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The Well-Read Tikiphile-for BigBro(mostly)

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[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:08 ]

Hawaii...James Michener

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:08 ]

On 2003-02-21 14:52, purple jade wrote:
No argument there.
BTW...what IS the tune?

My guess is the 1812 Overture - just watch out for the cannons! :wink:

The Oxford English Dictionary?

Just chain-yanking. Get at least one of Trader Vic's recipe books, if only for his wisdom.

Trader Woody

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:07 ]

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:07 ]


The ... book .. of .. tiki ...?

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:07 ]


It's not enough to own these books. We must read them and study them and understand the magic that is Tiki!

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:06 ]

On 2003-02-21 22:16, stunrut wrote:
It's not enough to own these books. We must read them and study them and understand the magic that is Tiki!

Unfortunately, my dog ate my copy of The Book Of Tiki, so I couldn't study. :(
What's even sadder is that it is a true story. We got a 1-year-old black Lab a few months back, and he realy liked the BOT's soft, chewy cover!

TBOI is #1. After that the pickin's get rather slim from the purely TIKI viewpoint. James Michener's "Hawaii" is good but his "Tales of the South Pacific" and "Return to Paradise" are tops on my list. "Kon Tiki," by Thor Heyerdahl, is a very important historical document and does much to explain a link between Polynesia and our section of the world.
Art is of extreme importance to the Tikiphile. Therefore "Taboo: The Art of Tiki" by Martin McIntosh and "Night of the Tiki: The Art of Shag, Schmaltz, and Selected Primitive Oceanic Carvings" by Doug Nason are virtual must-haves.
What!?! You want Magazines (or Periodical Publications) too? Tiki Times is IT! After that Barracuda is best in my book. If you don't like seeing cute babes in various stages of disrobedment (


of course the TIKI NEWS is a must read.. although I believe some backissues may be hard to come by at this point..

get bigbro's VHS tape(s) thats a good one

I ahve to agree somewhat with the above posts. Tales from the South Pacific is a classic read. Kon-Tiki while an interesting read is highly disputed within archaeological circles. Just because you can do it does not mean it actually happened. I have been meaning to get the book by the ethnologist that went with Thor.


It is true, I have Maryanne's Gilligan's Island cookbook but it's not necessarily just desert island type food - it's just favourite recipes of cast members and friends re-named to sound tropical.


I must disagree with the earlier comment that Tiki is mostly about drinking. I'll admit that Tiki has had a strong influence on drinking and vice-versa. Tiki, however, is more about a feeling. It's a state of mind not necessarily achieved through drinking alcohol.

My wife and I count about four times that I've had alcohol in the six years we've been together. I'm not against other people drinking. I just don't feel the need to put alcohol in my body to achieve a state of "Tiki".

(I do own both of Beachbum Berry's guides. I'm not a total stick in the mud!)

I on the other hand I have not had a drink in 9 years blah blah blah, and I am a total stick in the mud.
I am going to drag my family (including kids) to every semi child safe TIKI event we have.
Yes, most TIKI events revolve around drinking, don't try and sell me any other excuse. And yes, my kids don't belong at some events, but if it is even close, they want to come, so I am bringing them.
Tiki is not just for drinkers.
If we keep calling it a family let's treat it like one.
Sometimes it's OK(kids at events) and sometimes it's not.
If we blow it, then we talk about, we adjust it, then we just move on.
But we still love each other like a F A M I L Y.
TC and it's family happens to be one of the favorite things in my life right now.
So bring it on, Bitch I want more.
OK, I am done now.
Have you seen my pills.
"I LOVE YA MAN" (woman and child and bong)

Sorry wrong subject matter subtract 10 points
Where's the thread?

Have no brakes
Cannot stop
Mahalo to you

[ Edited by: thebaxdog on 2003-02-22 08:33 ]

"Taboo, The Art Of Tiki" is about 25% tiki and about 75% absolute toilet level abomination/adolescent "wooh!" culture fantasy art. I would have to place "Night of the Tiki" eons above that book in every way in the art department.

"How Daddy Became a Beachcomber". It's all true. My aunt wrote it about my Grandfather. My other aunt did the illustrations. Might be a little hard to find. E-bay maybe?

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:06 ]

On 2003-02-21 22:16, stunrut wrote:
It's not enough to own these books. We must read them and study them and understand the magic that is Tiki!

I can't say I've ever had the need to study any materials on tiki in order to live it. It's just sort of always been there...


True. However if we're gonna own the books we should read them. I know books aren't for everybody and it's certainly not necessary to read a book to live a Tiki life. But, reading these book can truly enhance our knowledge and the Tiki experience.

(I'm not really interested in reading anything that doesn't somehow produce fun for me.)

