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Coconut Monkeys

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Discuss all your Coconut Monkey needs here in this topic.

[ Edited by: hanford_lemoore - changed subject to reflect topic content - 2006-11-14 01:19 ]


Thanks for sharing those, badmojo. Your coconut monkeys have a lot of great details, I especially like your father's monkey. I'll be on the lookout for coconut monkeys for you, I see them every now and then. Do you have coconut monkey preferences? I know Mr. Smiley has a large coconut monkey collection. A collection that is large, not that he collect large coconut monkeys. Not that he'd turn his nose up at a large coconut monkey, mind you. I think. I shouldn't speak for him, maybe he prefers small coconut monkeys. I digress. Nice collection!

Thomas posted on Sat, Sep 3, 2005 3:13 PM

I had no knowlege of this phenomenon. Wow. Some very impactful and memorable faces there. I think we may have been the only family in America without a coconut monkey. From now on when I have a personal difficulty, I'll know what to blame it on!

Seriously though, thanks for the photos. I've learned something new today!


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:25 ]


I have two coconut money heads-one is pretty old,with shell eyes,and the other one I bought at the Hala Kahiki gift shop and is a pirate trying to look menacing,but he's crosseyed,so he just looks goony.I think they're a nice touch of whimsy.


Mojo - that one you dont like is the one I left out in the rain, so you can stop fretting now.


Love the coconut monkeys! And you should get extra credit for being the first one to finish the assignment!

I love the monkey band. A fine addition to any Tiki bar, I'd say.

Here's my (non-monkey) coconut head.

-Sweet Daddy T.
Because crap doesn't buy itself.

[ Edited by: sweet daddy tiki 2006-09-29 09:49 ]

Mojo - I really like those first three monkey heads. They're really expressive. Like your dad's especially.

Doctor Z has quite a collection of Coconut Monkeys (banks mostly), in his tiki bar as well. We seem to find them all the time at garage sales. I think we can establish the connection between coconut monkeys and tiki bars. Doctor Z has one monkey labelled "Beachbum Burt's". I think it was designed to hold a drink glass in its lap. Doctor Z can confirm this for you. Beachbum Burt's was a great Beachcomber/Tiki Restaurant here in Redondo Beach. The other restaurant by the same owner, "The Warehouse", still operates in Marina Del Rey and is a must-see.

I've seen the Coconut Pirate heads as well, but I found a new coconut creature for the first time last weekend - The Coconut Lobster:

Looks like it was cobbled together by some island witchdoctor who's about to animate it. I keep expecting it to start crawling across the floor. Can't wait till I build my outdoor tiki hut/bar so that I can hang this on the wall in some dark corner along with other displays of South Sea fauna.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2005-09-03 19:41 ]

Thomas posted on Sat, Sep 3, 2005 7:44 PM

It's very interesting that Sabu just referred to Beachbum Burt's because I was just about to as well, and I just posted to the thread on it:
which had been dormant for about two years. I saw the mention of coconut monkey drinkholder on that thread and was just about to make the connection when Sabu beat me to it. Interesting synchronicity out of the blue there.

This 'speak no evil' gorilla was given to me by my husband's friend.
When I first started collecting he was totally determined to find something for me, this fellow was found at a garage sale. Somehow, while it was being handed over, Gypsy the dog grabbed it and put several puncture wounds into it. I can't believe I got it away from her without more damage.

This one still has it's guts, the coconut meat rattles around inside.


I had an uncle who back in the fifties started a company called Tropic Art Novelty. They created all kinds of souvenirs from Coconut tree products and sea shells. His products sold to all the tourist shops from Key west all along the east coast and the South west coast of the US. All kinds of "junk". Monkey piggy banks made from coconut shells. Serving trays made from the limbs, and Yes Carved coconuts. Pirates, Monkeys and all kinds of stuff.
Gathering shells was a "family" participation and any time we were at the beach we collected buckets full for him. Shells for eyes, teeth and to decorate fish nets and all kinds of stuff.
His name was Karl Balasky and he employed about 25 or 30 people in his heyday. They even made Key-chain tikis.
He closed the company back in the 80's after never making much money and he retired on social security. He went to work selling t-shirts for a large company , selling to all his old accounts. He made more money the first year than he ever made with his company(profit) and worked for them for years.
I'm not sure if he started the coconut carving but I know he had several people devoted solely to carving coconuts.
So, as a kid I had pirates and monkeys around my house all the time. I remember many trips to his shop delivering shells. I will always remember watching the coconut carvers working so fast it was unbelievable.
Small world.


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:26 ]


Who knows, I might cut up a Coconut some day, never can tell. If so , badmojo gets the first one.

