From Library Journal
If you thought that Hawaiian war gods and ukuleles were a thing of the past, think again. They're just as collectible as they were in the 1940s, when U.S. servicemen returned home from the South Pacific laden with treasures. Hawaiian shirts which have always retained a devoted following, as documented in The Aloha Shirt: Spirit of the Islands (LJ 12/00) were one of the most obvious symbols of the Islands, but knickknacks of all kinds were bought by this newfound "tourist" trade. The development of air travel created another source of souvenir hunters and thus continued the fascination with all things Polynesian. In the last few years, Schiffer, a firm specializing in guides to antiques and collectibles, has turned out several books on Hawaiiana, and these two are the latest to document this enduring craze. The title of Pfouts's book pretty much tells it all. Look here for images of grass-skirted hula girls (some more naughty than nice) and, in the last 15 pages or so, those stylized idols known as Tiki gods. The text throughout is breezy and perhaps a little flippant, and, characteristically, most of the objects shown are on the kitschy side. Nonetheless, there is no discounting their popularity. Items shown include everything from postcards, matchbooks, and album covers to furniture, lamps, mugs, jewelry, and tattoos. By contrast, Blackburn's book, written by a Hawaii-based antiques dealer, features items that are considerably more upscale, such as traditional native quilts, vintage travel brochures and posters, paintings, textiles, and, yes, even ukuleles. As in Pfouts's book, values are often included, but the text is much more informative, with historical data included in each chapter. For libraries with decorative arts collections, both come highly recommended. Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Chris Pfouts grew up in Los Angeles and spent much of his 1950s youth around Hawaiian artifacts. He has edited *International Tattoo Art magazine since its launch. Pfouts writing has won several awards, including the American Motorcycle Associations Brighter Image award. He paints and sculpts under the name Automatic Slim.