Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Tiki Central logo
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / General Tiki

Long post: Tiki Hunting in Oahu and Maui (but not at IMP) AND A GECKO SIGHTING

Pages: 1 5 replies

jtiki posted on Thu, Jan 9, 2003 2:44 PM

In an attempt to hide from one of those "ends-in-an-oh" birthdays, my beloved decided to transport me to the Hawaiian Isles for the holiday season. We saw waterfalls, spectacular fish, lush tropical forests and beautiful sunsets. But of course, we really only went to see the tikis. We did visit the International Market Place, so well documented in other posts, but we did see some others. Below please find many pictures and the like:

We stayed at the western end of Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, they had quite a collection of shops, whose entrance was guarded by the Tiki gods of mercantile. This is one of them. The other was female (I thought we took a picture) more less the same, but proportioned otherwise in the chest.

Now I’m told there is only one “original” tiki left, after the official abolishment of the old Hawaiian religion. It lives at the Bishop Museum. This is the one we saw inside The Bishop, once with the flash and once without.

On the other hand there is a Moai, they keep it in the yard, maybe it is the authentic one. I’m told that leis and other offerings are left to it on occasion. On the day we saw it, it was instead surrounded by banners from some sort of fair they were hosting that day. (The moai with the smaller head and the purple shirt is me)

From the Bishop, we ventured to what we heard described as a real throw-back to the tiki bars of old. La Mariana Sailing Club, is in fact just such a place, with much of its artifacts being recovered from older places as they closed. To our way of thinking, La Marianna had the best Mai Tais we tasted; although Yvonne was fond of the Fog Cutters at The House Without a Key. This is no casual claim, but results from a comprehensive, if not complete sample (results not normalized to account for alcohol intake).

Yvonne and me with the pole in La Mariana, which bears a striking resemblance to pole we saw later at a Shearton.

As we stepped into La Mariana, the place was empty, except for a couple trading Christmas presents with the staff at one table. I tapped Yvonne and said, “I think I recognize that guy,” and indeed it was our own, famed super-carver Gecko. He and his wahine sat and talked tiki. I doubt I could spell her name, but it sounds very much like the Hawaiian word for royalty, and indeed, they treated us royally extended to us the spirit of aloha (in the form of Mai Tai’s and beer). We got to see some of his work up close, first-hand and I anxiously await the opening of his own cyber-carving shop. This is us at the back bar under the floats (I heard they were saved from Don’s or Vic’s, I forget which)

We devoted a day to kayaking on the beautiful beaches on the Northeast side, and then circumnavigated the Northern side, taking 83, before heading back on H2. We copped a quick U-turn somewhere south of Laie to see “The Rainbow Diner” which was closed, but had two big ole boys out front.

Laie is the home of the Polynesian Cultural Center, which we elected not to visit, but the grounds (or at least the entrance) are covered with carvings and tikis, including these three.

Meanwhile, back in Waikiki, they have apparently recently added this memorial (with a tiki theme) to The US Army Museum of Hawaii. They were just up the street from us and we thought they were very cool. Cool enough to stop and take pictures, while still running late for the Airplane to Maui.

The Sheraton in Maui was festooned with a goodly number of tikis, including this pole:

This pole that looks identical to the one in La Marianna

And this guy. We couldn’t decide if he was intended to have 2 faces or 4. (Is there a face there, with a square mouth?)

Not only were there several nice tikis, but Yvonne learned the hukilau from Ms LuAnne on the patio. (No suitable pictures for posting) Next door, at the Kaanapali Hotel, they advertised a tiki bar, but took a one-big-tiki approach, when we would have preferred several smaller.

Five minutes down the coast, in tourist-oriented Lahina (and I do mean that in a nice way), we finally saw some of the carvers I expected to see during our trip. This guy was across the street from the Giant Banyan Tree.

But his best tiki (to my way of thinking) was around the corner and up the stairs.

Oddly enough, as we wandered through the shops of Lahina, we saw more Florida tikis than local - http://www.maitiki.com. Mr. Coombs is doing quite a bit of shipping to HI.

The other place to see a well stocked tiki population is the Old Lahaina Luau, where you are greeted by this guy (and a lei, and a mai tai).

They guard the food, the bathrooms, and hide in the bushes (can you see all three?). The one on the right, is a style that I’ve always referred to as “Cook Island,” most likely inaccurately. Can anyone fill me in on what this “style” is (Tiki farm calls it Rarotongan)

Here’s a closer look at this style

Even the ash trays

The Old Lahaina Luau also runs a show called The Feast at Lele. We snuck a few peaks while eating at a restaurant next door. Yvonne actually went down and learned a bit of the Tahitian torch dance from one of the guys practicing on the beach. (As long as the Luau’s like to use the sunset as a backdrop and as long as the beaches are free in Hawaii, you can always sneak a peek at a few shows- ain’t it cool?). We walked into the grounds after the show was over and found this tiki:

Once again, rushing for a plane, we decided that we couldn’t return without a carving, so we grabbed a carry-on-suitable for cheap. This is Lono hanging out in the living room chair.

That’s our story. I, of course, now need my own chisel.


[ Edited by: jtiki on 2003-01-09 15:05 ]


Very nice pictures. Looks like you really had a good time. Cool that you got to meet Gecko in person. Those island pics sure brightend up this East Coast winter workday afternoon.


thanks for the guided tour o tikis! sooo nice to know the restaurant next to The Old Lahaina Luau is still there..the casual, eat on the patio place right? when we were there 5 yrs ago, all the performers in the Luau rested/ate there!

follow big hawaiian guys, they know where to eat!


Aloha JT
Thanks for the cool pics! They're truly inspiring. I'm packin' my bags right NOW.

Mahalo nui loa


here's a sampling of the tikis we found this trip.. there are plenty more at the Honolulu Acadamy of Arts

Oahu Tikis ~ Hawaiiana Hotel

Oahu Tikis ~ Honolulu Academy of Arts

Oahu Tikis ~ Big Kahuna Mall Waikiki

Maui Tikis @ Don the Beachcomber

Maui Tikis at Mama's Fishhouse Restaurant


For a second there it looked like you had a peg leg!

Nonetheless, great photos! Thanks for sharing.

Pages: 1 5 replies