What’s the deal with Tiki Mugs?

To the unschooled eye, the Tiki Mug might seem like nothing more than a bit of whimsical fun; however, there is much more to these weird and wonderful creations than you might think. At Tiki Mugs Australia, we’re all about honouring our forebears, so let us give you the lowdown on the rich and fascinating history of our favourite bar essential.

Old Tiki Carved in Stone

Originally, the term ‘tiki’ refers to traditional Mãori and Polynesian statues carved from wood or stone – think also the giant heads on the Easter Islands. These tikis have been around forever, but Tiki Mugs only started to crop up on American bar shelves in the 1950s. Granted, the earliest Tiki Mugs were usually pretty basic skull shaped contraptions; however, by the 60s Tiki culture was on full bloom and designs were varied, wild and absolutely iconic.

Early providores of Tiki Mugs, like Trader Vic’s and Donn Beach, have achieved something of a legendary status in the tiki scene; their original creations are now highly sought after collectors’ items – and not just because they’ve come to be worth a pretty penny. To the true lover of Tiki Culture, a mug’s worth is sentimental, nostalgic and 100% personal.

Our Rum-Runner in Chief remembers his first Tiki Mug – Captain Seamus – often and fondly; and this is the very essence of Tiki Mug magic. These mugs are not just something you serve a drink in, they’ve got personality and every one of them tells a story.

When you buy a Tiki Mug, you are really purchasing an artefact. Tiki Mug designs have evolved and changed over the years, leaving behind a colourful legacy we can trace through the decades. From the classic tropical themes of the early 50s to the semi-traditional face-tikis of the 60s, all the way to the modern-day Tiki Mugs, which can feature anything from Star Wars inspired designs to nouveau retro images.

No matter how far along you are on your journey into the Tiki-verse, there’s always something new, cool and unexpected right around the corner. Stop by Tiki Mugs Australia to check out our spin on these fabulous pieces of traditional barware.

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