Tiki Polynesian Statue
Tiki culture in the United States began in 1934 with the opening of a Polynesian theme bar and restaurant in Hollywood, California. The proprietor was a young adventurer from Louisiana who had sailed throughout the South Pacific. His restaurant featured Cantonese / Chinese cuisine and exotic rum punches, with a decor of flaming torches, rattan furniture, flower leis, and brightly colored fabrics. Following success of this new sensation many restaurants adopted a Tiki theme. The tike theme took on a life of its own spawning the modern form of kitsch art that was a large part of the original inspiration for tiki culture. Tiki exotica and Polynesian popular culture rode a wave of popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s marked by the entrance of Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959 and the introduction of Tiki hut bars and restaurants around the continental United States.