Unexpected

Big Island, Hawaii

I love when you set out looking for one thing, but what you find is
even more incredible than you expected.

Big Island, Hawaii

Advertisements

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

Time Traveling to Lapakahi

Like dreaming and time traveling all at once, my hike through Lapakahi State Historical Park was a surreal and mystical journey. Tucked into a quiet corner of the Big Island, and with only a handful of other visitors, I felt like I found the most beautiful secret hiding place.

Surrounded by earthy lava plains, this turquoise and green oasis takes you back to the time of the Hawaiian heiau (temple) and hale (thatched home). It’s easy to see why settlers chose this spot hundreds of years ago, but I won’t ramble on explaining how gorgeous it is. I took pictures to show you.