Oh my word. I had no idea. The Hukilau. The most amazing event I have ever attended. It was so much fun. Kate and I arrived back home on Monday — and we are still processing — so today an easyish-peasy-ish we-can’t-even-begin-to-capture-it-really photo essay: Scenes from The Hukilau 2014.
To begin — Kate and I share our photo diary of The Hukilau in general. Tomorrow, our photos from The Mai Kai.
About The Hukilau
The Hukilau began 13 years ago, when a dedicated community of tikiphiles on the East Coast decided to create their own annual gathering to celebrate tiki culture. It was not very easy to participate in tiki activities on the West Coast. So these tiki fans — led by Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White — launched their own event in Atlanta. The Hukilau was an instant success. But not far from Atlanta — in Fort Lauderdale — there was an even better place to meet, they quickly agreed: The Mai Kai Restaurant — a phenomenal time capsule example of postwar tiki architecture built in 1956 — a veritable Temple o’ the Tiki — still was operating. So, the Hukilau moved to Fort Lauderdale and has thrived there ever since, with the Mai Kai as the epicenter of activities.
Kate and I participated in this year’s Hukilau for the first time. We led the panel Create Your Own Suburban Savage Paradise, which included leading tiki design experts Jamie Wilson and Anjy Cameron aka Cheeky Tiki… Bamboo Ben… Danny Gallardo aka Tiki Diablo… and Dave Wolfe aka Basement Kahuna.
We participated in all the other events, too… we learned all about tiki history… we met top tiki historians… we taste-tested well-crafted tiki cocktails derived from original Don the Beachcomber recipes… we examined and acquired tiki artifacts (ahem, we shopped)…
… we wore vintage dresses and flowers in our hair… we wandered around the Mai Kai over and over again… and, we met lots of readers and many other wonderful people. There were mermaids, burlesque and bands playing exotica revival tunes, too. This is a fantastic community!
My favorite parts of The Hukilau were the Mai Kai… and the people… and oh my: The clothes.
Experienced villagers had costume changes at least twice a day. I was told that they shopped all year in preparation. And it showed.
A key take away: It is super difficult to be unhappy when you are wearing a bright flower-covered dress — and a flower in your hair. The men: Dressed just as loudly, just as proudly, as the women.
It will take some time to recover from this.
Photos from The Hukilau:
Tip to use slide show: Click on thumbnail… it will enlarge… use the arrows below each photo to move forward or back… you may start or stop at any photo.