Tiki Statues Meaning; What Does a Tiki Symbolize? Hawaiian Gods, Carving Decor & More

There are many different aspects of Hawaiian culture that have made their way into society across the United States. Hawaiian shirts, Tiki lights, Tiki statues, and more can be found throughout the continental United States. Have you ever stopped to wonder about the origination of these items? Tiki statues are one item of Hawaiian culture that has a rich history that may interest you.

Tiki Culture

Tiki carving is one of the oldest art forms known to man. Each Tiki statue is unique. In Hawaiian Tiki tribes high-ranking tribesmen were considered sacred and powerful. These high-ranking tribesmen carved statues were considered sacred and powerful. The Tiki statues that they made were used in special religious ceremonies.

Who Invented Authentic Tiki Statues?

The Maori tribe that inhabited the Hawaiian islands until the 1800s are the creators of the original Tiki statues. Skilled artisans of the Maori tribe created Tiki statues that represented the Tiki gods in Hawaiian and Polynesian mythology. The Tiki statues were carved to symbolize the importance of a particular mythical deity. Tiki statues were placed by Maori tribe members to mark the boundaries of sacred grounds. The statues were given the name of Tiki from the Maori name for the first human male.

Hawaiian Tiki Gods Images

In the Hawaiian culture there are four significant gods that are most commonly represented: Kane, Ku, Lono, and Kanaloa. Kane is the creator of the universe and the ruler of the natural world. When Kane is depicted in statues he is an amalgamation of many aspects of the natural world. He will have a human body, fishlike mouth, and leaflike hair. Ku is the Hawaiian god of war. His mouth is normally open to suggest that he is devouring his enemies. Ku is the god that human sacrifices are made to. Ku is built with broad shoulders and a large, menacing head. He has the most dominating appearance of the four gods. Lono is the god of rain, fertility, music, and peace. Lono has a large “fertile” belly and a big smile. Kanaloa is the god of the sea. Statues of Kanaloa are easy to identify because he has squidlike dreadlocks. Knowing these features can help identify which god is depicted in the statue.

Vintage Tiki Wall Decor & Hut Decorations

For years Tiki statues depicted the four Gods mentioned above. Christian missionaries were successful in making Christianity the dominant religion of the Hawaiian society in the 1800s. As Christianity spread the Tiki statues the historical significance of the Tiki statues diminished and they became mainly decorative. Now Tiki statues are used as fun decorations. Many restaurants and bars have Tiki statues as decorations to help enhance the atmosphere of their establishment. When people throw Hawaiian themed parties they will buy décor that has Tiki statues.

Tiki Chainsaw Carvings & More in Las Vegas, Nevada & Helena Montana

Maybe next time you go to a party that is Hawaiian themed you can try to see if there are still elements of the four original gods that they were originally carved for on the statues. If you want a customized Tiki statue for your home or office give Clark the Carver at Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings a chance to create a chainsaw carving unique and beautiful for you!