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Tiki Central / General Tiki

What is Tiki?

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Ok, I've had friends and relatives actually ask me this BUT here's the dialogue of what happened to me this morning:

I'm at the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel in San Diego. If you have never been there, let me say that it is Tropical/Hawaiian, with dozens, and I mean DOZENS of tiki figures around; either stand alone, on the wall or used as the posts on the fences. I walk into the gift shop and.....

Me: "Wow! with all the tikis around the hotel, you would think there would be some here in the gift shop for sale!"

Gift Shop Employee: "Excuse me?" (with a bewildered look on her face).

Me: "Oh, I said, with all the tikis around the hotel, you would think there would be some here in the gift shop for sale."

Gift Shop Employee: "Tikis? What are Tikis?" (Still with a bewildered look)

Me: "You're kidding right?"

Gift Shop Employee: "Umm...no, what are tikis?"

Me: Now I have a bewildered look, as I lead her out of the Gift Shop to show here about 5 of them just outside the shop.

Gift Shop Employee: "OOOHHH! That's what those are!....interesting!"

Me: Thinking that it's got to be at least her second day on the job..."Oh, you must have just started here, huh?"

Gift Shop Employee: "No, I've been here 2 years."

Me: looking around for Mr. Funt from Candid Camera to come out of nowhere..."umm...ok....have a nice day", as I leave.

Incredible! Can you truly be around multiples of ANYTHING around your workplace and NOT know what it is? Is it just me?

What the hec are Tikis?

Thanks for letting me vent.


This Daddy's Caddy & The Tiki Transporter

Hmmm...I should have been TraderFrank

[ Edited by: sugarcaddydaddy on 2003-01-11 19:26 ]


Next time you're in town feel free to stop by the Lagoon Room. You're welcome anytime. the same goes for the rest of you too.

Thanks Al!
I thought about that but it was truly a last minute deal for us.
Found out about leaving at 4pm
Left Orange County at 5pm
Dinner at 7:30pm
Bed at 9pm
Wake for Renee & Olivia's flight at 4am.
Also, it was the "Oceanside" exits that reminded me of you guys, and I had no way of getting your number.

We do plan on seeing the World Famous Lagoon Room in person soon!

[ Edited by: sugarcaddydaddy on 2003-01-11 19:47 ]

SCD, where I live, I get that question all the time. POdunk backwater to San Francisco........ What's a tiki? My answer is, "well you know those big heads/faces they carve into wood over in Hawaii?" Oh yeah those.
For moviegoers I just saw 007 Die Another Day and I swear I saw some tiki-like figures in the opening chase scene when Bond is chasing a bad guy on a hovercraft. Please confirm. Another movie coming soon to a theatre near you "A Guy Thing", shows tikis in the movie and Tiki Girls, tiki bar too. Can't wait. Also for you guys who play PlayStation 2, Nightfire 007, mission "Island Infiltration"....guess what, you'll find Tikis there also. Just thought I would share that. 1 more thing, anyone seen Trader Vic ashtrays? I nabbed a couple at an antique store. I wonder if they are fairly common. TTYL, JT

Ti·ki¹tēkē n-s [Maori& Marquesan]1 usually cap: an embodiment of the first male or the superhuman creator of mankind [bold] 2 a: a Polynesian wood or stone image set up as a temporary abode or embodiment of a god or other supernatural power but not worshiped as an idol b:a Maori image representing ancestor that is usu. either large and of wood or a small, often in the form of a pendent, and of greenstone <a greenstone ~which has been in her family for generations –Auckland (New Zealand) Star> – compare with Hei-Tiki

[ Edited by: Talkie-Tiki on 2003-01-13 19:16 ]

[ Edited by: Talkie-Tiki on 2003-01-13 19:18 ]

[ Edited by: Talkie-Tiki on 2003-01-13 19:17 ]


[ Edited by: dogbytes on 2003-01-11 22:29 ]


[ Edited by: RevBambooBen on 2003-01-14 21:18 ]

I went to the Hanalei a few months ago because I hadn't been there since the Red Lion took over and I wanted to check out the scene. I was not impressed with the general atmosphere, the help or the food & drink. I honeymooned at the Hanalei with my first wife back in 1972 and believe me this was not the same place by a long shot. As for someone not knowing what "tiki" is, it seems to me like there is tiki on the material level, the three dimensional object you can see and touch and feel. And then there's "tiki" on the spiritual and cerebral level, an appreciation of the art and cultural significance of tiki and how it brings pleasure and tranquility to people who take the time and effort to pursue it. I asked my wife, who lived in Hawaii for 25 years about the meaning of "Aloha". She told me aloha is love of the land and love of the people. I think tiki probably fits in there somewhere.

