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Tiki Reflections

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I'm only writing this as a result of a stiff Mai Tai and a solemn moment of reflection while sitting at my tiki bar, surveying my tiki brethren.

Why do I absorb Tiki? What is it about these little men of carved natural matter that attracts me? Am I tiki Gay? Madam Bong would be quite dismayed!

Tiki, like love, it is not a discussion for the rational man, but rather a matter for the romantic.

The one who remembers times long ago when the culture of TIKI was , but who wasn't quite born yet.

The one who with a child's eyes remembers some fuzzy memory of dad and mom acting like they're "Suburban Savages" reveling in the exotic, yet proscribed, pleasures of the naked flesh (and liver!).

For myself, collecting things 'tiki' isn't about market value, or return on investment. But rather, it's a retrieving of my long-lost brothers and sisters. A re-adopttion of kin my parents never knew existed. A family reunion of the family tiki.

Madam Bong is cold! She sells pieces of her tiki family as though there nothing more than objects related to some collectable culture (even though she keeps the finest prodigeny).

Dumb sentimental Bong cannot seem to abandon his demigodorical little offspring! He supports their ever-increasing mass by making concessions to previous passionatly-loved kin.

I wonder sometimes, if I will ever grow tired of my ever-growling, stern-faced dependents? No, They are too much like me: Ever pissed-off and vigilent, yet waiting to appease...

'A thing of Tiki is a joy forever'

Celebrate 'International Tiki Day' the second Saturday in August!

[ Edited by: Tiki_Bong on 2002-11-23 18:22 ]

....Ummm....okay....I don't know how to respond to this one....

can you picture Bongo sitting sad
one to many bowls he had
on a stool in his garage
hoping to come to life his tiki collage
maybe then he would have some friends
and he could see a means to the ends
come alive these tikis will
after bowls or rum filled swill
but if you sit an stare all day
then maybe yes your tiki gay
bi-tiki i think are in his thoughts
is it tiki penis or tiki

Bongo, We love ya man
don't fall off
breath deep and come back to us

Bong, you are on the right track there, man. To me Tiki is a form of ancestor worship. In this culture, in this day and age, we have very little respect and concern left for our elders. To native cultures in Polynesia the ancestors were godlike, and there must have been some ancient wisdom in that that we are now lacking.
Through the big generation gap of the 60s and 70s, (which killed Tiki style when it was just at it's peak), and the Me-generation of the 80s, we have severed the bond, but with reappreciating and understanding and LIKING what our fathers and grandfathers were into, and finding it in ourselves, we move a little closer again.

When beginning my resaerch in the early 90s, many of the oldtimers I encountered were grumpy and downright suspicious to my interest, having been abandoned and laughed at by their own children. Nowadays there seems to be a softening of that.

When we learn to understand and appreciate our fathers, so will we understand and appreciate ourselves more....

Also, Bong, remember what Karl Woermann said about Tikis:
"Anybody who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream!"

And also, I have found that in these matters (love for "things") women, who are supposedly the romantics in the male/female dualism, are much more pragmatic and hardcore than us male romantic idealists.

We at TIKI Central would be glad to pay for the second date.

You have the soul of a poet and the liver of Dean Martin.

Tiki Bong, for taking a chance and revealing your innermost feelings for all to see I personally nominate you Tiki Central Man of the Year!

Lovely piece by Tiki Bong.I too am of the opinion that the common link between us is spiritual, nostalgic, and romantic.Aren't all appreciaters of Tiki searching for an ideal of something simple?Primitive yet pleasurable? Something different from the complicated lives that we are stuck in by circumstance?
I am feeling the effects of a stiff Zombie. However, I think that the pleasurable state induced by alcohol can connect us to the thoughts and ideas that really do give us pleasure. I drink a toast to Tiki Bong.

This thread has elicited from me numerous guffaws.


While'st I love you dearly, you wouldn't understand, it's a guy thang!

Allow me to rephrase my statement. The comments of Bax and Big Al made me laugh out loud.

I do most certainly appreciate this thread and I am in communion with the sentiments expressed therein. I love my tikis too, but I am afraid to elaborate further as Bax is hovering out there somewhere, waiting to pounce on verbal miscues.


Don't worry about the Baxdog, he's as harmless as a baby with a razor.

I know the feeling....I'm completely obsessed with Tiki now. But I've had more fun with this than anything else I've ever found fascination with!

GECKO posted on Mon, Nov 25, 2002 1:52 PM

uhh... Ya! whateva bruddah Bong said me too!I'll drink to that! $hit, i'll drink to anything.... ok, that was a nice piece of art Bong. You use dem words good brahdda!

Live Aloha

I feel that men are by nature hunters and in this case once a tiki mug is "stalked" and "captured" the brave hunter cannot let go. Those Tiki mugs are trophys of a great "kill". As a female, i guess we do not have this "hunting" instinct. As nurturers we must let go of our offspring and suffer the loss. Thats just my humble impression of why Mrs. Bong may appear cold, when in fact she knew instinctually that she could not hold onto anything forever. I just realized this is all beyond my limited intellect so I'll shut up now.

Bong, your words struck a chord with me. So poetic and yet kind of confused. My friends don't really understand the enchantment, except for that ya hoo, Lapu Rocker. The whole tiki obsession thing seems so rediculous and yet so f*ing cool at the same time. Hang in there, and save it for Sam's.

I completly identify with the ancestor worship thing, Sven was writing about. As I said some time ago, one of the most gratifying things about tiki has been the connection it has created between me and my Dad. Reading and learning about this era has really deepened my understanding of who he is and why.
In the mid-fifties, he blew everyone in his family away by getting married and moving to Indonesia with my mother. In his work for the State Department, he spent a number of years in the South Pacific, Japan and Korea, while making stopovers in Hawaii. He also wrote a book about Indonesia and one about Korea (where I was born). Eventually, he moved our family to Hawaii in the late 60's, where we lived for six years.
Although I grew up surrounded by Asian artifacts and culture, and was forced to listen to Les Baxter, Martin Denny, etc., I didn't understand or appreciate how this environment connected to a cultural pattern. I just thought it was kind of weird.
Now I undersand that my Dad actually lived the tiki dream instead of just reading about it, or listening to it on the stereo. He went about as native as a white guy from Chicago could, and still maitain a family.
This year when I go to his house for Thanksgiving, I can't wait to surprise him with my newly acquired Sandwich Isles jacket. (Its a sport coat with an aloha shirt pattern, and its identical to the one he wore in Hawaii when he was in his mid-40s, about my age).

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