Hawaiian Tiki

What is tiki?

Hawaiian tikis are mythical statues made of wood, which represent the figures of the gods, guardians and spirits in the Hawaiian culture.

First Hawaiian people arrived on the islands from Polynesia about a thousand years ago. They brought their culture and mythology with them. In Polynesian mythology statue tiki often symbolizes the first man on earth. Even today, these figures are still used in religious rituals.

Tiki statues in Hawaiian culture represent figures of different gods and kept their strength in themselves. The Hawaiians believed that these cutouts could keep people from misfortune, add strength and provide excellent crop.

Important gods for Hawaiians, who have their tikis are god of war Ku, the god of agriculture and peace Lono, the god-father, the patron of sunlight, forests and water Kana, and the god of sea Kanaloa.

Hawaiian Tiki helps to keep in touch with god. They believed that by communicating with the gods through the tikis, they can find a way to harmony and peace. In addition, the Hawaiians believed that they are descendants of the gods.

The ancient form of religion aikapu was abolished by King Kamehameha II in 1819, it was the time when most of the statues and temples were destroyed.

Nowadays you can only find part-preserved tikis that remind us about the culture of bygone days. Hawaiian beliefs say that the gods came down to earth as ordinary people and that their tikis reflect the divine and the human element at the same time. Tiki was a reminder of the world of gods’ proximity to the world of men, and gave the assurance in amazing abilities of gods.

If we talk about the most recognizable tiki statue, then it is a figure with a strong and stocky body, with square head and a hat on it.

Nowadays wood tikiss can be found in several places in Hawaii. Some of them can be found in the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu, as well as in the bar «La Marianas», which is located on Sand Island and is one of the most recognized tiki bars in Hawaii.

М. Petrova