I think your right Shipwreck...and SCD, So how many mai tais will it take to clear your mind over this encounter with this unenlightened one? What is Tiki, kind of reminds me of the post about getting others into Tiki. Can it be done? Do you really want to? As somebody said,"you can lead a horse to water but you cant make them drink". Maybe this can be applied to the Tiki Spirit. You can introduce or peak someones interest but unless your born with the spirit or your able to ignite a spark inside I dont think it will happen. Not everyone will get it. That spark inside of us, that inner love, or spirit is what sets us apart. We are a rare breed and unique in our own right sharing a love of Tiki. I can see it now... me riding my tiki kruiser door to door, I'm dressed in my best clean aloha/tiki shirt(no tie) with Sven's Book of Tiki, and A Grog Log under my right arm with a Martin Denny CD tucked into my waist, holding a mai-tai in hand and going door to door converting my neighbors to Tiki...anyway, I happenned upon Tiki Central by fate . Ive had this spirit and interest within me, at first I didnt know why or what but knew I was drawn to it. It's like I was feeling like that Richard Dry-fezz(sp?) character in Close Encounters at times..he's attracted to this thing, is making Tikis out of mashed potatos or mud /sand sculptures for unknown reasons and then drawn to a place to meet others all brought together for a common interest and love of Tiki.

[ Edited by: tiki rider five-o on 2003-01-13 09:38 ]

Very funny story! Are you sure that gift shop employee wasn't Jamie Kennedy? Did it look like he/she was wearing a wig?

BTW - Did you get a chance to eat in the Islands Room? They serve their drinks in tiki mugs. The last time we were there, Bong scored an Orchids of Hawaii 3-tiki bowl. And no, not by stealing it. You get to keep the mugs!

PolynesianPop wrote:
Very funny story!...Did it look like he/she was wearing a wig?
BTW - Did you get a chance to eat in the Islands Room?

Wow! I think she WAS wearing a wig! What do you think? Here, I took a picture of her..

It was pretty funny (and sad) that she didn't know what a tiki was. Well, I'm just glad a TikiCentral Member was there to help her through that bit of crisis. Now she does know!
As for the Islands Room, I was a little bummed since it was closed that evening. When I first called for our last-minute room reservation at The Hanalei, I inquired about the Islands Room. The front desk said "oh, that's closed this evening". Closed? On a Friday night? She sort of stumbled through an excuse explaining that they were "doing maintanence", but it just sounded a little funny to do that on a FRIDAY night! The next morning I went to the Peacock Cafe upstairs, had a nice breakfast, and could hear the manager & employees having a loud discussion about serving the patrons in the meeting rooms, and something about being too short staffed to take care of the restaurant and going back and forth to help the people in the meeting rooms with their meal orders. Then more loud discussion of not knowing what will happen during SuperBowl if they can't solve their problems when there are only a few people at the hotel now.

I would bet that The Hanalei is possibly going through some internal staffing/management problems. It could be the reason why the Islands Room was closed on Friday night.

I will try Humphrey's (by the Bali Hai). That place looked very tropical and inviting.



Humphreys is an excellent hotel. We stayed there last labor day. The room I got was a suite with full kitchen & lanai overlooking the marina. No discounts on holidays, so the room was about $175.00/nite. Very pleasant place though. Great restaurant & a small niteclub with good local entertainment (my personal fave being Candy Kane & the Swingin' Armadillos). Also within staggering distance from the Bali Hai (a major selling point).

The Half Moon Bay Inn is awesome but the only thing tiki about Humphrey's is the A-Frame entrance. The restaurant has been modernized and there are no tikis in there. Just an FYI.


When we were there, the Islands Room was closed for a week. It's a bad time in the hotel/rest. biz, so I wasn't suprised. But continued closures are not a good sign. I suggest that the people on this list in the southland keep a very close eye on the joint, should the management have something awful planned.


Arrrgh! THE ISLANDS enendangered? This is the holy site that became the receptable for the lost treasures of THE LUAU (read BOT p. 204 and the captons p.205)!
Already, in the late 90's, the A-frame entrance was demolished and replaced with an ugly stucko port cochere. The sign devolution is documented in BOT p. 204

The interior was only halfway screwed up then, the beautiful booths with the BACKLIT Maori carvings and weapons were torn out and a wall was put in for a seperate bland conference room. BUT the main waterfall was left intact, and thus this place remained as the LAST Tiki supperclub in South Cal with waterways traversed by bridges (see BOT P. 66 (sorry for the non-pagination!) the color pic in the upper right corner: I took this in 1995!) During the process some of the major Tikis that had made it from THE LUAU dissappeared...

But now? Somebody please look into it.

SCD, did you check out the courtyard in the hughe rise addition in the back? The Luau entrance hut is now gone, but there are some fine carvings from the Luau (pic BOT p. 205) left, and it is really neat to take the glass elevator to go ABOVE the 20 foot high palm trees and come down into the jungle.


The Islands Room, even though it was remodled it is still something to see. I hope everything is OK

Here are the waterways Sven mentioned

[ Edited by: Alnshely on 2003-01-14 21:24 ]

Printed the pics...I'll have copies of some of those weapons carved soon to take to Hukilau if I can guess the scale correctly.

Pages: 1 18 replies