your standard KU tIKI with a penis to me....but hey what do I know!!

 
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justsayjulie
Member

Joined: Jan 26, 2010
Posts: 3
From: NYC
Posted: 2010-01-27 12:09 am   Permalink

Thanks Surf.

 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-01-27 12:38 pm   Permalink

Hi Julie,

That's a pretty nice tiki. The Hawaiians tend to carve their tikis in the authentic, classical style, based on the very few original tikis to survive from 1800s. Yours looks like it was based on this Kona-style Ku image that currently resides in the British Museum:



There's another famous Ku in the Bishop Museum:



... but yours has the more protruding eyes, the rounder head, and the round, knobby braids touching the ground like the British Museum example. Only six original Kona-style Temple Images survived from old religion of Hawaii. The two examples above were copied a lot when tiki-carving was revived in the 1950s and 60s, and copies of the copies followed in great numbers. In the British Museum original, the center braid is a pig's head and the remaining braids also have a small notch or "mouth". It's been suggested that all the braids symbolized pigs heads, which were prized food and sacrificial items. It was thought that the braids represented an multitude of pigs sacrificed on the altar to the god during the dedication ceremony of the temple, symbolizing the god's "infinite" power.

Based on the dark color of your carving, the dust in the cracks, and the large penis (which I think is less pc today), I would tend to agree that yours looks like a vintage piece from 40 or 50 years ago - but there are other experts here who are better at guessing than me.

Did you get any history with the piece? How tall exactly is he? If he's standing on a table, then I'd say he was probably a tourist piece carved back in the day. If he's standing on the ground, then I'd say he's a bigger piece from a restaurant or bar.

The original Hawaiian carvings often had genitalia, but never that large. That was some artistic license taken by the carvers in the '60s - probably for a little shock value and to make the piece a little more naughty and exotic. That appealed to tourists back in the day and was considered acceptable - just like owning a velvet painting of a naked island girl.

A lot of these penises were chopped off in later decades when it was decided they were too obscene. If your piece is indeed vintage, than he's lucky to still have his manhood intact.

A lot of good information can be found by hunting through the chapters on this website:
http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/kona/historyt.htm

And if you can find a used copy of "Hawaiian Sculpture" by Cox & Davenport, that's also a good source.
_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-01-27 15:06 ]


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justsayjulie
Member

Joined: Jan 26, 2010
Posts: 3
From: NYC
Posted: 2010-01-29 7:36 pm   Permalink

Thank you so much Sabu, that was a lot more info than I expected, and I REALLY appreciate it.

He is 15.5" tall. The man at Havaiki in Hanalei said he came from an estate somewhere on Kauai. The deceased mans daughter stopped by Havaiki and said "I hate all this tiki stuff, take it." That's pretty much all the info we got, other than it's from the mid-century. The wood looks pretty old and has some cracks on the back.

We don't want Tiki Pete(his new name) to be alone, so we have some books on the way so we can start our research and venture into the wonderful world of tiki collecting. So excited!!

Thanks again for your help.

julie



 
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