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What Is a Tiki Party?

by Jacqueline Chinappi ; Updated November 30, 2018

Tiki parties are known for South Pacific and Polynesian foods. The cuisine usually includes sweet meats like ham, chicken and barbecue pork. Rum-filled drinks, tropical fruits and bamboo decorations are also found at the tiki party. The idea of the tiki party was popularized in America in the 1930s, and it continued to be a huge trend until disco hit the scene in the 1970s.

History

The tiki idea was introduced to California in 1934 by Donn Beach when he opened the first tiki restaurant in Hollywood. Victor Bergeron opened his own tiki establishments around 1944. During World War II , military men coming home to America made the "tiki parties" at Bergeron's Trader Vic's popular.

Geography

The decor and ideas of the tiki party originated from the South Pacific Islands and Polynesia. The South Pacific Islands are located between the continents of Australia and Asia.

Features

A tiki party consists of Asian food with a touch of the tropics. Foods are easy to pick up or on skewers. Decorations of a tiki party can include torches, paper lanterns, raffia umbrellas, flower garlands and fish nets.

Considerations

Tiki party attire would include Hawaiian or island-style shirts. Tiki parties were popularized during the the 1930s and 1940s when skinny ties and tapered pants were at their height of popularity.

Famous Ties

Howard Hughes, the wealthy businessman, killed a pedestrian in a drunken car accident in 1936. Hughes was said to have been out at a tiki restaurant prior to the accident.

About the Author

Jacqueline Chinappi has been a freelance writer and editor since June 2007. Her experience includes writing about mental health, psychology, counseling, children, family, languages, and education. Chinappi holds a Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology and an Educational Specialist degree in professional counseling from Seton Hall University.