Entries in the 'People' Category

December 20, 2005

Traditional Tiki Artwork by Michael Uhlenkott

Filed under: Art,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:11 pm
Tiki artwork by Michael Uhlenkott
Tiki artwork by Michael Uhlenkott

Mr. Bali Hai recently posted an entry on his Eye of the Goof blog to the artwork of Michael Uhlenkott, courtesy of a tipoff from Mark Frauenfelder. Uhlenkott’s artwork is “informed by extensive research and travel throughout the South Seas” and it shows — his graphic illustrations show the influence of traditional art quite clearly. Gorgeous stuff.

November 15, 2005

Rest In Peace, Rusty Key

Filed under: Music,News,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:08 am
Rusty Key
Rusty Key

Sad news tonight — Rusty Key has passed away unexpectedly.

Many know Rusty as the frequent cohort of pablus, and as a master ukulele player with the Crazed Mugs. Rusty was far, far too young — 55 years old. He suffered a heart attack, at home. A remembrance from pablus:

His rich harmonies, his easy laugh, his delight to learn, his exasperating habit of being the very last to leave the Lagoon Lounge, his goofy New Years’ Resolutions, his never-ending line of unique friends, his fresh hand grown produce that he would bring to us (including bananas), his willingness to play and obvious enjoyment of our circle’s company, his genuine nature and loving view of humanity.

He was a true friend and a good man who cared deeply for people.

I didn’t get to know Rusty Key as well as I should have, but my encounters with him left me feeling warm and fortunate to have crossed paths with him. My favorite memory is of his kindness and patience in teaching me how to play “Wait For Me” — I still have the song sheet where he wrote down which chords to play when. He made me feel like he was every bit as excited about my learning ukulele as I was. I’m so very sad that I won’t be able to play it with him when I’m in Florida in January.

Rusty: I’ll meet you in Waikiki, under the banyan tree….

November 7, 2005

Selector Lopaka Tuesday Nights in Seattle

Filed under: Music,People,Seattle,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:24 pm
Selector Lopaka
Selector Lopaka

When I lived in Seattle, I often could be found on Tuesday nights enjoying the musical soundscapes of Selector Lopaka at Fu Kun Wu in Old Ballard. Fu Kun Wu is the bar for the restaurant Thaiku; Fu Kun Wu is themed as an old Chinese apothocary, and is very well done. The environment is a perfect match for Selector Lopaka’s music, which starts early in the evening with great Exotica, Hawaiian and lounge classics, and gradually and seamlessly shifts later into more modern beats with a light sprinkling of great reggae (I love it, and I’m not a reggae fan). On top of all that, the drinks at Fu Kun Wu are unusual and delightful — my favorite was always the Radiant Flower, a light, crisp, gin-based concoction. Food from Thaiku is available in the bar until 9:30. For the winter season, Selector Lopaka is shifting up his DJ set to be a bit earlier — from 6 p.m. until 9ish.

November 2, 2005

Huell Howser Oceanic Arts Episode Airing Soon

Filed under: Los Angeles,News,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:23 pm

As previously reported on Humu Kon Tiki, Huell Howser has an upcoming show featuring a trip to Oceanic Arts in Whittier, California (just outside Los Angeles). The episode is from his Visiting… with Huell Howser series, and is titled “Tiki,” episode #1310. The show will air on his home station, KCET Los Angeles, at 6 p.m. on November 10. Check your local listings to learn where it will air on your local PBS station.

September 26, 2005

Visit to the Hedley Homestead

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:14 pm
Site of Hedley Home -- photo by Sabu the Coconut Boy
Site of Hedley Home, photo by Sabu the Coconut Boy

In San Pedro, just south of Los Angeles, an unusual man named Eli Hedley created the aesthetic we now know today as the “beachcomber” look. Hedley had been a grocer in Oklahoma, when the Depression sent him and his family west in search of a better life. They found it on the beaches of Southern California. Hedley, with the help of his wife and daughters, found ways to use items found on the beach — glass, shells, nautical equipment — and turn them into housewares and decorations. They built a home at White Point half out of driftwood, and they started selling their unique housewares to the department stores in the area. Hedley quickly made a name for himself, and in time he was outfitting bars, restaurants and hotels with his beachcomber pieces — he even created the massive moai for the Stardust’s Aku Aku in Las Vegas. Hedley became a decorator to the stars, too, and it was not unusual for Hollywood celebrities to escape to the Hedley home at White Point now and then. Hedley even became part of Disneyland, when Walt Disney asked him to help decorate Adventurland; for years he operated the Island Trade Store, where the Bazaar is today.

