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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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I was recently contacted and asked if I would be interested in purchasing this item. Here is the story from the seller along with a couple of photos. Does anyone here have more info or an estimate on value?

"I had seen it for years at a gas station on the corner of main and 71st street in Broken Arrow. The station closed and the property was for sale so I got hold of the owner and ended up purchasing it.

There is an artist name (can’t remember it right now) and 1979 date on it.

Supposedly there were only 4 made and they were made for AMOCO believe it or not. They were placed at the entrance of Coal mines to look over/protect the miners. The president of Amoco’s wife was into Polynesian culture and commissioned these to be made.

I had this by our swimming pool when we lived in Bixby, right off of 121st between Memorial and Mingo and you could see about 2 feet of him above the fence. I actually had a retired AMOCO engineer knock on the door and ask me about it. I knew a little about it and the gentleman confirmed my info. You will see in the pictures that he is holding a boulder in his hands. The gentleman said “yep, see, he is holding a clump of coal” . You can tell that at one time the “clump” was painted black."

[ Edited by: TraderJames 2014-11-12 07:13 ]

Very cool!
As a kid my family and I traveled through Broken Arrow a lot on our way back and forth to visit family in Kansas. All I remember about the place is piles of chat and it looked grimy.

I thought the coal mine tikis were made for the Mapco mining company out of Tulsa, OK. They named their coal mines Martiki, Pontiki and Toptiki. Bigbrotiki has written about them.

Maybe the the seller has the wrong company name, I'll look into that.

Yup, pretty sure it's Mapco not Amoco. Found this article online http://baledger.com/tiki-toppled/article_8f99c3bc-0a6c-5f5e-998e-f5e90b14884b.html?mode=jqm

Wow! I have been looking for photographic proof of one these for years! Looks exactly like the small promotional gift versions that MAPCO gave to shareholders - which I recently featured on the opening page of my new tome TIKI POP:

To me, the marriage of the tropical Tiki motif with the industrial world of coal mines just seems like such a great symbol of what absurd heights America's Tiki fever reached! :)

So I had looked into the "A Mine Named Tiki" phenomenon a bit, here is a little background:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1982/4/15/mines-shape-county-and-land-pexcept/

There was some stuff to be found - but without any Tiki imagery, the knowledge of the original meaning of the mine's names having been lost with the business changing hands:

I bought a collection of Tiki mine baseball caps for my camera crew:

But I found little evidence of the actual full sized statues, except for the article that Trader James linked above:

Tiki toppled -in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Fate of Hood's cement sentry is undecided

By: Tracy LeGrand | Updated May 31, 2011

The cement sentry guarding the southwest corner of Kenosha and Main streets has fallen. For "at least 10 years," the statute belonging to former Broken Arrow Mayor Nick Hood has stood, drawing comments of both a positive and negative nature.
"I've had quite a few offers to buy it over the years," Hood said. "Now that its damaged I don't know if anyone will want it. It's been difficult to determine its value."
For the many who have found the "tiki man" - as Hood calls it - charming, there are some who take issue.
"Oh, I've had some Rhema students tell my wife they weren't going to patronize my business if we didn't take it down," Hood said. "I don't know if that had anything to do with this latest thing or not. It's been toppled over before, but this was the first time it was damaged."
Hood has researched over the years and says the statue's design is from Polynesian spiritual figures, exemplified by the famous enigmatic, megalithic stone faces on Easter Island.
"No one knows exactly what these were used for or why they are there," he said. "I've read they may be about guarding graves to keep away evil spirits. "One (French Polynesian) culture I read about wears tiny jade or wood or stone tikis around their necks for luck," he said.
Hood's tiki stands 6-foot, 10-inches tall with a 9-foot circumference base of solid concrete.
"The tiki figure itself has some metal framework and the concrete poured around it," he said.
How Hood acquired the stone figure is an intricate story involving a former powerhouse Tulsa corporation, a Kentucky artisan, a coal mine in Wyoming and a death.

