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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Name:Kon-Tiki Museum, Oslo
Street:Bygdøynesveien 36

Beeing new to this forum, I am not sure whether this post is too long and too chatty to open up a new thread. If it is, please let me know, and I’ll make the necessary adjustments.

I guess the Kon-Tiki Museum must classify as one of the northernmost Tiki-Huts in the world. Growing up in the Oslo area in the 60’s and 70’s, I, like most Norwegan kids from the last four decades, has paid numerous visits to this museum over the years, and it still holds a certain enchanting spell to me to enter through its doors and into the world of The Mighty Thor – our country’s most famous citizen.

Thor Heyerdahl opened the first Kon-Tiki exhibition in 1949, 2 years after he had completed his voyage across the Pacific on a raft. The museum however, did not open until 1957, after the movie and the books (“Kon-Tiki” and “Aku Aku”) had earned him worldwide recognition. It is located on Bygdöy, one of Oslos wealthiest suburbs, close to the bay with a great view of the Oslo harbour, and right next to other tourists attractions like the Viking Ships, The Maritime Museum and the Fram Museum of the polar explorers.

Although it is in a brick building, The Kon-Tiki Musem is clearly inspired by Polynesian architecture as well as the americanisation of the pacific culture in the fifties and sixties. The fonts in the name are very tiki and the whole atmosphere of he place has a vintage, retro - some would say worn-out - feel to it.

Outside you are greeted by a big Moai and a clay replica of a Kon Tiki-statue from Bolivia, made by Heyerdahls daughter Marian Heyerdahl, a renowned artist in her own right. The museums logo decorates the wall right next to the entrance.

The exhibition also houses artifacts from Heyerdahls other explorations, like the Ra II expedition from Morrocco to Barbados in 1970 and the reed boat Tigris in which he crossed the Indian Ocean from Asia to Africa in 1978. But the Kon-Tiki raft and the giant Moai-replicas – the tallest is over 90 feet - has always been the greatest attractions. The rooms are very dark and its difficult to take good pictures in there, but the museums has a virtual tour of the grand hall that you can download from their website
In the floor directly underneath the raft is a fake underwater tableau with a 30 feet whale shark, some smaller sharks and fishes, and an Easter Island family cave, with a collection of sacred lava figurines hoarded in underground passages.

I guess three generations of Norwegian children has never forgotten their first magic visit to this part of the museum, but today it holds more of a nostalgic value, like yesteryears amusement rides.
Next to the caves and the underwater grotto, there is also a small auditorium where the show a short version of the Kon Tiki-documenatry.
The Museum Shop has some great items for tiki-collectors. (The link on the website has been dead for a long time.) There are some very nice, but rather expensive carved Moais from Easter Island artists like Luis Pate (apx 400 USD).

Marian Heyerdahl also has some cool clay Moais from 40 to 60 dollars.

The museum takes no public funding and I guess that is why it has never really been modernised. Which of course is great for al the tiki-heads of he world who can still make a pilgrimage to one of the last tiki sanctuarys from the heydeys of the 50’s and 60’s, in all it’s original splendor.

I haven’t written anything in english in a long time, and apologise for the spelling and grammatical errors. Please feel free to correct me.

[ Edited by: Kong-Tiki 2005-09-17 09:15 ]

[ Edited by: kong-tiki 2005-09-17 09:17 ]

[ Edited by: Kong-Tiki 2005-09-17 09:36 ]


Wow! That was one hell of a "first posting" to Tikicentral! Awesome photos and information (and, I would add in response to your concern, in excellent English too). Based on your comments I would agree that it is good that the attraction has not been "updated and modernized." Not only the items displayed, but also the site itself, preserve something of the past. Welcome and thanks for that contribution.

Welcome to TC, Kong-Tiki and thanks for this excellent post. A few years ago a friend of mine visited the Kon Tiki Museum at my behest and sent me these postcards:

Expedition Kon-Tiki 1947, relaxation

A day's catch

Thor Heyerdahl being velcomed [sic] by chief Teka of Raroia

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

[ Edited by: Sweet Daddy Tiki 2008-05-23 13:28 ]

Thanks for your nice responses. The Museum have been selling more or less the same postcards for years. Like this one from the excavation of the Moais on Easter Island.

[ Edited by: Kong-Tiki 2005-09-18 03:30 ]

Great thread! I need to go back there soon!

Here are some nice old photos from a small souvenir card package:

I love that cave, what a classic Natural History Museum style diorama!

A few pictures from my last visit to the Kon Tiki Museum...

The Large Moai outside the entrance:

Carved stone Kon Tiki idol:

Carved Marq outrigger:

Marq tiki (large!):

Part of the special 'Tiki Mug Exhibit':

More of the 'Tiki Mug' exhibit:

The Kon-Tiki raft in Bygdøy Oslo, Norway, July 1971.

[ Edited by: wideimaging 2011-08-10 23:46 ]

Love the frozen-in-midair seagulls. :) And I want that cool plate!

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