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A long-time dashboard delight, Hula girl still has all the moves

17 Sep 16
Alibhai
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Hula dashboard ornament

  • Available at: Auto stores, dollar stores
  • Price:Varies

She’s been dancing nearly 100 years with that sultry smile and glassy gaze. Sometimes, her hands are outstretched in the come-hither motion while other times it’s her ukulele she strums. One thing that hasn’t changed for almost 70 years is the hips. They gyrate, sway or wiggle. How much motion depends on her springs and the springs in your car.

The Hula girl started out as a gift from friends who voyaged to Hawaii starting in the 1920s. Originally, she was made of bisque or clay with hand-painted features including that smile and doe-like eyes. Her hibiscus-patterned halter-top and lei were cloth and the skirt was real grass.

By the 1950s, her move from the rumpus room to the dashboard was credited to U.S. soldiers stationed in Hawaii during the Second World War. They brought dashboard Hula girls for everyone back to the U.S. mainland. The new, plastic mass-produced Hula girl now had a spring at her hips so she could wiggle. A big magnet in her base stuck her to the metal dashboards of every surfer car in California. It wasn’t long before she was a part of American pop culture. Now, a double-sided tape holds dashboard ornaments from nodding kitties to shaking Elvis. But nothing is as classy as the swaying Hula girl.


Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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