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HAWAIIAN HULA GIRL

Hula Girl Dolls, Nodders & Ceramics

Who best symbolizes the care-free life style of Hawaii than our captivating Hawaiian Hula Girl; who embodies every man's fascination and every woman's envy? The hula girl is charming and alluring and always carries within her the spirit of 'Aloha'.

She is a recognizable image throughout the Pacific; a beautiful woman scantily clad in her grass hula skirt and coconut shell top. The hula girl image is splashed about here and there, turning up in different places all the time. A Hawaiian hula girl will grace the cover of many magazines, post cards, posters, photographs, travel literature and when a hula girl is not busy greeting tourists with leis or serving Mai Tais on the beach, she simply lazes among the palms and gazes longingly out to sea while strumming her ukulele and striking the classic hula girl pose.

The hula girl sums up the perfect image of what Hawaii has to offer with her welcoming smile and easy, fluid movements. The hula girl as we know her today is the creation of popular culture. In the early 1900s is when the 'modern' Hawaiian hula girl first appeared in her now traditional little grass skirt and flower patterned halter. With Hawaii's growing popularity came the interpretation of every visiting artist's eye. Occasionally you'd find the hula girl bare breasted which to some seemed rather unconventional during the mid to late 1900s. But that didn't stop her nor did this pollute the beautiful hula girl image; of course, having a beautiful flower lei strewn across her chest helped avert the wandering eyes. Being from another culture, the hula girl was allowed to bend the rules a bit.

Around the 1950s airplane travel to the Islands became the more popular way to travel. It took many hours of flying instead of many weeks travel across the Pacific. Before airplanes it was the steam ships who brought many of the curious on-lookers. Hawaii became 'The Place To Visit' if you were somebody. Following suit were the savvy business minded folk who became aware of this and capitalized on the market of bringing a piece of Hawaii back with you. This began the craze of what collectors call 'Hawaiiana'. The marketing stayed true in that you would always find the expressive hula girl who for the visitor, embodied the spirit of fun and excitement of Hawaii and bought her up by the dozens.

One of the most popular of Hawaiiana collectibles sought by early visitors to Hawaii were of course the hula dolls. Hula dolls came in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. During the 1920s and 30s, some of the earliest hula dolls were made of bisque or redware, a clay material lacking any glaze. Slightly later chalk-ware hula dolls were carnival novelites, they had hand painted hair, leis and skirt.

In the 1940s and 1950s some of Hawaii's best artists, like Delee, Julene & Hakata, took to creating some of the finest Hawaiian hula dolls of the time. These are still some of the most sought after hula dolls by Hawaiiana collectors today. The ever popular Hula girl nodder was created in the 1940s through 1960s and are still some of the most popular hula girl dolls. 

Large productions of nodders were created to supply the market of visiting service men during World War Two and later the hordes of visiting tourists eager to bring a piece of Hawaiiana home with them. Often used as travel gifts, hula dolls would often be used as special gifts to loved ones. During the entire hula doll era (1920 - 1970) there have been countless variation and interpretations of the ever loving Hawaiian hula doll.  In fact, because of the huge resurgence of interest in the Hawaiian hula doll, many companies are making new reproductions of the vintage hula doll.  Other companies are creating their own version of the classic hula girl doll.

No matter what style, shape or persona the hula girl took on, she remained a stable attractive figure throughout the years to come. Her commercial exploitation never swayed from her good-natured acceptance as Hawaii's instantly recognizable image. Throughout her metamorphosis, she has remained sparkling and welcoming, which is, after all, her main function.

We buy, sell & trade all types of Vintage & Classic Hawaiiana.

And of course we love the hula girl.

We hope you'll take a moment to look through our surfNhula web site... And enjoy! 


SURFNHULA
P. O. BOX 1234
MAKAWAO, HI 96768

 

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