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Tiki puts couple in a South Seas mood

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I'm surprised this pair hasn't found Tiki Central!

FINDERS/KEEPERS: Tiki puts couple in a South Seas mood

By Rosald Bentley; Staff Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 14, 2003, Wednesday, Metro Edition

Keepers: Kal Hogenson and Carolynne Trout.
They've gotta have: Tiki. Ceramics, music, clothing, matchbooks. Popularized after World War II, tiki is a kitschy interpretation of Polynesian culture, most directly the carved "tiki" figures from Polynesian mythology. Popular from Australia to St. Louis, tiki lounges and restaurants peaked in popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Though it had fallen out of pop-culture favor by the 1970s, in recent years tiki has enjoyed a revival. Even retailers such as Pottery Barn have gotten into the act, developing table linens and bar and dish ware with the old motifs.

Tiki epiphany: About eight years ago, Hogenson and Trout attended a party with a lounge theme _ cheesy organ music, leopard prints, Hawaiian shirts. Tropical cocktails were served in tiki mugs. The pair was hooked. "Then we started picking up a piece here or there at yard sales and flea markets," Trout said.

Enchanted Tiki Room: Their collection fills the basement bar in their 1950s Golden Valley rambler. Where to begin? Nearly 100 bar mugs including ones from Trader Vics, the Bali Hai and Steven Crane's; matchbooks, menus and swizzle sticks from tiki lounges; original albums of "exotica" music. Many of the pieces cost from $1 to $10. Trout and Hogenson also buy newer things, though they prefer vintage. They own "The Book of Tiki" by Sven Kirsten, widely considered to be the tiki collector's bible, and they get Tiki News, a newsletter on tiki culture.

One of Hogenson's favorite pieces is a skull mug. "You'd pour high-proof rum on top of the drink then light it so you'd have a Flaming Skull.

Pilgrimage to Tiki: On a recent trip to Chicago, the couple made it a point to visit Hala Kahiki, one of the longest-running Tiki bars in the country. With grass mats on the floor, lighted torches on the walls and Hawaiian music playing in the background, Hala Kahiki was the experience the couple was looking for. "It was actually very refined," said Trout.


Mai Tai, anyone?: This couple uses their collection. There's nothing better after a hard day's work than a Flaming Skull and listening to Les Baxter's "Quiet Village."


[ Edited by: kahukini on 2003-05-26 23:23 ]


Hello all Tiki greats,
I am looking for a vintage Trader Vics mug or glass from the St Louis Missouri location. Anyone have an extra one for sale or even a picture of one so i can drool. thanks Tiki forever

Leekitiki, I would try that again in this thread:


...though Trader Vic rarely had any location-specific mugs or glassware that would have the name of the franchise on it. Matchbooks and menus and other paper ephemera (as seen above) yes.

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