Wednesday, February 13, 2013


When Hawaii became America's newest state in 1959, its native culture fascinated American mainlanders--including its sinuous dance--the "hula". Inspired by dancing "Leilanis" , many merchandisers cashed in onthis iconic image of a hip-swaying Hawaiian maiden in a (missing) grass skirt and came up with nodders and bobbers meant for car dashboards and curio cabinets. This Made-in-Japan example, straight from the 50s,  falls into that category, but is much more functional. For one, the figurine is a bobber and ash tray in one, and is made of more expensive ceramic than the usual plaster cast models. The upper body is attached to its lower part with a spring. When shaken, the figure wobbles, mimicking the swaying moves of graceful hula dancers. So collectible!!

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