The History of Tiki

How sex, rum, World War II, and the brand-new state of Hawaii ignited a fad that has never quite ended.
In December 1931 a somewhat adrift 24-year-old washed up in Southern California, looking for something to do. A native of New Orleans, he was named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt. Curious by nature and something of a protobeatnik by choice, he had spent the previous months vagabonding on the cheap through some of the globeâ..s more humid locales: Jamaica, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Marquesas Islands, and Tahiti. By the time he got to Los Angeles, his money had run out.
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AmericanHeritage.com / Tiki