Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
Tikis, those large wooden images in humanoid form, have been a part of Western culture since Captain Cook explored the Polynesian Islands in the 1770s.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel were surprised to see just how many different types of tikis there are and all the places they turn up.
Tiki artist Doug Horne told SurfWriter Girls, “tiki culture is alive and well! There’s a lot of music and artists—carvers and painters—out there. I think it’s still growing. I really think of it as kind of an art movement.”
Deified by the early Polynesians, there are many tiki stories in mythology, including that Tiki was the first man created by the god Tane. Or that Tiki is the guardian of the entrance to the underworld.
To find out about all things tiki, just look through the pages of author Sven A Kirsten’s new book Tiki Pop.
By the 1950s tikis were pop culture icons. With their smiling faces and gleaming eyes, they represented fun and adventure, beckoning us to an alternative lifestyle unburdened by convention.
And today, tikis are a blast-from-the-past, retro symbol of simpler days and tiki-torch lit nights, of rum cocktails topped with umbrellas, colorful aloha shirts and music with an island beat.
So, If you want to slow down the pace, just look around. Chances are you’ll see Tiki’s smiling face.
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