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Waikiki Tiki: Art, History and Photographs 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1573063111
ISBN-10: 1573063118
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Waikiki Tiki: Art, History and Photographs
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Total price: $80.70
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The effigies of the Hawaiian ancestors and their neighboring brothers have been studied, discussed and displayed in museums as valued cultural heirlooms for over a century. In the meantime, their populist likenesses were marginalized as tourist art, neglected and forgotten. It is time that 20th Century Tiki gets recognized as unique art form that had its own time, place and meaning for a different, new generation of islanders and visitors from all cultures. Waikiki Tiki makes an essential contribution to the appreciation of this Polynesian pop culture. Sven Kirsten Author of "he Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern --Sven Kirsten

Waikiki Tiki is a fascinating and richly illustrated portrait of how the new incarnation of tiki--forever changed by its appropriation into mainland pop culture--has triumphantly returned to its homeland to inspire, entertain, and educate generations of kama'aina and haole alike. - James Teitelbaum Author of Tiki Road Trip, and Big Stone Head: Easter Island and Pop Culture --James Teitelbaum

One would think that finding Tikis in the tourist capital Waikiki would be like shooting fish in a barrel. This is not the case. It takes the kind of passion and perseverance that Phillip Roberts has to unearth the evidence of Tiki's rise, fall, and rise again in Hawaii. On first visit to Waikiki with my wife on our honeymoon, we'd just been married in an old mainland Tiki bar, we thought we'd find Tikis at every turn. During our visit, and on subsequent trips, we only managed to find traces of Tiki's heyday. But with Phillip's thorough research, this book gives a fuller, clearer picture of Tiki's history and newfound popularity on the island. - Duke Carter Author of Tiki Quest: Collecting the Exotic Past. --Duke Carter
--Duke Carter
--Duke Carter

Waikiki Tiki is a fascinating and richly illustrated portrait of how the new incarnation of tiki--forever changed by its appropriation into mainland pop culture--has triumphantly returned to its homeland to inspire, entertain, and educate generations of kama'aina and haole alike. - James Teitelbaum Author of Tiki Road Trip, and Big Stone Head: Easter Island and Pop Culture --James Teitelbaum

One would think that finding Tikis in the tourist capital Waikiki would be like shooting fish in a barrel. This is not the case. It takes the kind of passion and perseverance that Phillip Roberts has to unearth the evidence of Tiki's rise, fall, and rise again in Hawaii. On first visit to Waikiki with my wife on our honeymoon, we'd just been married in an old mainland Tiki bar, we thought we'd find Tikis at every turn. During our visit, and on subsequent trips, we only managed to find traces of Tiki's heyday. But with Phillip's thorough research, this book gives a fuller, clearer picture of Tiki's history and newfound popularity on the island. - Duke Carter Author of Tiki Quest: Collecting the Exotic Past. --Duke Carter

About the Author

Phillip S. Roberts is a former radio air personality in Hawaii and currently works as a freelance writer and photographer. He is an avid tiki researcher, documentarian, and collector.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Bess Press, Inc; 1st edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573063118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573063111
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Phillip S. Roberts is a former radio air personality in Hawaii and currently works as a freelance writer and photographer. He is an avid tiki researcher, documentarian, and collector.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for both the hard-core Tikiphile as well as anyone who has an interest in Hawaii's mid-century history. Tiki-style has been well documented from a mainland perspective but not so much from Hawaii. The fascinating thing about Tiki is that it started in California as an "idealization" of Polynesian paradise (credit Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic). When jet travel became popular in the late 1950's, tourists were disappointed to find that same "native" iconography really didn't exist. So what happened, Hawaii imported that fabricated aesthetic back to the islands.

As a result a very unique tourist industry sprouted up in Waikiki. This is the classic ideal of a Hawaiian vacation in the 1950's and 1960's. So much of it has been lost with all of the rapid development which took off in the 1970's and is still with us today. The author documents that lost history but also points out what still exists today.

Hawaii is a birthplace of original native Tiki art, and it's fascinating to see how that same art form inspired a new Tiki-style on the mainland which came back to Hawaii full circle.
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Format: Hardcover
While most tikiphiles like myself would agree that any Tiki culture book is better than none, I say that with some reserve about this title: not because of the focus or the text, but on account of about 25% of the photos. Any space devoted to the latter-day plastic abominations that are foisted off on the unknowing public by chains such as Big Lots and Party City is wasted space, and there is too much of that to be found here. Granted, author Roberts states up-front that he's just reporting on the history and state of Tiki in this particular locale; good, bad or ugly, but that's not how I would've preferred it. Who cares about the bad? We can reference internet photos of plastic party decorations if that's what we're in the mood for, or just pop in to any one of most tourist destinations touting themselves as "tiki bars."
The real shame is that we're given such slim exposure to living sculptors like Mike "Gecko" Soriolle: undoubtedly the best living Tiki artist in the islands, and one of the world's best. It's real artists like Gecko who so successfully integrate traditional elements of Polynesian Pop into their own unique idiom who need and deserve more exposure, not the cartoon clown totems that are peddled to the great unwashed.
By all means purchase this book and fill out your Tiki shelf: support the author's work and more like it. Hopefully, the next edition will give these deserving artists the pre-eminence that's coming to them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must-read for anyone interested in a fresh and modern perspective of Polynesia.

In "Waikiki Tiki," author-photographer Phillip Roberts invites us on a whimsical journey through the streets of Waikiki and beyond. Featuring stunning snapshots of the tiki: as large structures, small charms, carved as housewares, in postcards, in vibrant murals, and so much more.

Thanks to pithy and well-researched descriptions that accompany each image of the tiki, we visit the region with a new set of lenses, learning the nuance of Hawaiian pop culture that fuses ancient history, Hollywood legacy, modern-day tourism and cultural/local tradition. It's fascinating!

Beyond what's inside, the book itself is compact and exceptionally attractive. Most ideal for coffee table display, gift-buying and of course, leisure reading during "me" time!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Waikiki Tiki: Art, History, and ... wait, did you say history? Yeah, there's quite a bit of modern Waikiki tiki history in this little tome. Laugh if you don't think that the words 'modern', 'tiki', and 'history' belong in the same sentence. However, if you are the consummate tikiphile, then by all means consider this book for your collection. As for me and 4 stars? ... well, my attitude reflects that of the young kid at a museum who just wants to go see the dinosaur bones. Meanwhile, the grownups are reading the placards describing some pottery shard found near a tallow processing ruin. So this book is like a walk through a museum with "boring" displays as well some spectacular displays. What I found quaint was that the author contacted Edward Brownlee (premier Waikiki wood carver). Brownlee wrote two letters to the author; which the author reproduced for this book. I guess the two places to go once you get settled into your Waikiki vacation are: 1) Tiki's Grill & Bar (you'll get to see a "Crazy Al" Evans tiki there), and 2) the International Market Place (you might get to see some termite damaged tikis there). Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great addition to Moe's Tiki Bar! I have been reading this book a little every night and enjoying it more and more each time! Great book! Makes me wish I could turn back time and experience some of these pictures first hand! Love the blend of Modern Tiki culture with the culture of Tiki's past! Can't wait for my next trip to Waikiki!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this for my brother and he loved it! He told me how many of the pictured products he actually owns from the front cover alone. He had not seen this published book yet and was happy to have received it for Christmas. He even told me that these books usually sell out and do not reproduce often.
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