How to Use Pottery to Elevate Your Outdoor Decor

The tradition of pottery dates back to prehistoric times, and today, pottery is trendy for both decorations and as an art form. Many people have fallen in love with pottery’s elegant beauty for everything from dishware to interior design. It’s also a fantastic way to add character and vibrant colors to your yard. Learn all the types and uses for pottery in the backyard and how to create an enchanting, greenery-filled landscape with ceramic planters.

Types of Pottery

One of pottery’s most popular uses is in outdoor and indoor planters and vases. With so many ways to turn clay into something attractive and useful, pottery comes in various shapes, sizes and materials:


Since pottery is either sculpted by hand or made with pour-in molds, it can form almost any shape imaginable. When it comes to planters, you’ll find plenty of popular shapes, including:

  • Round: Round planters include any planter with a circular opening at the mouth. They can be cylindrical, tapered, olive-shaped, tall or stout. Some round pots have a rim, and others have none.
  • Square: A square pot has a square opening at the top. It can form a vertical prism or a cube shape. Like round pots, they can be tapered or straight, and some even have twisted or curved sides.
  • Oblong: Long, rectangular planter pots are usually window boxes and railing planters. Some window and railing planters take the shape of ovals or include more decorative shapes. They hang off of windows or railings with special hooks.
  • Low bowl: A popular type of round pot is the low bowl. This round, short pot looks like a saucer.
  • Urn: Sometimes called a statue planter, urns are especially ornamental. They may have a square or round tapered base with a bowl or chalice-shaped cavity on top where the plant goes. They often look like oversized goblets.


Landscape pottery can have nearly any size. Since it’s primarily used as planters, outdoor pottery does have some standard sizes that correspond with typical plant sizes. These sizes break down into a few categories, such as:

  • Small: Small pots are less than 8 inches tall or 8 inches in diameter.
  • Medium: The next size up, medium pots can be anywhere from 8 inches-16 inches high and wide.
  • Large: For even bigger plants, choose a large pot anywhere from 16 inches-24 inches tall or in diameter.
  • Extra large: Any pot wider or taller than 24 inches is extra large.


The word “ceramic” refers to a class of material that’s soft when wet and permanently hardens with heat. Technically, everything from glass to cement is considered a ceramic material. Even clay pottery can form different forms of ceramic. 

Earthenware is a ceramic that fires at low temperatures, like the classic terra cotta garden planter. Stoneware is pottery that uses mid- or high-firing course-grained clay, and porcelain comes from fine-grained, high-firing white clay. Accordingly, pottery comes in many materials and can even feature a blend of several materials, including:

  • Terra cotta: Traditional, unglazed reddish-brown pots are terra cotta clay. Terra cotta is used in everything from patio tiles to traditional mission-style clay tile roofs. While terra cotta is beloved for its brown and rust coloration, the material is brittle and can break quicker than some other clay pottery.
  • Glazed ceramic: Ceramic clay pottery is denser and less porous than terra cotta, making it more durable. Ceramic pots are always glazed, which gives them an attractive, glossy appearance.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a synthetic composite material that features thin glass fibers held together with resin. Another name for fiberglass is glass-reinforced plastic. Fiberglass pottery can’t be handmade like a clay pot or mug. Instead, it starts with resin poured into a mold, with sheets of fiberglass layered on top. The fiberglass and resin warm and harden to form the pottery. The result is a nonporous, durable and lightweight material.
  • Fiberclay or fiberstone: Fiberclay or fiberstone pottery is closer to what we think of as traditional pottery compared to fiberglass. Instead of reinforcing plastic resin, the pottery makers start with clay or finely ground stone and strengthen it with fiberglass.
  • Concrete composite: Concrete is another pottery material that can’t be formed on a potter’s wheel. Like fiberglass composites, it requires a mold. The wet concrete mixture is usually hand-blended and includes both color pigments and other additives.