LEt me offer a few suggestions about studies concerning Polynesian culture. Probably one of the most fascinating books is by a famous anthropologist named MArshall Sahlins. The title is Islands of History and it discusses the arrival of Captain Cook to Hawaii and how the native populations viewed him. Its a great book and I highly recommend it. He has a number of other books and articles concerning the islands that can be found usually online or at any university library. Its worth the trip!

One the lighter side, I found a book in a thrift store once entitled Pacific Odyssey. The book was authored by a bumbling wealthy British family as they sailed through the south pacific for 2.5 years on their yacht. Its pretty funny (even though I'm sure it was not supposed to be) and has some observations of some south pacific festivals that are very entertaining.

On 2003-02-22 09:15, purple jade wrote:
And how does one get those VHS tapes?

Here is the ordering info:

(a small aside...Sven, I saw in an old post you actually wrote "y'all". I believe that's neither Californian nor German. You're not a gasp closet Southerner, are you?)

...for some reason, for the first years after I moved to L.A. in the early 80s, I had three Texan girlfriends in a row, one I even met when visiting back home in Hamburg. (So I knew what Fajitas were before anyone else in L.A.)
Texan girls just seemed to have such a nice balance between being good looking and at the same time being level headed...

About the books: Polynesian POP had really never been described before the BOT and Tiki News, so there is not much else out there...
The Grog Log and Intoxica are authoritative and informative. The current Leeteg Book comes to mind.
For old books on personalities that had a formative influence at the time: Trader Vic's auto bio "Frankly Speaking","Senor Kon Tiki" by Arnold Jacoby about Thor Heyerdahl, and "Leeteg of Tahiti" by Barney Davis,...

Hawaiian 20th century and before: "The Aloha Shirt" by Hope/Tozian, "Leis, Luaus and Alohas" by Baston/Phoenix (picture book), and DeSoto Brown's books on Waikiki.
Old books: "Rascals in Paradise" by Michener/Day, and "Here's Hawaii" by Bob Krauss.

True Polynesian culture? Too many to mention. One has to look under the different island groups (Hawaiian, Marquesan, Maori, etc) and under "Oceanic Art" in general.


The film "Kon Tiki" is quite interesting. Netflix has it.. its all actual footage from the voyage.

I find that Thor Heyerdahl's Aku Aku is my favorite "historical book related to Tiki" by a longshot. His "Fatu Hiva" and of course "Kon Tiki" are good too, but Aku Aku takes the prize in my book (sure, what the heck, I admit it: the pun was intentional).

Latey, in fact, reading Heyerdahl has inspired me to seek out many other "south seas adventure traveloges" published between the 1840s and 1950s.

All but the Melville book contain photos, and many of the photos contain Tikis.

All are rare, but probably not expensive if you do find them.

Here are some faves:

The Last Cannibals by Jens Bjerre, 1957
(mostly about New Guinea)
"A Stone Age in the Atom Age".

Hidden Worlds of Polynesia by Robert C. Sugggs, 1962
(mostly about Marquesas)

Bride in the Solomons, Osa Johnson, 1944
(mostly about Solomons)

Typee, During a Four Months Residence in the Valley of The Marquesas, Herman Mellville, 1846
(mostly about Marquesas)

Tonga - A Tale of the Friendly Islands< Patricia Ledyard, 1956
(mostly about Tonga)

Adventures In Paradise: Tahiti and Beyond, Willard Price, 1955
(mostly about Tahiti)

Sorcerer's Village, Hassoldt Davis, 1955
(mostly about French Guiana - Okay, this is Africa, not Polynesia, but still a great read).

Also, the Heyerdahl bio "Senor Kon Tiki" is a great read, and if you can find it, Heyerdahl's encyclopedic 1000+ page "Art of Easter Isalnd".

Also, anything by Routledge on Easter Is.

and... (cough)... (ahem)... there IS one other book that I hope you will all have in your libraries about 6 weeks from now... (cough cough)... certainly (or hopefully) the most comprehensive book on Tiki since Sven's holy tome... (clears throat).. if I my say so myself...

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:04 ]

I read "Waikiki Beachnik" this year by H. Allen Smith. There is a photo of this book in the BOT. Don't know where you can get a copy. I found mine on ebay fairly cheap. The book was written in 1959 by a well-known humorist of the time. It has lots of references to many Polynesian Pop icons including, Donn Beach, Webley Edwards, Alfred Apaka, Arthur Lyman, and Henry J. Kaiser.

bigbrotiki wrote:[/i]

Texan girls just seemed to have such a nice balance between being good looking and at the same time being level headed....

Why, thanks, y'all! :wink: Our mamas tried to raise us right!

(Actually, we do NOT use "y'all" as a singular pronoun form, merely the second person plural, in lieu of having a proper one like most other civilized languages. Instead, we must improvise with y'all, youse guys, you guys, or England's you lot. sigh)

Oi you lot,

Just picked up a couple of older books -

"The Golden Haze" - Roderick Cameron
Basically, he re-traces Captain Cooks voyages
between 1958 & 1961. It has a nice montage of a Tiki made up of bits of newspaper on the cover.

