In Depth: Tiki
LOS ANGELES - Hal is joined by Indigenous Hospitality Advocate Chockie Tom and founder of "Chuntikis" Julio Gutierrez.
Gutierrez gives us a brief history of tiki, which is basically a concept made up in Hollywood during the ‘30s and ‘40s out of an amalgamation of cultural touchstones.
He says the enduring popularity of the genre has to do with its fantasy and escapist elements where people can basically cosplay in an island environment for a couple of hours while imbibing cocktails.
Tom and Gutierrez have basically created their own spin on tiki culture by moving away from some of the clichéd and offensive imagery and offering up new options. Tom blends her cocktail popups with metal rock and satanic images in a tongue-in-cheek way.
Gutierrez created "Chuntikis" to put a Hispanic spin on tiki, creating cocktails based on more Latinx and indigenous flavors.
Both believe that there are issues with traditional "tiki" that are an inappropriate co-opting of native images and beliefs. Tom also mentions the desire to eliminate the trope of the semi-nude island girl with its sexism and implication of sexuality.
Gutierrez is an advisor for a pop-up bar called Marie’s Tek Tec which runs on weekends in Long Beach.