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   8/30/01    From January 19th to February 3rd 2002, Sven A. Kirsten will lecture on Tiki culture on board the Aranui, a real freighter that supplies the Marquesas Islands from Tahiti, but also takes a small number of cruise passengers. The Marquesas are the cradle of Tiki art, where Thor Heyerdahl was inspired in his research, Melville lived and Gauguin found his final resting place. The ship consists of 30 comfortable cabins, robust meals, and attractive public areas. It is a very livable vessel, but this experience is not for travelers looking for glamour or glitz. You go along for the ride to watch the tattooed crew sling sacks of copra (dried coconuts) and oil drums by day, and strum ukuleles on the port deck by night. The Aranui offers an authentic taste of Polynesian life at sea and the rare opportunity to visit these islands like a native. These 12 islands remain largely cut off from the 20th century and were only colonized a century ago. The result is a people that have been transported from the Stone Age to the Atomic Age in the last hundred years.

Excerpts from the Aranui website text:

Day Six - Nuku Hiva
The first call the Aranui makes in Nuku Hiva is Taiohae, the administrative center of the Marquesas. Taoihae Bay is a giant volcanic amphitheatre, the remnants of a volcanic crater. Around the bay are towering cliffs streaked by waterfalls. It was here that a young Herman Melville deserted his whaling ship, and fled to Taipivai Valley. His stay with the cannibal Taipi tribe was the basis for his famous novel Typee.

We will take you, by jeep, along a steep, winding dirt road, to this secluded valley. Taipivai Valley contains a treasure grove of stone tiki gods, the remains of massive platforms on which the Taipi built their houses and sacred sites. You will return on the Aranui's whaleboats to her anchorage in Taipivai Bay. There is excellent scuba diving in the area.

Day Nine -Hiva Oa
We'll travel by foot or by jeep to the most important archaeological site for tiki (representing ancestors) other than Easter Island. Our trained guides (meaning Sven-Tiki in this case) will show you these mysterious jungle ruins of Puamau and tell the stories of these haunting statues of an ancient civilization. Bring plenty of film.

For the 2002 voyage schedule see

   7/30/01    The TIKI BEACH FESTIVAL, a whole day of Polynesian music, food and vendors, will happen on August 25th in Long Beach, Los Angeles.

Afterwards, also on the 25th, join the opening party for Miles Thompson's Island Images exhibition at the Dion Gallery in Redondo Beach. Miles' website is one of the most entertaining experiences on the net, and shows his amazing talent in Polynesian Pop iconography.


August 18th/19th at the Caliente Tropics Motel, whose Tiki theme was preserved after exposure to the Book of Tiki.

"Be a modern primitive! Take a Tiki Trip to Palm Springs and tour the mid-century modern sites! The authentic Caliente Tropics oasis awaits you! Enjoy exotica muzak by the Tiki-studded pool while imbibing Beachbum Berry's cocktail creations! Shop for polynesian pop paraphenalia and be initiated into the cult by Book of Tiki author Sven Kirsten.

Saturday, August 18th: Register and pick up the tour map (selfguided) of 38 modern sites in Palm Springs at the lobby. Exotica music by the pool all day Saturday and Sunday!
6:00 p.m. Pool party with Exotica music and no host bar serving cocktails made from the recipes of Beachbum Berry's "Grog Log." Tiki carvings and ceramics on sale by Bosko, CC Rider and Blue Sea International. All attendees get a complimentary copy of the new "Carvers" issue of Tiki News!
7:30 Live carving expo by CC Rider.
8:30 Informal slide lecture by the pool: "Tikis of America's deserts and urban jungles" by Sven Kirsten, author of The Book of Tiki. Sven will be available to sign his book.
ADDED ATTRACTION: After the slide show there will be a poolside screening (16 mm!) of an original "Hawaiian Eye" episode (true early 60s pre-Hawaii 5-0 Tiki TV)

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