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

Pages: 1 12 replies

HJ

We all know about the Standards, but here are a few definitely Tiki books which are for sure, less well-known. Highly recommended.

Anyone else care to contribute your own favourites?

Adventure--Into The Neverland, James Hood, 2002

Fiction. Not exactly Tiki, more like modern Jules-Verne style "lite" sci-fi/adventure, but partly taking place in the South Pacific, circa 1972. Think, the British East India Company of the 18th century rises again in modern incarnation, to clandestinely exploit a parallel, alternate world. Very heavily researched, convincing, considering it's fiction.

Island of the Sequined Love Nun, Christopher Moore, 1997

Fiction in Moore's wacko-offbeat style, of a skilled but goof-off modern pilot getting involved on a tropical Pacific island with a leftover WW II cargo cult, an old cannibal and some very nasty criminals Including a temptress-extraordinaire, with some stuff so so stupid it will have you laughing aloud and other parts where you are on the edge of your seat chanting, Shid, shid, shid, how's he gonna possibly get out of this...?

March To The Sound Of The Drums, Colonel Harold Oppenheimer, USMC, 1966

Nonfiction. Memoirs of a once-young Marine officer sent to command native troops in Samoa in early WW II. Island culture, tribal life, island life, taboos, love's travails, remarkable characters, heroes, villians, military life, personal interactions are pondered and described in a remarkably readable manner.

A huge appendix discusses the intricacies of commanding native troops and Samoan grammar, from a US Marine officer's point of view.

(Edit 9-12-2010)

American Guerilla In the Philippines, Ira Wolfert, 1945

Nonfiction and strictly, non-Tiki, but definitely WW II and tropical Pacific Islands culture in detail. The wartime story of Lt I.R. Richardson's post-US/Philippine surrender to the Japanese, where he chose as did others, to fight on and hide in the many islands and among sympathetic poulation. Much period Islands detail and dramatic history of a time worth remembering and honoring.

The War Journal of Major Damon "Rocky" Gause, Foreward and Introduction by Stephen Ambrose and Damon Gause, Jr.

Nonfiction and strictly, non-Tiki. The story of an escapee from the Bataan Death March in the Philippines and the following 159-day escape to Australia. Much Philippine Islands culture and detail, plus the South Seas setting.

[ Edited by: Haole Jim 2010-09-11 22:08 ]

Rascals In Paradise, James A. Michener and A. Grove Day

Nonfiction, 1957. A history of 10 explorers/exploiters of the South Seas. Cook, Bligh, yeah, yeah...but also, fascinating chapters on Dona Isabel, The Lady Explorer and Louis Becke, Adventurer and Writer.

[ Edited by: Haole Jim 2010-10-08 09:25 ]

Kon-Tiki And I, Erik Hesselberg

Nonfiction, "Illustrations with text begun on the Pacific on the raft, 'Kon-Tiki' and completed at Solbakken on Borre (Norway)."
Amazing amateur pen and ink drawings of leaving for to finishing the Expedition. Erif drew and sketched while he was ABOARD Kon-Tiki!!!!!

Bradford & Dickens, London, 4th Impression, 1952

[ Edited by: Haole Jim 2012-04-21 22:41 ]

La Verandah has her tiki favs, but not sure if they fall in the "standards" category -- what would that be?

I would say he probably means the standards to be the great and most popular Tiki books everyone has heard of like Kon Tiki and Aku-Aku and the like.

How about Tiki: A Tahitian Adventure by Charles J Lipscomb (1935 by The Dial Press, New York, 334 pages, 16 B&W photo illustrations) ?

I just picked this book up yesterday at the fleamarket.

I ran a search on Tiki Central but found no reference to it or its author.

It has a great dust jacket design, although my copy is a little battered and mildewed in places. I went on bookfinder.com and there are two pages worth of used copies of this book ranging from $6.50 to $117 but it didn't look like any of them still had their dust jackets intact. Not surprising since the book was published in 1935.

In any case, here is a pic of the front dust jacket and I've re-written the blurb from the interior of the dust jacket below since I couldn't get a clear photo of it.

This charming story of the sojourn of a young American in the gem of the Pacific, mountainous, flower-laden, ocean-ringed Tahiti, will be loved by all to whom the South Seas beckon as the enchanted land of romance. Says Mr. Lipscomb himself: "In these pages I have tried to complete the fascinating ever eluding picture-puzzle of Tahiti--to bring her out of her shroud of rain clouds and sunlit beauty and place her upon paper that will, I hope, reflect her true portrait; one of quiet simplicity, of unadorned beauty--as should become a queen." How beautifully the young author-traveller has succeeded in doing this, all who read his book will appreciate. It is a book of travel and adventure, but it is more--it is the tribute of a lover to his beloved.

Tom - that's a great find. Especially with the dustjacket intact. I too am intrigued with finding these earliest works that introduced the term "tiki" to the American reader. I recently read a book (have to dig up the title later), from the 1930s about a merchandiser who travelled the Orient and South Seas, collecting imagery that could be used in American products (tapa designs, sea shell patterns, thatch, bird feathers, etc.) He may be the person credited with creating the first Aloha shirts and dresses for department stores in the late 1930s. One of his lines of clothing was called "Hei Tiki" - a brand that seems to have been forgotten, but may have been another of those small seeds planted in American culture that caused us to embrace the word "Tiki" in the 1950s.

UB

On 2010-11-08 13:16, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
I recently read a book (have to dig up the title later), from the 1930s about a merchandiser who travelled the Orient and South Seas, collecting imagery that could be used in American products (tapa designs, sea shell patterns, thatch, bird feathers, etc.) He may be the person credited with creating the first Aloha shirts and dresses for department stores in the late 1930s. One of his lines of clothing was called "Hei Tiki" - a brand that seems to have been forgotten, but may have been another of those small seeds planted in American culture that caused us to embrace the word "Tiki" in the 1950s.

That was Wes' granddad. Could it be that this thread:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=22916&forum=1&vpost=284611

...had escaped your attention all these years, Sabu? The ways of Tiki are mysteriously intertwined!

Wow! Yes Sven, that thread had escaped my attention. And "Polynesian Venture" is indeed the book I was referring too. I have a nice copy with beautiful art-deco dustjacket depicting tropical fish. I had no idea that was Wes's grandfather! Thanks for connecting the dots, Sven. Now I have something new to talk about with Wes the next time I see him.

(I couldn't resist)

-BCM

Walking back from Trader Vic's I stopped into a new/used bookstore
They had quite the Tiki selection.
I grabbed up 6 if them.

Jon

Ooooh, the CENSORED version of Tiki Style! :D

They actually had a section labeled tiki?

I went to Barnes & Noble and they had NOTHING, not even a book on tiki drinks!

HJ

Found another one! $12 from a used bookseller in metro Chicago.

"James A Michener Retells Tales Of The South Pacific," with illustrations by Michael Hague.

1992, Harcourt-Brace, London

Only about 40 pages and told as a summary of the film, rather than the book. Language is more of "children's book".

ILLUSTRATIONS (22) ARE LAVISH AND FABULOUS.

(3 copies on Amazon as this is e-penned)

Pages: 1 12 replies