"It originally belonged to Mapco Oil Co. and I'm assuming they had it constructed," he said. "It was made in Owensboro, Ky., by an artist or company called Elmer's Creations. Then they moved it to Wyoming to stand outside a coal mine to protect the workers," he said. "If you saw the front of the statue, you'd see he's holding a chunk of coal."
Mapco's financial woes meant a relocation of the tiki to the company's Tulsa office where it sat until purchased by an acquaintance who asked if the tiki could reside on Hood's property.
"When he died I became owner of the tiki," said Hood.
And there it sat, being toppled a few times but remaining undamaged until "either late at night Dec. 17 or early the 18th," he said.
When a friend alerted him to the state of the fallen statue, Hood called the police.
"It was almost in the street but they told me to leave it there while they looked into it," he said. "When they were done I got it moved a bit out of the way."
The tiki is no longer as handsome as it once was.
"They damaged it pretty good, whoever it was," said Hood. "I guess falling over it cracked its nose, neck, face and the front of it. I don't know if it can be repaired."
Repaired or not, the tiki will likely need a new home eventually as the City of Broken Arrow is seeking to acquire Hood's property for its gatesway-into-downtown project, said Hood.

WOW! Great find. And a big thanks to Sven for shedding even more light on the subject.

Very cool! I have no idea how much something like this would work but I'd imagine it would be expensive.

Thanks so much for the additional info Sven. Great to know the history is still out there.

So TraderJames
Let's see a pic of this monster in "your/it's" new home
:)

Jon

On 2014-11-10 18:55, hang10tiki wrote:
So TraderJames
Let's see a pic of this monster in "your/it's" new home
:)

Jon

No deal has been made yet, and I don't know how I would get it home lol

Try to get it. Chicks dig Tikis.

WHO can find out about "Elmer's Creations" in Owensboro, Kentucky?:

"It originally belonged to Mapco Oil Co. and I'm assuming they had it constructed," he said. "It was made in Owensboro, Ky., by an artist or company called Elmer's Creations. Then they moved it to Wyoming to stand outside a coal mine to protect the workers"

The prize would be to find a photo of it in situ at the coal mine! These kind of statues usually inspire folks to pose with them…

Problem is (IF Wyoming is correct as the location) that none of the "-tiki" mines I found are located in Wyoming. Most are in Kentucky. Here's the ones I came up with:

Dotiki mine, Kentucky
Martiki mine, Kentucky
Pontiki mine, Kentucky
Toptiki mine, Kentucky
Mettiki mine, Maryland
Pattiki mine, Illinois

Somewhere else I remember reading that 4 of these full size Tikis were made, but I am not sure anymore. One stood at the Mapco offices (which do not exist anymore). The crux would be to find an image of one of the others at one of the Tiki mines.

I have no idea how many of the small promotional statues were made. They are lightweight resin. Mine was given to me by Kevin Kidney, who got it from a relative. I placed it in the opening display of my TIKI POP exhibition at the Musee Quai Branly in Paris:

Awesome discovery! Maybe a moderator or Trader James can change the title of the thread to be accurate with "Mapco".

You need to get that Tiki!

DC

On 2014-11-11 14:26, Dustycajun wrote:
Awesome discovery! Maybe a moderator or Trader James can change the title of the thread to be accurate with "Mapco".

You need to get that Tiki!

DC

I like the AMOCO mistake, goes with the story of re-discovering this piece of tiki history.

:) DC just wants it to be more easily findable.

James, if you can't figure out transport and decide against the overall cost, please consider passing on the owner info so some other Tikiphile can obtain it and keep it in the community.

On 2014-11-11 22:35, bigbrotiki wrote:
:) DC just wants it to be more easily findable.

James, if you can't figure out transport and decide against the overall cost, please consider passing on the owner info so some other Tikiphile can obtain it and keep it in the community.

Hmm...I should mention I live only four hours from it. Even still, if it's solid concrete...

On 2014-11-11 22:35, bigbrotiki wrote:
:) DC just wants it to be more easily findable.

James, if you can't figure out transport and decide against the overall cost, please consider passing on the owner info so some other Tikiphile can obtain it and keep it in the community.

Of course, that is the plan if I cannot make the purchase. I have a price on the tiki now but no shipping option yet.

About 20 years ago I had an 8' long fiberglass brontosaurus shipped from LA to Kansas in a heavy wooden crate and it only cost $87 because the shipper categorized it as stage scenery. A concrete tiki would weight a ton more but you might see if there's a category that'd decrease the cost.

On 2014-11-12 06:55, TraderJames wrote:

On 2014-11-11 22:35, bigbrotiki wrote:
:) DC just wants it to be more easily findable.

James, if you can't figure out transport and decide against the overall cost, please consider passing on the owner info so some other Tikiphile can obtain it and keep it in the community.

Of course, that is the plan if I cannot make the purchase. I have a price on the tiki now but no shipping option yet.

How are things with Mr. MAPCO? Please keep us updated as to his status. I trust he's not going anywhere fast, but I just don't want him to "disappear" again.

