Vanuatu…Polynesian cultures have a rich history of intricate wood carving. The tiki or tam-tam are richly carved and have centuries of meaning. They are deeply regarded in this culture, even appearing on local currency.
Most people associate the tiki with Hawaii, but on this trip I have seen them throughout these remote islands of the South Pacific! The most incredible tiki I have seen were in Vanuatu today. These dark almost black wood talismans lined the gorgeous waterfront at Turtle Beach!
The tiki stand guard ominously along the breakwater in front the brilliantly blue shore. Obviously, each holds an important symbolism to the locals. These carvings stand proudly displaying sexual and virility themes; from phallic symbolism to even depicting an hermaphrodite!
I know many cultures believe the phallus is good luck…but these tiki go beyond that! I keep thinking about the haunting statues with their intense stare. They stuck with me because they seemed to look right through to my soul. I was totally drawn to them!
Art, superstition, craft, black magic, voodoo, and religion are all intertwined in history of Polynesia…I am so glad I got a chance to see these special tiki and witness these local mysteries!