All the Birds Sing Words: My Tiki Fascination

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Big Island

Part mid-century mod decor, part ancient religious icons. Beautiful wooden carving or ceramic mai tai-filled mug. A little bit Shag painting, and a little bit scary. The thought of Tiki conjures up all kinds of images in my mind, from giant Polynesian statues to animatronic Disneyland show, and I am fascinated by them all.

Pou’uhonua o Honaunau, Big Island, Hawaii

My fascination with Tiki began as a small kid inside the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disney World. Of course, there is a much deeper meaning to the world of Tiki than amusement park attraction.

Pou’uhonua o Honaunau, Big Island, Hawaii

What was turned into a caricature of tropical fun a half-century ago are actually ancient Polynesian deities. Tiki statues, or ki’i, of these gods were created to capture divine powers and connect with the spiritual realm.

Pou’uhonua o Honaunau, Big Island, Hawaii

On a recent visit to the Hawaiian islands, we visited a beautiful historic park on the Big Island. Pou’uhonua o Honaunau, or Place of Refuge, is a sacred site where law breakers in ancient Hawaii could come to be saved from their penalty of death. Visitors can see temples, ruins, and a number of Tiki statues.

Pou’uhonua o Honaunau, Big Island, Hawaii

While the ki’i are recreations of the original statues, their craftsmanship is incredible, and I will always be impressed by the imagination and creativity of the ancient Polynesian people who originally created these figures.

Pou’uhonua o Honaunau, Big Island, Hawaii

I will admit that while I love retro Tiki collectibles more than the average gal, and the Tiki Room will always have a place in my heart, seeing Tikis as they were meant to be seen is the most fascinating and best of the many portrayals of Tiki.

Pou’uhonua o Honaunau, Big Island, Hawaii

 “All the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.”
- Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

3 Comments on “All the Birds Sing Words: My Tiki Fascination

please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 212 other followers

%d bloggers like this: