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Tikis from Bali?! Opinions Wanted

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We have an opportunity to have some woodcarvings made in Bali where we'd supply the designs and they would make them to order. We'd sell them at our online shop. I'm thinking some Aloha signs, maybe a Tiki Lounge sign and a couple of styles of retro tiki masks.

What kind of stuff do you all think would be popular here? What would you like to see?
Do you think it's worth doing?

Anyone have experience doing this?


Traditional Bali carvings (often maskes) are nice... but not Tiki.

You see them for sale all over, they must have quite an exprot business going on over there, but if you're trying to maintain any sort of purist Polynesian feel at all, don't go with the Bali stuff.

Not that I don't like it, I do, but not in the Aku Hall!


Hey Paul -
we miss you guys! How's life in Capital City...?

Chris, Nicole & Devon Merritt


I would like to see some Polynesian style molding at an affordable price. Maybe in 6' lengths so they can be used for wall molding or trimming out a Tiki bar.

Maybe something that has a Balinese character to it. It seems inappropriate to recreate Hawaiian tikis in Indonesia as the Balinese have their own traditional gods. Also, can Hawaiian mana be transplanted off the islands so readily (don't want to cross Pele). Bad enough having so many exported tikis stamped "Made in China."

I agree with TikiBars - When I was in Bali last summer I didn't see any Hawaiian tikis, although the Balinese culture produced its indigineous carvings as well as carved Malaysian style tikis (there is an approximately five foot Malaysian Tiki outside the Natural History Musuem in Kula Lumpur which was was the inspiration for tikis carved on Bali).

Why don't you attempt to add a Balinese character? For example, (1) a Malaysian tiki carving made out of teak wood (perfect for outside in the tiki garden); (2) a tiki which has a red hibiscus blossom over an ear or (3) a tiki with the black & white check cloth covering the lower torso.

PS-I love my Pariarts personalized tiki bar sign.

[ Edited by: christiki295 on 2003-12-29 20:53 ]

Hey Tangaroa nice to hear from you! I just sent you a personal message!

About the Balinese carvers, thanks for the comments all. Interesting suggestions!


Maybe the Balinese carvers are bored of doing Balinese art all the time for the toursits and would welcome the chance to carve some Tiki masks!

Just cause I'm Canadian doesn't mean I'm only gonna carve totem poles if I get my hands on a log and a chainsaw...

Right on Tikifish. Anybody want to buy a Saguaro cactus I carved from redwood? (I really did) I'm not Apache and I wasn't born in Arizona. I think Bong might like to have it. I could carve a huge roadrunner or coyote to match.

"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space." Lou Whitaker

[ Edited by: jungletrader on 2003-12-30 08:25 ]


If you can offer quality designs and craftsmanship on the carvings at a reasonable price, you should be able to sell. But, since they're being made by "contract" collectors might not be as willing to buy. For instance, If I'm in the market for a tiki bar, I know I can get a generic somewhere for reasonable price, but I'd pay more to have a Bamboo Ben , or Chiki Tiki bar, because they've developed their own style which reflects their individuality. But, if the carvings are unresistably pOlynesian, at a low price... you shouldn't have a problem selling them.? I think?
-House of Tiki in Newport Beach does this with the Philipines... Prices are VERY cheep for their poles, but lack the individuality that some peeps desire. Good TiKis can be made anywhere, as long as your in it for the right reasons by knowing and respecting the history, whether PolypOp or indigenous. Good luck!

It is a big world and I neither begrudge the Balinese for adopting a Hawaiian style design (even though they have their own wonderful and unique cultural style), nor do I begrudge anyone for bringing an excellent tiki product at a low price back to the states. I also am not insisting that anyone travel to Hawaii to design Aloha themed products or that only Gecko or others in Hawaii can design Hawaiian themed tikis.

However, I can not help but to be disappointed that the tikis I purchased in Hawaii were made elsewhere, although designed and exported by a Hawaiian company.

I think it would be a nice change to have Hawaiian products made in Hawaii.

Or, maybe its time for Pollyanna to grow up and realize its a "sprawlmart" world where companies transverse the globe in search of the cheapest labor.

Happy New Year!

Pages: 1 9 replies