FM

Good luck, TraderJames. That's an awesome find! I would help you move it if I lived out there.

As far as I know, this baby has not moved anywhere yet - a real shame for such a unique slice of Tiki history. It is quite affordable, but the cross-country transportation makes it out of my budget. Somebody closer should go and get it.

8T

We ran across this gas station quite by accident many years ago and I know I took pictures. I just can't find them. But I will keep looking.....

8T

On 2014-11-10 13:07, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wow! I have been looking for photographic proof of one these for years!

Sven, here you go. I finally found where I had stored these photos! They are from 2004 as we traveled from a soccer tournament in Tulsa, OK back home to K.C., MO.
This one was in Muskogee, Oklahoma.


I once was lost.....but now I'm found.....

[ Edited by: 8FT Tiki 2014-12-06 15:14 ]

[ Edited by: 8FT Tiki 2014-12-06 15:20 ]

Ha! Wish I'd known, too late for the book. Oh well, perhaps in the next one. :)

Just scored one of those smaller brown promo tikis !!

Hey Sven how tall is the tiki you have ?

It is THIS big:

:)

Well, I bought the thing last week. It has more damage than is seen in the previous pictures in this thread, but it was a good deal and I can manage the transportation to my home. I know someone who has done repair work of folk art sites and have asked for concrete restoration advice.

The former owner poses for scale.

The most bothersome damage is on the side of the mouth.

There's also damage to the base.

S

Cool! Base damage may have been from moving it.

S

did you find this in Broken Arrow?

Great score! Looking forward to seeing the restoration.

No, it was in Sand Springs. It's the same one discussed earlier in this thread. The owner had moved it and had been unsuccessful in his attempts to sell it previously, transportation often being the problem. I think I can deal with the logistical issues in moving it. From what I can tell, it's constructed like some miniature golf obstacles - concrete over a rebar and mesh frame - which makes it lighter than were it solid. The problem then becomes (given the cracks) keeping it from crunching under its own weight while being tipped into a horizontal position and when being set back up. It used to have a cable coming out the top, indication it was moved by crane, but the previous owner said it's now broken.

It's more the concrete restoration that's a challenge. With all those cracks, it obviously can't withstand too many more moisture freeze/thaw cycles without further degradation. I'll have to use a material that expands/contracts at the same rate as the base material to avoid the repair itself being damaging.

It would be helpful to know if it was originally painted. There are traces of paint on the coal lump and 8fttiki's pics show it used to have blue eyes and a painted base. If I can paint it, the differences in new and original cement won't matter as much.

On 2018-09-17 09:26, stevekh wrote:
did you find this in Broken Arrow?

[ Edited by: tikijackalope 2018-09-17 16:16 ]

S

On 2018-09-17 16:07, tikijackalope wrote:
No, it was in Sand Springs. It's the same one discussed earlier in this thread. The owner had moved it and had been unsuccessful in his attempts to sell it previously, transportation often being the problem. I think I can deal with the logistical issues in moving it. From what I can tell, it's constructed like some miniature golf obstacles - concrete over a rebar and mesh frame - which makes it lighter than were it solid. The problem then becomes (given the cracks) keeping it from crunching under its own weight while being tipped into a horizontal position and when being set back up. It used to have a cable coming out the top, indication it was moved by crane, but the previous owner said it's now broken.

It's more the concrete restoration that's a challenge. With all those cracks, it obviously can't withstand too many more moisture freeze/thaw cycles without further degradation. I'll have to use a material that expands/contracts at the same rate as the base material to avoid the repair itself being damaging.

It would be helpful to know if it was originally painted. There are traces of paint on the coal lump and 8fttiki's pics show it used to have blue eyes and a painted base. If I can paint it, the differences in new and original cement won't matter as much.

it looks like from reading the earlier posts it was the one that was in broken arrow at a mechanic's / gas station at the end of main street - i remember my brother dated the owner's daughter - we've actually been in touch with them to see if we could track down where it went - congrats on the awesome find! if i could have found it, i was going to put it in my yard (i restored a house about a block from where it was while i was growning up)

On 2018-09-17 09:26, stevekh wrote:
did you find this in Broken Arrow?

[ Edited by: tikijackalope 2018-09-17 16:16 ]

[ Edited by: stevekh 2018-09-17 17:44 ]

H
Heath posted on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 7:49 PM

Abatron Concrete Repair
Give them a call, explain what you want to do and they should be able to help you choose which product will work best.

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