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"tiki" mask ethnicity question

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I've seen these masks in tiki places as well as Thai restaurants. In my admittedly limited research on authentic Pacific island masks I've not seen anything like them,
though I have seen them for sale as tiki masks. They kind of remind me of Big Daddy Roth does tiki.
Would one of our experts kindly chime in and enlighten us as to the origins of these things, if indeed they are not just decor thought up by restaurant outfitters. Be they tiki?...or no?

These are at Omni Hut.

This is at Aloha in Springfield, MO.

I asked this question before in another thread...thought I'd try again in this forum.


I usually think of these as from Bali, which puts them just over the invisible border between western Tikiland and Southeast Asia. They'll do for Tiki decor in a picnh however, as your pix illustrate.


They are called 'Dragon Masks' and are commercially made (yes they are individually hand carved, but they are not traditional in any way and are only for the tourists) in Banue, The Philippines. An ornate 16" mask can be had for around $2 or less if you buy it there in the village from the manufacturer. I do NOT think they are made in Bali at all, as that is a very different look and usually of their own traditonal style. FYI the (once) headhunting Infugoa/Banue area of Northern Luzon has it's own, albeit simpler style of tiki god masks that they use traditonally to make offerings to and ward of evil spirits. I have a couple around my Tiki coupe's door.

[ Edited by: Rattiki on 2004-03-13 19:59 ]

Ah, the cerebral power of the TC collective; thanks guys!

I am not usually this slow.

Rat's on the ball.

I was THNKING Phillipines, but I typed Bali for some reason.

Close enough for Tiki...


I saw them for sale by the pantlad (and not cheap either) at the giftshops on Kauai...

I saw them for sale by the pantlad (and not cheap either) at the giftshops on Kauai...

What is a "pantlad?"

I've seen one "dragon mask" in an antique mall for $160; it was about 32" tall and well carved...but $160?...I just can't do that and live with myself. I want something like that to put a red lightbulb behind though. Even if I got them to halve the price, I think $80 is too much for something with no origin, save for the tourist trade. Kind of bereft of a soul, ya know.


On 2004-03-14 06:53, tikifish wrote:
I saw them for sale by the pantlad (and not cheap either) at the giftshops on Kauai...

Yeah Banaue cranks stuff out at quite a rate for the Hawaiian market. When I told one producer what they were probably getting for the stuff there she was not even able to comprehend it! :lol: They also do all those Native American Indian statues you see in Scottsdale for hundreds if not thousands of dollars for

Kono posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2004 6:50 PM

I like the dragon masks myself. Like exotica music, shrunken heads, skull mugs and monkeys, they may not be Poly/Micro/Melanesian but still fit in well with the tiki theme.

If you want some econo dragon masks, this guy's always selling them on ebay cheap. Shipping's reasonable too.

Fifteen incher:

Lil eight incher:


I've always wondered aobut these - thanks for the info!

The Kona Kai Apartments in Torrance have a huge 5-6 footer hanging on the front wall of the building. (Sabu posted pix on an earlier thread, but they are no longer valid)

Also, the first time I was in House of Tiki, Wes had just sold one of a similar size that looked to be made of a very dark (and apparently very heavy) wood, much darker than the smaller, monkeypod-esque ones I've seen.

if anyone in the MD/VA/DC region is interested in such masks, they are available at a place on King Street on Old Town Alexandria Va. we were there this past sunday, it's a "pacific arts" store "going out of bizniss." i did not look at the prices coz i did not see anything i would consider for my future bar.


p.s. i got a cermaic ninja at "odds and ends" down the street...

Last night I finally found the best use for one of these. I'd love to say it scared trick-or-treaters, but one kid even stuck his face into the smoke.

Sweet pic!

A supplier we use in the philipines for furniture has been trying to get us to take these for ages, and I always said No, because even though they are apparently produced for the Hawaiian market they aren't my idea of Tiki.
However saying that, we did a big Ameriacan lifestyle show here in the Summer and I took a couple of diffent sized masks and they do ashtrays as well.
Of course they were the first things to sell, and we had loads of people asking if we had more.
That'll teach me for being so choosey

Being choosey might be bad for business, but good for your mana. What people want is not always good for them. We have a responsibility to educate people about what Tiki is, and these ain't, in my book!
-(literally and figuratively).

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