Wow! This is GREAT! I have been collecting coconut monkeys for about 12 years and I have NEVER been able to have a discussion and share the joy of finding and collecting them with so many cool people! Tiki central ROCKS! I feel like I'm home! : )
I have quite a pack by now. . .so many my boyfriend said he will NOT move into another apartment with me again until I get the collection down to 6 boxes. 'But they are so LIGHT!' I tell him. : )
Mojo is right, I think most homes had one at some point. The coconut monkey seems to be one of those weird items that stole their way soundlessly into our homes and our memories. Sneaky monkey.
I too have seen a lot out there, new and old. I tend to collect the old and weird. I prefer the strays rather than store-bought. I am especially fond of the ones I find at estate sales-tucked in the corners of bars, tiki lanais and rumpus rooms. What joy and fun they must have seen at all those cocktail parties!
I consider my home the coconut monkey rescue headquarters. At this point maybe some people might consider me a 'hoarder', but I don't think it's unhealthy. . yet. .
I have a rule that I never pay more than $20.00 for one. I have only spent that much for one once-it was the first-my infamous 'Popeye head coconut monkey'! : )
I agree, they are a happy edition to any home, and tiki bars seem to be their natural habitat!
As some of you know, I am an illustrator (as well as The Lucky Tiki bartender), and I am currently working on a series of coconut monkey paintings. Seriously! I have 3 in progress right behind me as we speak! I was just doing it for my own enjoyment, but now that I know other monkey lovers are out there, I will be sure to give you updates and pictures! : )
Thanks again for posting Mojo, and everyone! You made my night.
Now I gotta get back to those monkeys!!!!


I too love the coconut monkey and heads. I picked up my first one when I spotted him at a old thrift store. As soon as I saw that face, I flashed back to when I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. Our neighbors were world travelers and brought back all kinds of neat stuff to hang in their huge home bar and lounge. I'm not sure where the coconut head came from, but I remembered staring at it from it's place on the wall next to the bar.
Since then I pick up any type of coconut head I can find if it is cheap.
Last winter we were poking around up in Milwaukee WI. at a rather expensive antique nd curio shop. I almost fell over when I spotted a floor lamp made from coconut heads stacked one on top of the other up the pole and then they had Sawed the faces in half and affixed them to a heavy shade. They wanted several hundred for the thing! Someday I hope to have enough to make my own lamp.
For now here is what I have found.

This thread sparked a memory, and I confirmed it last night.

When my Dad was about 14(1959) he carved a face into a coconut. It was in my Grandma's basement until she died in 1998. It disappeared after that.

He's talked about it a few times since then, he really regrets not rescuing it sooner. I was asking him about it last night, he said he used it for target practice. He would make pea shooters and thwack the coconut head with little BBs. He apparently carved quite an evil face into it.

He said that he bought the coconut with all the fibers around it, but they were brown and dried out instead of being fresh. He said it was quite easy to carve.

I saw it once about 15 years ago when poking around in Grandma's basement.


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:27 ]

we snagged 2 coconuts from the ground while we were in ft. lauderdale last year. they were just laying there.
my 2 coconuts :) :) :)

I was at a market today and saw the perfect badmojo item on the shelf: a 4-pack of Jones Soda with a coconut monkey on the side. I couldn't find the exact pic on the website, but I did find no less than 4 others. Including this one:


Kono posted on Fri, Sep 9, 2005 7:34 PM

On 2005-09-09 09:54, badmojo wrote:
Unless they are grown locally, how do you even go about buying a coconut with the husk still intact?

They sell whole coconuts in some of the major chain groceries here. This could be the start of a new hobby... :o


I feel terrible...
My first taste of anything remotely Tiki were these coconut monkeys...When I first got interested in tiki and hawaiiana,I use to scavenge the local thrift stores in search of anything hawaiian or tiki,seldom having any luck. But the thrift store closest to my home seemed to have a neverending supply of these monkeys.So everytime i saw one I would pick it up, even though I was realy hopeing to see a carved tiki, a mug or some other tiki thing. After many trips in search of tiki stuff with no luck, I simply got tired of seeing these monkeys and stopped buying em.I then went even further and after moving a couple time ended up trashing most of them. Now after ready this post,I am ashamed of myself for ever getting rid and thinking they were not worthy of my tiki pursutes. I believe they are truly "TIKI",in my case the first tiki thing I ever owned.I still have a couple in my collection but tucked away.I now will dispaly them with pride and not over look there importance in my tiki life style, and officialy give my apology to these coconut primates.. Thanx for opening my eyes guys...Kirby


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:27 ]


per mojo's request: here's my monkey..and coconut things:

hewey posted on Wed, Sep 21, 2005 7:29 PM

I never heard or saw anything about coconut monkeys till this thread. I love your dads old monkey, and the band as well.

