Tiki Gods - The deities of Polynesian culture in decorative art

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Every image built with iconographic elements that refer to the human physiognomy or to our emotional states such as astonishment, anger and happiness causes us a certain fascination in order to instigate us to unravel what they essentially mean. This is the case with many handicrafts linked to popular culture and the spiritual practices of an ethnic group, such as African masks , the frown figure and the Tiki gods .

The latter, in particular, are materialized in contemporary times as decorative sculptures , masks and plaques and use rustic wood as raw material and link between nature - the source of the elemental strength of each deity - and craftsmanship . Inspired by the mythology and culture of ancient Polynesia, the craftsman invites us to sharpen our gaze towards new ways of perceiving art in connection with spirituality. In addition, it anchors in interior decoration works that are far from trivial and make spaces more interesting.

Where did the tiki gods come from?

Tiki refers to the physical representation of different gods worshiped as monumental poles in the Polynesian islands.

The origin of the cult of the Tiki gods correlates with the origin of artistic manifestations aimed at the spirituality of the peoples of the Polynesian islands, mainly the Maori. Carving of divine figures is one of the oldest sacred arts of South Pacific island cultures; made by members of the tribe for decoration , religious ceremonies or healing processes due to the belief that they had powers.

Like all Polynesian culture , the belief in Tiki was spread by the Maori tribe in Hawaii during the 19th century and consequently to North American soldiers, leading to the popularization of the figures in the 40s, after World War II. Tiki sculptures and other Polynesian art became focal points in restaurants and bars with the Hawaiian tribal essence that grew in the postwar period and soon found their way into American home decor.

What are the references of Polynesian culture?

Tiki god totems are representations of Polynesian spiritual practices and traditions.

The tropicality and natural appeal that surrounds life on the island are the main references that are linked to the Tiki gods and Polynesian culture . Therefore, it is not surprising that the rustic style, which offers simplicity to the complexity that structures each Polynesian god, and the predilection for craftsmanship are always present. The art in carved wood is what establishes the link between these two elements and sustains the connection with nature.

Tribal aspects are also incorporated into the handicrafts. They display the mystical traditions, the warrior spirit, the welcoming soul and the importance of ethnic symbols. Many Tiki arts are accompanied by the word “ Aloha ” or everyday references such as Hawaiian Hula dance costumes, paddles , surfboards , palm trees and tropical fruits. There are also those that refer to the first North American establishments inspired by Hawaiian tradition, exalting the Tiki Bar and the Happy Hour concept.

Who are the main gods in tiki culture?

There are 4 tiki gods most worshiped in the decorative arts, called Ku, Lono, Kane and Kanaloa.

The main Tiki gods worshiped in Polynesian and Hawaiian mythology are 4: Ku , Lono , Kane and Kanaloa . Each individually represents a transforming power linked to the force of nature, although all are synonymous with protection and good luck. Ku , for example, is the god of war, and in Hawaiian it means "standing". It is usually represented with the darkest appearance and the mouth open to simulate that it is devouring enemies.

Lono , in turn, is the representation of the god of fertility, rain, music and peace. His image is the warmest and makes a big smile appear. Kane means "man" in Hawaiian, is the god of light, life and creator of the universe. It is represented with human traits and fish characteristics as it symbolizes the principle of life. Kanaloa , god of the sea, has a dreadlocked face, similar to squid tentacles.

What is the symbolism of the Polynesian gods in the decoration?

Tiki totems and masks are protective amulets and can attract good luck when inserted into the decor.

The exoticism surrounding the dark aesthetics, the mystical essence and the tropical appeal converts the Tiki deities into true cultural riches that fill the environments with stories and many meanings. In addition to what they ideally symbolize by personifying the divine essence of each deity, they inspire wisdom, bravery and strength, whose adepts of mysticism are called sons of tiki .

Another relevant symbolism is the ability to attract good luck, which transforms this decorative art into a powerful protective amulet for the home and each individual residing in it. There are totems , masks , wooden plaques and manually carved furniture that reverberate the authenticity of this Polynesian culture in symbolic decorations.

In our virtual store there are pieces imported from Bali , Indonesia, and national ones, made by artisan Marchioro - Brazilian artist from Cricium based in Cocal do Sul. With a keen eye you will recognize the work of art for decoration that best harmonizes with your home and purpose.


Milene Sousa - Art & Tune

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Adorei a história das divindades Tiki, não conhecia os Deuses e influência mística com o artesanato. Tentarei reproduzir os Deuses e atrair sortes para s residências… obrigado pelas explicações

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