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Tiki Bar

American Museum of Natural History

Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

The American Museum of Natural History has a permanent exhibit dedicated to Oceanic art, the Margaret Mead Hall of Pacific Peoples. Margaret Mead was an anthropologist at the museum from 1926 until her death in 1978. She is most famous for her influence on American thinking about sexuality; she herself was influenced by the differing attitudes towards sex she encountered during her expeditions to the South Pacific.

The hall contains a wide array of anthropological pieces from Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. The anchor of the hall is a 15-foot reproduction of a moai from Rapa Nui, which famously came to life in the film Night at the Museum, bringing a more steady flow of traffic to the hall.

Pieces like those on display at the Hall of Pacific Peoples were a heavy influence on the graphic artists who created the logos, menus and tiki mugs for Polynesian restaurants in mid-20th century America.

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