Sunday, November 30, 2008

Place for a Tiki lamp

Palm Springs, as well as the Yucca Valley area had a very large infusion of this form of culture in the mid to late twentieth century.

The Mai Tai, a perfect example of the remnants of the Tiki Movement in America.

Considering the cultural implications this artifact, the tiki lamp, embodies, there are few locations where this cultural movement would have been evident, and would have been evident through the use of such artifacts. One major location was the American south west. After the second world war, many servicemen returned home carrying tales and souvenirs of grass skirt clad natives and their peculiar culture, music, and food. Due to their familiarity with this indigenous lifestyle, Polynesian design became infused into the local design styling of architecture, furniture, food, as well as music. This gave rise to the tiki movement or what has come to be called “Polynesian Pop” which lasted from the late 1940’s all the way into the 1970’s, particularly on the west coast.
The restaurant industry kept this pacific theme alive for many years, also the baby boomers of the 1950’s, having grown up as children of the original proponents of tiki design, the service members themselves, continued this culture on in the United States. The Southwest, particularly the states of California, Nevada, and Texas have seen the great majority of this movement. When all the sailors, Marines, and soldiers returned from service in the south Pacific, they returned to ports and harbors in Hawaii, and then to California. While many returned to their native hometowns, a large portion stayed in the region and set up businesses, and homes being styled or themed in this exotic fashion.
Remnants of this design and cultural movement are still evident to this day in areas such as the coastal regions of California, as well as farther inland to Yucca Valley.

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