"Tangaroa's Godchild" - Olaf Ruhan
Appears to be about a New Zealander farting about in the South Pacific.

I doubt that either could be described as 'essential', as I've survived this long without reading them but both look like worthy additions to any Tiki bookshelf.

Did anyone mention Don the Beachcomber's "Hawai'i Rum Drinks" book? It got good press here a while back and it lived up to the early reviews.

Trader Woody

The only books you need are "The Book Of Tikie," "The Grog Log," "Tales Of The South Pacific" and "Trader Vic's Book Of Food & Drink." Someone mentioned "Night of the Tiki: The Art of Shag, Schmaltz, and Selected Primitive Oceanic Carvings" -- skip it... it's junk. Most of the pictures are of contemporary Tikis, and the best photos of Oceanic Arts/Schmaltz stuff is in Sven's book, anyway.

"Tiki Drinks" by Adam Rocke (illustrated by Shag), "The Great Tiki Drink Book" by Jennifer Trainer Thompson are also crap. Beachbum Berry's "Grog Log" is the only one you need. It took me three years to try each drink once, in my own house. "Tiki Drinks" is especially bad, except for Shag's cover, but his art is a dime a dozen these days, so unless you are a Shag completist, there is better artwork of his to be had, as well.


On 2003-02-25 23:25, BC-Da-Da wrote:
"Tiki Drinks" is especially bad, except for Shag's cover

True nuff. It was the first "Tiki" drink book I ever ordered (amazon), and what a disappointment. I gave it to my bro cuz he had no Shag art at all.

I love Shag (have a print), but the drinks in this book would gag the worst sugar junkie. Totally inauthentic 90's shooter-bar muck. "Grog Log" is it, baby!


While I agree that Tiki Drinks is a pile of shite, and that any budding cocktail-meister should turn to the Grog Log (and indeed it's sister tome 'Intoxica'), I don't go along with the view of 'Night of the Tiki' at all.

Personally, I see it as being a well laid out exhibition revealing how original Pacific objects have inspired Western carvers and artists, who in turn have inspired a new generation of artists.

It's not supposed to be a catch-all Tiki book, but demonstrates clearly how inspiration travels through the generations.

Trader Woody

Personally, I see it as being a well laid out exhibition revealing how original Pacific objects have inspired Western carvers and artists, who in turn have inspired a new generation of artists.
It's not supposed to be a catch-all Tiki book, but demonstrates clearly how inspiration travels through the generations.

Looks like a catalogue for the presents Tikis and carvings being sold at Oceanic Arts. Truth be told, and Sven will tell you more authoritatively than I can, that book skips the initial inspirations for Tiki-Pop art. Many of the original-true Tiki artifacts don't/didn't have paint on them. A lot of the great Tikis from the '50s and '60s have been repainted over the years (in the name of preservation or re-sell-ability), but that's not the way they were originally designed.

"Taboo: The Art Of Tiki" wins my outhouse wiping material award. Tiki meets-spring break-beer-binge-meets-insane-clown-posse-meets-bad porn-meets gold-chain-wearing dance club regular. Any of which has as little to do with original 50's tiki culture as I do with Mother Theresa.

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:22 ]

Most of the contemporary Tiki art is not good, as far as I'm concerned. It's just too colorful, or pastelish. I actually did a lot of research on contemporary Tiki, and Sven can tell you, I contemplated doing an article, even a book, on the new Tiki Pop movement.

Alas, I felt that it was a much weaker subject than the original era, and it didn't inspire me on a whole. It has been fun to be a part of, and amazing that so much came out of a book and a small publication (i.e. a whole sub-culture). For that new awareness, I'm thankful. But that "Taboo" book basically represents how I feel about the look of the contemporary Tiki movement... close, but no cigar.

Amen, bruddah.


I am greatly appreciative of 'Taboo: The Art of the Tiki.' It was perhaps the first of the recent books to show the resurgence of this latest round of tiki culture. Taboo was published in 1999 - before Sven's 'Book of Tiki,' and before Shag's first artwork collection 'Supersonic Swingers.'

I know that this book helped spark my further interest in tiki. At the time, it was the only book that allowed one to be exposed to the artwork of Mark Ryden, Shag, and Bosko - and I am saddened to thus hear others refer to it as toilet paper.

I'll agree that many of the other artists aren't on the same caliber of quality as those just mentioned, but I will give them credit for dabbling in tiki and being enthusiastic about tiki before many of us entered the scene.


