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A-frames
A-frames
The architectural icon of Polynesian Pop. A mix of the traditional meeting houses of the South Pacific, and the traditional meeting houses of Southern California (roadside diners).
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Ashtrays
Ashtrays
At restaurants dedicated to escape, leisure and relaxation, naturally there was an ashtray for every table.
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Drinks
Drinks
Tiki’s most practical contribution to society: the perfection of the tropical drink. Enjoy photos, illustrations and menu descriptions, with no hangover.
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Lighting
Lighting
That unique tiki bar mood can only be achieved with a lot of dim, exotic light fixtures—windows, televisions and neon are traitors against the cause!
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Matchbooks
Matchbooks
Flames aren't just for volcano bowls and fire dancers: matchbooks and matchboxes were once everywhere.
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Menus
Menus
“Polynesian cuisine”—in truth, typically just Chinese food or ribs—was sold by elaborate menu presentations. Come for the covers, stay for the descriptions and prices!
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Moai
Moai
The curious “big stone heads” from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) have appeal both for their pleasing graphic simplicity, and their mysterious origins.
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Mugs
Mugs
The tops in Polynesian Pop collecting. If you like looking at these drink vessels, don’t miss Critiki’s sister site, Ooga-Mooga.
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Murals
Murals
Large painted scenes of life in the tropics—with sandy beaches, palm trees, dancing and fishing—enhance the island illusion.
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Napkins
Napkins
Something as disposable as a small paper napkin wasn’t meant to last decades, but a few have remarkably made it.
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Outriggers
Outriggers
Canoes with stabilizing outriggers allowed Polynesians to explore the massive Pacific, and are a common motif in Polynesian Pop.
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Polynesian Dance
Polynesian Dance
Traditional dances lend some realism to an otherwise faux paradise. Lots of fire, lots of hips... hey now, keep your eyes on the hands!
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Postcards
Postcards
These Technicolor missives to home are the best source we have for learning what the insides and outsides of long-gone tiki hotspots looked like.
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Renderings
Renderings
Idealized versions of an already idealized version of the South Pacific: these artists’ conceptions of restaurants, hotels and attractions exemplify Polynesian Pop.
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Serveware
Serveware
Beyond the mug: tiki logos and iconography also appear on salt & pepper shakers, plates, drink bowls, glassware and more.
View all 10 images
Swizzles
Swizzles
Little plastic picks and sticks to help you eat and drink, and remind you to come back again and again and again...
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Tapa
Tapa
Traditional cloth made by pounding bark into thin sheets, which are then painted with repeating patterns using brown dye.
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Waterfalls
Waterfalls
Water features, especially waterfalls, have been a big part of Polynesian Pop decorating and landscaping.
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Witco
Witco
Tikis, wall hangings, lamps and more from Witco—the Mount Vernon, WA company of William Westenhaver.
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Musée du Quai Branly, Paris
updated 8/3/14
The Exotica, Glendale
updated 8/3/14
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris
updated 8/1/14
Tiki Lounge, Ludington
updated 7/31/14
Hula's Modern Tiki, Phoenix
updated 7/31/14
more...
Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale
Oceanic Arts, Whittier
The Enchanted Tiki Room, Anaheim
Hale Pele, Portland
Smuggler's Cove, San Francisco
more...
wayne-tiki-tiki on
The Hut, Tucson
10/29/14 4:55PM
Wiki Tiki on
Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale
10/20/14 5:30PM
shaftermike on
Bahooka Ribs & Grog, Rosemead
10/16/14 3:39PM
JenTiki on
Hapa Haole Hideaway, Knoxville
10/2/14 2:12PM
kungbongo on
Frankie's Tiki Room, Las Vegas
9/22/14 2:40PM
more...