The Tiki community truly is an ohana, or family. We are a tight-knit group of enthusiasts of the Mid-Century Modern phenomenon of Tiki, which started in the 1940s, peaked in the 1950s-60s, went underground in the 1970s-80s, and has been coming back strong ever since. Some of the people in this group have been at it since 1956, while others led the Tiki resurrection in the 1980s. I myself have only been involved for about the past 10 years.
So why a “Who’s Who” list? Let me start by saying what this effort is not meant to portray. This is not an attempt to glorify people or curry favor in any way. Tiki people aren’t like that. We all have our part to play, some larger than others, but Tiki is a very inclusive activity.
My experience with the people on this list is personal. I got to know most of these fine folks via Facebook, which has really helped connect the Tiki ohana. Some of these social media introductions have led to deeper relationships, for which I am truly blessed. I’ve also gone on to meet many of my Tiki friends in-person, either through art gallery visits, pilgrimages to Tiki shrines, or attending special events. I won’t go into a lot of detail of my personal encounters with the people on this list, as I’ve done so in previous blog posts (I will provide references back to those posts where appropriate).
To make this list more manageable, I’ve broken it down into categories of Tiki:
One of my underlying reasons for making this list is to keep all of these people’s roles straight in my mind. I’ve gotten to know many of them in just the past year, and it’s important for me to personally recognize their contributions to the Tiki cause. I’m sure there will be plenty of people I miss, either because I don’t have a personal relationship with them or because I’m getting forgetful in my old age. I welcome any feedback for glaring omissions or people I need to get to know.
I hope you enjoy this series on Tiki people in the coming weeks. Mahalo!