Sunday, November 10, 2019

Polynesian Paper Dolls Featured in Paperdoll Review Magazine Issue 74

Polynesian Paper Dolls

Paperdoll Review Magazine Issue 74 featuring
Hawaiian Princess paper doll by Brenda Sneathen Mattox 

The current edition of Paperdoll Review (Issue 74) highlights Polynesian paper dolls with a fascinating article about the history, culture and fashions of the South Seas by Amanda Hallay and Lorna Currie Thomopoulos. Click here for the complete article! Shown above is our pretty cover paper doll of Hawaiian Princess Ka’iulani by Brenda Sneathen Mattox

Also in this issue, Marilyn Henry highlights Piggie Paper Dolls, Artist Peggy Jo Rosamond and Baby Paper Dolls. Linda Ocasio tells the story of Gary Ruddell's paper doll publishing company, Hobby House Press. Amanda Hallay covers the career and paper dolls of Dorothy Lamour. Plus we have Martha Raively's report of the Kansas City Paper Doll Convention and Jim Howard's paper doll of Mitzi Gaynor in South Pacific, created just for this issue.

A tremendous amount of work goes into each issue, with managing editor Marilyn Henry pulling together contributions by a wonderful group of writers, illustrators and collectors—most of whom generously volunteer their time and treasures from their collections. We can't keep this specialty magazine going without subscribers, and I encourage you to send $26 to Paperdoll Review, PO Box 14, Kingfield, ME 04947 or subscribe through Plus we've got tons of back issues to enhance your love of paper dolls. Issue 74 is available for $7.

Below are a few of my favorite Polynesian paper dolls from our feature article, images courtesy of Lorna Currie Thomopoulos from her personal collection. 

Waikiki Wardrobe Cutout by Neva Schultz, from The Golden Magazine, May 1966.

A paper doll celebration of King Kamehameha I who united the eight islands of Hawaii. By Janet Smalley, Jack & Jill, June 1951.

Hawaiian Dancers in two languages, illustrated by Bernard Atkins, published in Hawaii in 1984.

Two sweet little girls with island wear featuring the many colors under the Hawaiian Rainbow. Illustrated by Yuko Green for Island Heritage Publishing, 1999.

As the weather turns cold I find myself longing for a tropical island breeze rather than the brisk November winds of northern Maine. So to help bring a little Polynesia into my world—and yours—Amanda Hallay offers some fun tips! Be sure to check out Amanda's "Fashion and the Tiki Craze" episode on her YouTube channel, The Ultimate Fashion History.


1. Take a "couch vacation" with the following movies, all of which are available to stream.

Blue Hawaii (1961)
Elvis returns to his home in Hawaii after completing his military service. Mom Angela Lansbury wants Elvis to join her husband’s pineapple empire, but The King has his own ideas! Shot on location, this Technicolor treat is a sumptuous confection of singing, sunshine and surfing, with Edith Head sourcing Alfred Shaheen textiles for her fabulous costumes.

Pagan Love Song (1950)
Esther Williams (at her zenith) is accompanied by Howard Keel on this island romp that finds Esther masquerading as a native serving girl to teach mainlander Howard a lesson. Gorgeous locations and wonderful songs will instantly transport you to not only another place but another time.

South Pacific (1958)
Bali Hai has probably already called you more than once when it comes to this sumptuous screen version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, yet who needs an excuse to view South Pacific again?

Kon-Tiki (2012)
Even with its Oscar nominations and high approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this Norwegian biopic of Thor Heyerdahl and his adventures in the South Pacific remains relatively unknown. Filmed in both Norwegian and English (be sure to catch the English version), the movie is both epic and intimate, and it's impossible to not become emotionally involved with those brave guys on that balsa wood raft.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Although audience members evidently burst out laughing the moment Marlon Brando opened his mouth (his English accent came as a shock, yet it’s actually very good), this "boat and breadfruit" saga is a classic, and the sumptuous Polynesian locations inspired Mr. Brando to move to Tahiti. Who could blame him?

Donovan’s Reef (1963)
Believed by many to be the masterpiece movie of the Tiki craze, Donovan’s Reef finds John Wayne, Dorothy Lamour and Lee Marvin fighting it out in this colorful comedy.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Filmed almost entirely at the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu, this rom-com makes you feel like you, too, are on vacation. It features some brilliant comedic performances by Jason Segel (as the heartbroken Peter), Russell Brand as his rock-star romantic rival and Paul Rudd, the perpetually stoned surfing instructor who got his Hawaiian name of Kunu from an online generator.

2. Click on Spotify, Pandora or YouTube and indulge in the multiple playlists that feature both traditional Polynesian music and the "Exotica" of artists such as Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter and Martin Denny.

3. Host a Hawaiian dinner party using recipes from the wonderful Aloha Kitchen cookbook, available on Amazon and at most good book stores.

4. Turn your tub into a South Pacific spa with Herbivore Coconut Bath Soak, Eminence Coconut Sugar Scrub and Pure Fiji shampoo and conditioner. Top it all off with one of Tahitian-based fragrance company Comptoir Sud Pacifique's beautiful, tropical scents. All products available online, many through Amazon.

5. Relax with one of these recommended books:
Hawaii by James Michener (1959)
Epic tale of 19th century settlers to Hawaii and their offspring that was later turned into the Julie Andrews' movie.

The Happy Isles of Oceania by Paul Theroux (1992)
Noted travel writer Paul Theroux charts his experiences island hopping by canoe. At times hilariously snarky, at others, incredibly touching, nothing brings the islands to life – both the best of them and the worst – like this excellent read.

The Waikiki Widow, The Kahuna Killer, The Mamo Murders: these excellent murder mysteries all hail from the 1950s, and all are by Hawaii-based author Juanita Sheridan.

6. Enter a vicious bidding war for Alfred Shaheen original shirts and sarongs on Ebay.

7. Visit a local Tiki bar. New Tiki bars are opening all over the world to cash in on the revival of this tropical subculture. Avoid any bars that mention "rockabilly," the two subcultures sometimes overlap, but the more upscale Pacific-inspired restaurants and bars are pure Polynesia.

8. Invite your friends over for a classic Mai Tai!
½ ounces of white rum
½ ounce of Triple Sec or Cointreau
½ ounce of fresh lime juice
½ ounce of orgeat syrup* 
(*amaretto is a good substitute if you can’t find orgeat)
½ ounce of dark rum
Mint leaves and hibiscus flowers dusted in powdered sugar for garnish.

Pour everything except the dark rum and the garnish into a cocktail shaker. Shake for ten seconds, then pour into an Old Fashioned (or similar) glass. Pour the dark rum on the top (but do not mix) and add garnish. Aloha!

9. Download an animated Pacific Island screen saver to your TV, phone, or laptop. Better still, Livestream a screen saver, and watch Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, and even Fiji in real time.

10.  Re-mortgage your home and take an Oceanic holiday! Actually, with good advice, there are indeed ways to visit the Pacific Islands without resorting to selling either grandmother or soul. Visit for an excellent article on planning a Pacific vacation on a budget by a well-seasoned travel writer.

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