I also love that lobster. Looks very realistic, and the stail in the frame with the wood lashed together - cool.

On 2005-09-03 15:19, badmojo wrote:
... this bank style seems to be thecheapest & most popular, I'm really not a fan of the design.

[ Edited by: filslash 2008-09-15 15:06 ]


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:28 ]

Cool post! I love them coco munks! I am really diggin' those musicians. I have had coco monkey hangin' around my room since I can remember. My Grandma and I even made a pirate monkey out of half a coconut shell back when I was a lil dude. Here is pic of the coco monkey that I am watching for my buddy while he is teachin' in Peru.

Check out that gold tooth, now thats rich!


I just came across this link and love it!! I have 3 nut monkeys, but they are stashed away in storage. My favorite local bar has a nut monley special and apparently its very popular.


I feel terrible for how I have abused my coconut monkeys. After reading this post, I realized that they are not for mockery but for love!

A year or two ago, I picked up a bunch of coconut monkeys at an estate sale here in Minnesota and then set them out in my backyard with the idea that maybe the local vandals would think I was doing voodoo on them. Well, I wasn't burglarized that summer, so, I think it worked. But, the dang squirrels hated those coconut monkeys. They would attack them with a mean viciousness unlike anything I have seen since! After a month, all of the coconut monkeys had fallen to those evil squirrels that lived in our attic.

I have one lone coconut monkey that I liberated from a now defunct local bar. I've hidden it from view of any window so that the maniacal squirrels won't see it.


Pretty cool thread. Okay, to be honest, I am not a huge fan of these. Just kind of creepy! Although, I do think that they are Tiki. After seeing some of these photo's, I will admit that they are kinda cool.

I was at the thrift shop the other day and I couldn't say no to this one (Especially for $1.00). It's not a monkey but it is a carved coconut. Thought a few of you might like to check this out! Mahalo!


I have always admired the imagination and creativity of the coconut carvers. Monkeys or other faces etc. We only have a few and those are here because Mrs. 8FT likes 'em.
But I am now adding the following pic. to this thread because of the irony of the piece depicted. This is a recent find that she just HAD to have. It is a bank and is about 6" tall. This coconut monkey is made of Ceramic or plaster composition! I just asked...Why? I guess the real answer lies on the bottom where it is marked: Made in Japan.


this monkey looks like a popular singer

scroll down to get the full effect.


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:28 ]


Ha ha! That's hilarious! I think he's pretty adorable at that size, though.

The other day I found a set of three (Hear no evil...) at a thrift shop for $10. I didn't buy them at the time because I don't collect them. I just have one for decor.

However, if a collector here wants me to go back and see if they are still there, (which is likely, this is Maine) I would be interested in doing a trade. I collect mugs more than anything else.

PM me if you are interested.



Whether they're considered "tiki" or not, I think they're cool. In 1969 my sister and I saw a coconut head hanging from a tree in the front yard of a neighborhood house in Yucaipa while visiting our grandparents. We didn't recognize the face at that age, but our mother informed us it was a carving of Hitler, which creeped us out. Still, it made for a memorable visit!

I only vaguely remember seeing monkey heads--I think I may have seen them in department store garden shops in the 1960s. I don't remember seeing any of them for a very long time. Thanks for the memories. Forgotten stuff like that is partly what makes this board what it is.

P.S.--I imagine if you carved up a bunch of these in the likeness of King Kong and sold them on eBay right now, you'd make a bundle.

[ Edited by: mbonga 2006-01-26 09:54 ]


I gladly accepted SB in Maine's offer and I am now the proud owner of this trio. The classic bank style but done in traditional "No Evil" poses.


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:29 ]


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:29 ]

Mojo, I recently found a coconut elephant that needs a home, DrunkenMunky doesn't care for it, so I thought of you! It depicts a very cute baby elephant.


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:29 ]

I'll post a pic tonight

tonight is finally here!


[ Edited by: badmojo 2006-09-28 19:30 ]

On 2006-05-03 20:20, badmojo wrote:
Wow Hine, I was certain it was imaginary pink coconut elephants you were seeing. That's a new one to me.

It seemed only natural that my next pendant project would be a Coconut Monkey. I based this one on the monkey that belonged to my Dad.

Now you need to make one with red, flashing LED eyes...

Hey TC'ers and COCONUT MONKEY fans!

I hopped on the blog wagon to feed my obsession!

Check it out!


Hope to see you at the Tiki and Terrors show this weekend. :D

Domestic anthropologists agree that two distinct monkey lines emerged in America during the 1950s:

Hominidae Coconutus

And Hominidae Sockus

The precise evolutionary relationship between these two species clearly deserves further investigation!

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