Hedley’s grandson, Bamboo Ben, continues his family’s tradition with his store on Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach. Bamboo Ben had related how to visit the site of the home his mother and aunts grew up in, and Sabu the Coconut Boy recently paid a visit, camera in hand.

September 23, 2005

Tiki tOny Begins Mug Production

Filed under: Art,News,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:55 pm
Fatutu by Tiki tOny
Fatutu by Tiki tOny

Ventura-based tiki artist and carver Tiki tOny has begun production of his own line of tiki mugs. Tony has his own, instantly recognizable style, playful without being overly cartoony, and he’s able to translate it into many mediums. His first mug design was for the Tabou Tiki Room in Berlin. His new, second design, called Fatutu, marks Tiki tOny’s first foray into producing mugs himself. The production run will be limited to under 100. Tony hopes to have the first dozen mugs ready before Hukilau in early October.

International Market Place Carver, Edward Malcombe Brownlee

Filed under: Hawaii,History,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:01 pm
Edward Malcombe Brownlee -- from the collection of Bongofury
Edward Malcombe Brownlee,
from the collection of Bongofury

Bongofury has posted about an article he’s found from 1958, profiling a youngun’ from Oregon who’d moved to Oahu to work on his Masters in Art at the University of Hawaii. Edward Malcombe Brownlee started his post-Masters career by carving idols for restaurant and hotel developments in Waikiki, and went on to do many tikis for the International Market Place. Hawaii radio personality Fil Slash has a book featuring Brownlee in the works, set for release next spring. Today, Brownlee (who goes by Mick) lives in Neahkahnie Beach in Oregon with his wife, Phyllis and his Airdale, Mr. Bones, and carves from jade.

September 18, 2005

Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo

Filed under: History,People,Scandinavia,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:03 am
Relaxing on the Kon-Tiki -- from the collection of Sweet Daddy Tiki
Relaxing on the Kon-Tiki — from the collection of Sweet Daddy Tiki

In the earlier part of the last century, Thor Heyerdahl amazed the world with his bizarre and daring journey across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft. Heyerdahl’s aim was to prove that it was feasible for a small group of people to drift on ocean currents from Peru all the way to the islands of the South Pacific. Astoundingly, he proved it was possible, and his tale became a bestselling book and an award winning documentary, helping to fuel America’s fascination with the South Pacific. Heyerdahl became arguably the most famous Norweigian, and a museum archiving his achievements was created in Oslo. The museum has a full-size replica of the original Kon-Tiki raft, and many exhibits detailing his exploits. Heyerdahl passed away a few years ago, but his museum is still there to tell his tales. Norway native Kong-Tiki has posted some photos from his visit to the museum.

September 17, 2005

Martiki Bartending at the New San Francisco Trader Vic’s

Filed under: News,People,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 2:39 pm

Martiki, creator of the legendary Foggy Grotto and Novato Grotto home tiki lounges, Elite Tiki Central Agent, co-organizer of the annual San Francisco Tiki Crawl, and all-around master mixologist, has recently started bartending at the new downtown San Francisco Trader Vic’s. Martiki started there three months ago, but his work perfecting the complicated concoctions began well before that Trader Vic’s had even opened for business — he has long been a devotee of the properly crafted cocktail. Despite having no professional bartending experience, Trader Vic’s quickly realized how perfect Martiki would be behind their bar. Upon hearing this exciting news, Book of Tiki author Sven Kirsten had this to say:

Never have thought it possible that the commercial and the underground side of Tiki would meet in such a beneficial way. Carving Tikis, making mugs, yeah, but becoming a Trader Vic’s bartender, all by your own dedication? That’s going all the way.

Martiki’s current schedule has him behind the bar Friday, Sunday and Monday from 4 p.m. to midnight, and Thursday during lunch. Stop in for the finest drinks you can get in San Francisco, and be sure to congratulate Trader Vic’s on their hiring coup.

September 6, 2005

Interview with Mai Kai Owner Mireille Thornton

Filed under: Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,News,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:27 pm

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has an interview with Mireille Thornton, Mai Kai owner and choreographer, in their Fitness section. Mireille was born in Tahiti, and after coming to the United States, landed a job as a dancer at the Mai Kai (despite not actually knowing how to dance). She quickly became one of the Mai Kai’s best dancers, and became their choreographer in 1978. She caught Mai Kai creator Bob Thornton’s eye, and the two of them married and raised a family. Bob Thornton has passed away, but Mireille and her children still own and run the restaurant, and Mireille still takes great pride in choreographing the Mai Kai Polynisian floor show. The Mai Kai, and Mireille’s floor show, are the centerpiece of the upcoming Hukilau event.


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

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