Do you know about the giant spoon? I happened across this while researching symbolism found on items made by professional craftsmen, as well as things added by the item’s owners like carvings, tacks, inlays, etc.
According to the vast number of references I found, these most commonly found versions of oversized carved wooden cutlery originated with the Polynesian peoples of the South Pacific region as Tiki totems representing the mythological Tiki gods. The majority of them found in the United States were imported in the 1960s and 1970s and sold in vast numbers along with the other rather gaudy decor that was then, and the trend continues today, driven by the media Propaganda Machine the time.
Features Of The Giant Spoon
There are many different varieties, sizes and quality levels of these Tiki god cutlery totems. Professional Polynesian artisans mostly made the higher quality and more detailed ones; however, many also make in Japanese factories and the only way to tell the difference is noticing where a machine cut not sufficiently disguise, or if more than one set is available, the factory versions will be virtually identical from piece to piece. Both Polynesian and African factory workers made most others; these are typically all hand-made; however, they are of much lower quality and lack many details as compared to the originals and high-quality reproductions.
More On Giant Spoon
These giant cutlery totems were not limited to the Polynesian culture but also extended to the Greeks and Romans as well. There are considerable differences in appearance between the Polynesian and Mediterranean versions as well as the subsequent factory-made reproductions and knock-offs that were pushed by the media Propaganda Machine. The subsequent knock-offs and reproductions that make and 1960s and then do in wood, stamped steel, plaster composites, and porcelain.
The design difference between the original Polynesian and Mediterranean versions is quite considerable. However, both versions focused upon the mythological god(s) totem as the main focal point. The Polynesian Tiki versions used the likenesses of their imaginary gods. While the Mediterranean texts highlighted the fruits of the harvest as their focal point. I did not find any examples of the Greeks or Romans using any likeness of their mythological gods on these decor items.
In Roman culture, most commonly the giant fork and spoon are accompanied by a sconce type representation of a basket, wood or clay container filled with the fruits of the harvest. The cornucopia comes from Greek mythology, and the term entered into the English dictionary in 1508. It originates from the convergence of two Latin words; Cornu meaning “horn” and Copia meaning “plenty”;
I don’t know about other cultures. But the large wooden fork and spoon are a traditional decoration in the Philippines and other Pacific Islands. Got mine in the dining room, however, not the kitchen. However, I don’t know the origin – perhaps it’s a symbol of welcoming everyone to the dining table. Sharing food is an essential part of all Pacific Island cultures.
What I find somewhat amusing is that most Pacific cultures don’t use cutlery – we prefer to eat with our hands. The Philippines developed the use of the fork and spoon during colonial times and the U.S. occupation. But in the last ten years, there’s been a trend to move back to the “natural” fork and spoon. That is the fingers.
Note that the giant fork and spoon are usually accompanied in the dining room of a Filipino home. By the representation of the Last Supper, and, elsewhere in the house, by a Swords of Moroland plaque.