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God of Money Tiki: what is the history of this tiki?

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I saw these in hawaii and was wondering if there is any real history on the money tiki.

I have done some searchng on the web but all I find is money tikis for sale - no real information on the history of this type of tiki.

Thanks for any info you can offer.

Aloha, and welcome to Tiki Central, timezone!

I believe the so-called "Money Tiki" is either Ku or Lono, isn't he? I think we all know the little "hapa wood" statues you're talking about made by KC Co. Ltd. of Hawaii. I don't know why, but they always call the tiki statues they make something like "Luck Tiki" or "Money Tiki," when their real names are along the lines of "Ku, God of War." I'm not sure why they do this, other than possibly because they want to sell to as many people as they can, including people who wouldn't want another culture's god in their house. The reason you can't find any information about him is because I'm pretty sure KC just made up the name.

Not sure this really answered your question, so if any other members want to take a stab at this question but haven't seen the money tiki, take a look at this. The money tiki's are the two on the left.

[ Edited by: Trader_Rick on 2002-11-29 10:55 ]


These are just novelty items available at any corner ABC store.

**Poly-Pop ***

Bartender, make mine a glass of WATAHHH!!!!!

[ Edited by: polynesianpop 2011-12-22 08:32 ]


I think Laney was the closest in terms of explanation - that is, they're just novelty items. There isn't a "correct" mapping from the KC Co. tikis to authentic Hawaiian deities. In some cases, even the original Hawaiian gods' physical representations were somewhat interchangeable, I think. There are some basic features (Lono often has a tall headdress, Ku often has a mean look and very sharp hair features, Kanaloa often has bug eyes), but many of the other distinctions are just legacies of a little creative extrapolation by Cocojoes and HIP and other earlier souvenir companies. The Chiefly co. tikis that you see in Hawaii a lot now instead of cocojoes (RIP) actually seem to use their labels almost randomly. I've seen the same tiki be the god of money, good fortune, love, etc.

"Keep this Long Life Tiki with you, you may always be safe and health." Many good lucks to you.


GECKO posted on Fri, Nov 29, 2002 8:17 PM

Lono is not the money God! Tribes traded pigs, mats, fruits, tools, what ever they had with other tribes in the 1700 to 1800's. There was no money. Lono is the God of agriculture in Hawaii. If King Kamehameha could see a ABC store....sigh.

A harvest festival called the Makahiki rite is held and is know to be introduced by Lono.

Lono is also a God in the Marqeuesas, know to them as Ono.

[ If King Kamehameha could see a ABC store....sigh.

For some reason I got this mental image of Kamehameha standing at the cash register with a copy of People and a Snickers bar while that Organs in Orbit version of Girl From Ipmanema plays in the background.

This is the kind of thing that happens to me when I don't drink rum on Friday nights :)



Ok First thing you have to know is our gods are always evoling, taking lono for example ,He is also a god of Tahiti by the name of Or'o, he is the messenger to tane. Yet in hawaii he is associated with thunder and storms.Over time he changed In many chants he is also know for causing earthquaks, whirlwinds, rainbows etc. In Kamehameha's day Great heiaus (place of worship)to pray for rain for better crop. Yet in a strange twisthe became a god of fertility and offerings were made to him ,(thing of value mostly food but anything of personal value was accepted)until he was pleased. Maybe this is where the "god of money" came from? The thing is hawaiian god are always changing as time went by, since there wa no written words all history are from on chants and prayers and every version its a little different. If your really intrested in hawaiian god pick the book Hawaiian Mythology by martha beckwith, its a dizzing read.

On a related topic, is anyone maybe into Huna philosophy as put forth by Max Freedom Long and Serge King?

I know that stuff is not really very authentic Hawaiian religion, but it is pretty nifty and I am curious if anyone here likes it.


Thank you all very much for your comments. This is all very interesting. i think I might get that book that you suggest Hula hula

Thanks again.


[ Edited by: timezone on 2002-12-01 11:08 ]

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