What is great and important about "Taboo- Art of Tiki" is not the individual art per se (although there is a lot of fine stuff in there), but that it demonstrates what an inspiration the Tiki image provides for all kinds of artists. He has truly proven himself to be the God of the Artists, as the Marquesans saw him.
It is uncanny how many creatives I know that are Tiki fans, from the director of "Monsters Inc" to musicians, writers, graphic artists and painters. They are re-introducing Tiki into pop culture with their contemporary work, some better than others, but they are proof of it's creative mana.

I am a vintage Tiki fan first and foremost, but I am proud that my research has influenced artists even before Taboo was out, because my love for the arts and visuals made me do it in the first place.

The problems that I have with Night of the Tiki are that it has a great concept, the evolution from Native Tiki to American 50s Tiki (Leroy) to Tiki now (Shag), but that it is confusing in it's realization. Too much non-Tiki art (Irian Jaya ?), not enough authentic Tiki, and what is shown as Leroy's works are too few of his originals, and too many machine carved copies of authentic carvings that he just went and overcolored in the "nouveaux" Tiki esthetic, (which began when restaurant proprietors wanted to update their Tikis in the 70s and 80s, a sign of Tiki devolution in my opinion.)
This mixing of the carving styles and heritage unfortunately confuses the issue of what Tiki is and is not.
This is just my perspective, and in no way negates my greater appreciation for Doug Nason's honest love and obsession for Tiki culture then and now, and I am looking forward to the big work on Polynesian art that he is working on now.

As I recall, 'Night of the Tiki' was a companion book to the gallery exposition that happened in Brea, CA. It seeks to illuminate traditional tiki culture through the dislay of primitive carvings and to show, through the work of Shag and Leroy Schmaltz, how these artists have taken tiki to new levels. To call it crap is not understanding the reason for it.


'Night of the Tiki'... seeks to illuminate traditional tiki culture through the dislay of primitive carvings and to show, through the work of Shag and Leroy Schmaltz, how these artists have taken tiki to new levels.

It seeks to do that, but doesn;t do a good job of it. I understood the concept, but as Sven pointed out more eloquently than I, the carvings used were not '50s Schmaltz originals, but Oceanic Arts pressings FROM LeRoy's originals, with a ton of incongruous paint on them. Believe me, when I call it "crap," I don't mean that Shag's art or LeRoy's carvings are crap. Quite the contrary. I just think the book is not quite accurate and seems like another way to flood the copious market demand without giving something that has a lot of lasting power. We plug Sven's book because it is thorough, and doesn't seek to be anything more than it claims, but fulfills all it claims to be, at the same time.

The Book Of Tiki is the one book to buy. Sven should be making a mint lecturing at art and design schools!

Thanks for clarifying your point BC. I see what you're saying.

Has anyone heard of a book called "Confessions of a Beachcomber", by E. J. Banfield?
I bought it on ebay for $1. (Hell, at that price it might just as well have washed up on shore.)
It was written in 1908 after the author and his wife fled civilization for the simplicity of island living off the coast of Australia. The forward indicates it was a very popular book when published, so I'm wondering if our dear Donn Beach knew of, or read this tome. The edition I have was published in 1933 -- about the time Donn was getting underway.

Here's an excerpt from page 10 that sounds like something Mr. Beach might have related to:

"Had we not cast aside all traditions, revolting from the uniformity of life, from the rules of the bush as well as the conventionalities of scociety? Here we were to indulge our caprices, work out our own salvation, live in accordance with our own primitive notions, and, if possible, find Pleasure in haunts which it is not popularly supposed to frequent.

"Others may point to higher ideals and tell of exciting experiences, of success achieved, and glory and honor won. Ours not to envy superior qualifications and victories which call for strife and struggle, but to submit oursleves joyfully to the charms of the 'simple life."

If the author had mentioned rum somewhere in the above paragraph, I'm sure our own dear Beachcomber would have embraced the text.

Here's another excerpt a few pages later...

"This was our very own life we were beginning to live; not life hampered and restricted by the wills, wishes and whims of others, but life unencumbered by the domineering wisdom, unembarassed by the formal courtesies of the crowd."

I'm just starting this book, so I'll try to relay any other gems I come across. I know the prose is a little difficult, but I think the 2nd paragraph of the first passage cited would make a terrific Tiki Central toast.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2003-06-02 13:50 ]

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2003-06-02 13:52 ]

"How Daddy Became a Beachcomber" has just become available for $50. If any one is interested, I would be happy to send them a link to acquire the book (not from me).




Just re-read this thread, and also just re-read a book I mentioned here last year: "Typee" by Melville.

The narrator is stranded on a Marquesian island for four months, and gives a detailed and intimate look at all aspects of Marquesian island life circa 1840.

A great read. Melville's opinions and socio-political views are remarkably forward-thinking for his era. His criticisms of the church and of the way the islanders are viewed by Europeans are absolutely contemporary with modern thinking circa 2004.

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