Entries from September 2005

September 6, 2005

Photo Series from Thor Heyerdahl’s Aku-Aku

Filed under: History,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:18 pm
From Thor Heyerdahl's Aku-Aku
From Thor Heyerdahl’s Aku-Aku

In Thor Heyerdahl’s Aku-Aku, the reknowned explorer takes his family and a group of other inquisitive sorts to Rapa Nui (a.k.a. Easter Island). He convinced the Mayor of Rapa Nui to demonstrate how the Moai were raised, and over the course of eighteen days, a team of people did just that. Hanford Lemoore has posted a series of photos and captions from the book that demonstrate how it was done, using long wooden poles for leverage, and inserting ever larger rocks as shims to raise the statue very slowly, until it’s totally upright.

Midcentury Hawaiian Hotel Interiors

Filed under: Hawaii,History,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:02 pm
Hotel King Kamehameha -- from the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy
Hotel King Kamehameha, from the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy

In the 1950s and ’60s, it was common for a hotel to provide its guests with postcards, which would promote the hotel to the folks back home. These postcards provide an excellent look at what staying at these hotels might have been like, with many of the postcards offering views of the hotel room. While a basic hotel room may not sound very exotic, these are no basic hotel rooms — with the variety in the bed and lamp designs, room layouts, and photo staging — it’s quite an Lose Weight Exercise in time travel. Tiki ephemera collectors Sabu the Coconut Boy and puamana each have impressive collections of these interior shots, and are sharing them tag-team style on a thread on Tiki Central.

September 4, 2005

Tiki Carver Basement Kahuna Carving Again

Filed under: Art,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:54 am

Basement Kahuna Meeting House Piece

Tiki carver Basement Kahuna, a.k.a. Dave Wolfe, has recently picked up his chisels after a two year break from carving logs. Basement Kahuna recently relocated to Athens, Georgia, and now once again has access to the space he needs to start letting the chips fly. Basement Kahuna specializes in reproductions of genuine Oceanic art pieces, especially the intricate designs seen in the Maori, Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea cultures but also including the simpler designs from places like Rapa Nui. I feel very fortunate to have a Basement Kahuna in my collection, the piece pictured above. The world waits with bated breath to see what his next production will be.

New Ooga-Mooga Feature: About This Collection

Filed under: News,Ooga-Mooga,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:45 am

Being able to see which mugs a person has selected for their collection, and even how they’ve chosen to photograph them, gives it so much life. Each mug in that collection has a new layer to their story because they’re owned by that person. Now the About This Collection feature adds a little bit more personality.

If you have a Standard or Trader account, you can tell people visiting your collection page about your collection, in a paragraph of text that appears right above it. Go to Account Settings and fill out “About This Collection” to see how it works.

Also, I have one of my mugs up for auction right now (part of the “eBay for PJ” fundraiser effort for New Orleans tikiphile Purple Jade). Naturally, I have up in the Mugs for Sale section of Ooga-Mooga, so you can see how that works, now too. I already have 6 bids! It’s pretty neat.

September 3, 2005

Open a Midcentury Polynesian Restaurant Today: The Luau Room

Filed under: History,Kentucky,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:54 pm

In Louisville, Kentucky, there is an amazing and fortunate anomaly — a Polynesian restaurant that could be reopened today, despite having been closed for many, many years. The Luau Room, which was a dramatic A-framed Polynesian restaurant with large tikis, two bars, and thatching and huts to create intimate subrooms, later became a Mexican restaurant, a Salvation Army (!), and most recently a nightclub. Here’s the amazing-and-fortunate-anomaly part: the owner of the space has insisted that the tiki decor remain through all these incarnations, and in fact reportedly has more decor stored in a warehouse. The space is now for lease again. Louisville resident and tikiphile Nancy Beranek has made it a personal quest to see the Luau Room reopened and restored to its tiki glory, and has been working to get the word out to those who might be able to make it happen. If you are interested in learning more about the possibility of leasing this space and opening your very own palace of paradise, the leasing agent is Jody Zimmerman, (502)562-9200.

September 2, 2005

New Restaurant: Sneaky Tiki in San Francisco

Filed under: News,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:10 pm

Before you get too excited — early reports are that this location isn’t actually tiki in the way a tikiphile might like. Think modern upscale nightclub, not Polynesian Pop paradise. It’s at the site of a former Hamburger Mary’s at 12th & Folsom. It’s not open just yet, but sounds like it will be September 6, they’re already doing previews. Pan-Asian food, mixed cocktails, tikis on the swizzles & napkins, but not an actual tiki environment. Oh well!

The Mysterious Mexico City Mauna Loa

Filed under: History,Mexico,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:51 pm

Mauna Loa, Mexico City

One of my favorite tiki locations is the Mauna Loa in Mexico City, not because I have scads of interesting history of the place, but for the opposite reason: it has been an intriguing mystery for me.

There have actually been two Mauna Loas in Mexico City. One still operates today on Ave. San Jeronimo, and I have very little information about it, other than that is actually has a Polynesian floor show — always a promising sign. The other is a bit better documented, but long gone. I would love to think that the two locations are related, but have not uncovered any information that confirms or refutes that.

Today, I am going to focus on the Mauna Loa in Mexico City that is now closed, which was on Hamburgo. The restaurant’s interior, pictured above in a postcard, shows it had some rather grand elements — live flamingos, large tikis, lava rock walls. The menu from the location is equally impressive, and one of my favorites. The menu when open is about 1-1/2 by 2 feet, and is full of beautiful full-color graphic illustrations on every page. Just a few images from this outstanding menu can be seen on Critiki.

The Mauna Loa also had unique mugs — or at least semi-unique, some of them are similar to mugs found at the also-mysterious Ren Clark’s Polynesian Village in Ft. Worth, Texas. There are artist’s renderings of these mugs visible in the menu, and they include a fertility goddess mug, a handled mug of a head with a pointed nose, and my personal favorite — a coiled snake, complete with head at top rim. Recently, MachTiki at Tiki Central found a fertility goddess mug very similar to those seen from the Mexico City Mauna Loa. This one does not have any restaurant marking, but does have a large manufacturer’s label, for an Enrique Guerra with an address that appears to be from Mexico City. Is this the manufacturer for the Mauna Loa mugs? Did they also produce mugs for Ren Clark’s Polynesian Village? Did these mug designs originate somewhere else, and were merely copied?

It’s fascinating to me. I hope that someday we will hear from someone who visited the Mauna Loa, or had family that did.

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




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Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures

I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog