Tiki mugs

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Tiki mugs are ceramic drink ware originating in mid-century American tiki bars and tropical themed restaurants, believed to have been pioneered by Don the Beachcomber. The term "Tiki mugs" is a generic, blanket term for sculptural drink ware that depict imagery from Polynesia, Micronesia or Melanesia, and of more recent is also used to describe these mugs depicting anything tropical, wahines, surf or other images or themes connected to the escapism and cultures those bars draw inspiration from and conjure.

Originally being created as both signature and marketing tool to hold the exotic libations, the 1960s also saw the ceramic craft market following suit by releasing ceramic tiki mug molds for the hobbyist to customize. These original mugs, whether related to a location or made by the hobbyist, also known as the vintage mugs, once found in abundance on the dusty shelves of junk shops in the 1980s and 90s, became a sought after item for those who were responsible for the revival of interest in the heyday of places like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic's. The vintage tiki mug gets an insightful overview with plenty of photos in Duke Cater's Tiki Quest. Though hobbyists and ceramic artists, in a small capacity, have continued to make these mugs at home, and larger manufacturers have mass produced restaurant and bar promotional souvenirs since the 1960s, it was artist and carver Bosko starting to create his own, based on his style of design, and the "tiki revival" of the 1990s that sparked the tiki mug as a new art form. Following suit shortly thereafter was a father and son ceramics team, blending a long history of ceramic crafting and highly developed skills at glaze finishes and high fire work, who started making tiki mugs under the name Munktiki. From that point every year a few more tiki revivalists get into the craft, resulting in a new art scene that produces a large variety of interpretation of what "tiki mug" means.

Tiki mug categorizations

Many Tiki Mug collectors divide their collections into the following manufacturers or styles:

Styles

  • Bucket Mug
  • Coconut Mug
  • Decanter
  • Fu Manchu Mug
  • Head Hunter Mug
  • Hula Girl or Wahine Mug
  • Moai Mug
  • Hawaiian Ku or Lono Mug
  • Maori Mug
  • Marquesan Mug
  • Rarotongan Mug
  • Orientalia Mug
  • Pineapple Mug
  • Pirate Mug
  • Rum Barrel Mug
  • Scorpion or Hula Girl Bowl
  • Skull Mug
  • Monkey Mug
  • Surfer Mug
  • Tiki Mug
  • Volcano Bowl
  • Volcano Insert
  • Shot
  • Glassware (Glass tumblers, stemware, etc.)
  • Other Bowl
  • Other Mug

The highly popular all-white figural Benihana-style drink glasses for exotic cocktails are also commonly referred to as "tiki mugs," but some collectors dispute this claim.[citation needed]

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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