Category: History

The Real Story of Tiki Totem Poles as Ancestry Preservation

We are used to the words “totem pole” to mean those long poles with carved figures on them. Usually we see totem poles with wings from birds or other animals. But in the Pacific islands, these pole structures are called Tiki poles or Tiki totem poles. Tiki totem poles from the islands of the Pacific …

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The Ukulele: Made Famous by Tiki

Originally, the ukulele was brought to Hawaii from the West. However, it was Hawaii and Tiki music that actually made the ukulele a mainstream instrument, and an instrument synonymous with Tiki music. When we think back of Hawaiian music, it is hard to imagine this music without the cheerful sound of the ukulele. This is …

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The Day the Music Died

Rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, “The Big Bopper” J. P. Richardson, and the pilot of a chartered plane, Roger Peterson, died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, 1959. In 1971 Don McLean named it “The Day the Music Died” in his song “American Pie.” Here is “Rave On” from Buddy …

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Experience the Beautiful Hawaiian Language

Because of the recent Tiki resurgence, there is also a renewed interest in the Hawaiian language. And, with Southwest Airlines adding direct flights to Hawaii from Los Angeles, it seems the interest in Hawaii and all things Tiki has been felt in the corporate world even affecting recent travel to the Islands. The Hawaiian language …

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Aretha Franklin: 1st Female Artist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

On January 3, 1987, Aretha Franklin was the first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The singer, songwriter, pianist, and “Queen of Soul” has also been honored in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time twice. Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. Here is “I Say …

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Meet Palm Springs Architect Albert Frey

Albert Frey was born in Zurich, Switzerland on October 18, 1903, and was known for being one of the most influential architects in the Palm Springs area.  He studied architecture at the Institute of Technology in Winterthur, Switzerland, and later worked with Le Corbusier, who became a friend and influence of Frey. One of his most …

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Is the Tiki Kitsch Craze Innocent Fun or Exploitation of Culture?

When Trader Vic invented his now famous Tiki cocktails in fun whimsical Tiki head souvenir glasses with curly straws and tons of rum, there was not any thought as to sensitivity to the Hawaiian culture that might exist if it were today. Think of it like this. What if a bar were started with a …

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The History of Tiki Carvings

When my sister went to Hawaii years ago, she brought me back a small Tiki wooden carving. The perfect gift from Hawaii, I thought. Every time I look at this carving, I think of Hawaii and the island culture. Of course I also think of my sister! Tiki statues, the totem poles, masks and all …

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Those Mini Umbrellas!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated…no I LOVED those little mini umbrellas that go on top of fancy drinks. Not that I had fancy drinks. But one time I went to a little birthday party at a neighbor’s house and the mom and grandma put little mini umbrellas on top …

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Tiki Dresses Over the Years

I want a Tiki Dress! They are so colorful and lovely. Back in the 1950s Women’s dresses had two main shapes. They were full circle skirts and very narrow pencil shape dresses. The big difference between the standard dress in the 50s and the Tiki style was the material and the colors. Tropical print fabrics …

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