Uses for Pottery

If you love the look of clay, you might be wondering how exactly to incorporate it into your outdoor decor. Since ceramics can form nearly any shape, home decorators have discovered many creative and attractive uses for pottery, including:

1. Planters

Most people looking for outdoor pottery in San Diego are looking for sturdy, attractive planters for their yard. Pottery is an excellent choice for potted plants. It isn’t liable to buckle or crack under the weight of wet soil like plastic planters, and it effortlessly elevates your landscape design. It’s also more environmentally friendly than plastic. If you continually overwater your plants, pottery is a better option than plastic, which can trap excess water and damage your plants’ roots and leaves.
Terra cotta is a favorite for its beautiful earthy red color and its benefits for certain plant species. The porous material lets more moisture and air pass through the soil, regulating water at the roots. Ceramic is another popular choice. The glaze over the clay prevents soil from drying out, making ceramic pots excellent for plants that need even moisture. Especially in San Diego’s arid climate, glazed ceramic pots keep your thirstier plants from drying out.
Concrete planters are also well liked for their excellent durability and color options. If a concrete pot chips, it won’t be as noticeable since the material has a more rugged exterior. Concrete is also the most eco-friendly planter option. One other benefit is its natural heat insulation. Here in sunny San Diego, the sun will warm the concrete and the soil within, keeping your heat-loving plants happy.

2. Decorative Bowls

Ceramic bowls have many landscaping and decorative uses. Fill some bowl-shaped pottery with natural river stones, pine cones, citronella candles, fruits or any number of decorative elements to bring your backyard landscape to life. You can also put them on your patio’s coffee table to add some hominess.

Add a fountain pump attachment, and a decorative bowl becomes a do-it-yourself (DIY) water feature. Crafty DIY-ers have also used ceramic potting bowls to make trendy tabletop fire bowls, the perfect miniature firepit for a tiny backyard oasis.

3. Vases

If you’re looking to spruce up your patio, porch or kitchen table, pottery also makes a great vase. Small jar- and cone-shaped planter pots without drainage holes can easily double as vases for your fresh-cut flowers. Many ceramicists also make pieces intended as vases. They look beautiful indoors and out to tie together your patio furniture, end tables or countertops.

4. Chimeneas

If you love to entertain outdoors, a chimenea is a piece of backyard pottery that will delight your friends and family and add warmth and rustic charm to your patio. Named for the Spanish word for chimney, a chimenea is a beautiful outdoor fireplace shaped like a vase. Its spherical bottom is called the “bowl,” and the tall, narrow chimney is the “neck.” The base has a mouth for the fire, and the neck releases smoke and protects your fire from the rain.

Today, many chimeneas are metal. Terra cotta and clay chimeneas are the preferred choices for anyone looking to bring the beauty of pottery to their backyard. These materials reflect chimeneas’ traditional Mexican roots, and they’re also lighter weight than cast iron or cast aluminum. 

5. Garden Statuettes

If you have a whimsical sense of style, you might like to fill your garden with some animal creatures that won’t run away. Clay is a versatile material, perfect for sculpting some furry or feathered friends for your backyard. Here at Backyard X-Scapes, our pottery statuette collection includes pigs, fish, birds, owls and even traditional Mexican Calaveras or painted skulls.

6. Fountains and Water Features

A popular backyard DIY project is creating a water feature by adding an electric pump to a ceramic pot filled with water. It’s a simple way to bring the calming sounds and sights of trickling water to your landscape. It can even make a lovely birdbath. On your hunt for local San Diego pottery, you may even discover ready-made ceramic fountains for your landscape. Our ceramic pottery collection includes some tall, jar-shaped and drum-shaped fountains with holes on top for a waterspout.





How to Use Pottery in Your Landscape Design

With a little planning, pottery lets you embellish your outdoor property effortlessly. Whether you’re an amateur gardener or professional landscaper, you can create an attractive landscape pottery design with a few well-placed planters. Here’s how to decorate with pottery and create a visually striking yard:

1. Decide on a Color Palette

The key to cohesion in landscaping design is color. While you don’t need all your pottery to be the same shade, you want each piece to work well with one another. Pottery comes in a rainbow of colors thanks to the many pigments and glazes available. Deciding on a color scheme before you shop for landscape pottery in San Diego can help you narrow down your options at the store.

As you consider color, your first choice is between bright hues or calming neutrals. Both have their place in landscape design, so it depends on your color preferences and the plants you want to highlight. Green vegetation is usually easy to match. It goes well with vivid turquoises, sunny yellows and most colors in between. If you’re growing flowering plants, you might consider how the pot’s color will look against the petals.

Pottery with neutral tones ranges from whites and creams to slate grays and blacks. It also includes earthy tones like terra cotta, chocolate and caramel. The advantage of neutral colors is their seamlessness and ability to match any environment or host any color plant.

Another consideration with your pottery color choices is your home’s exterior. You likely don’t want to match the exact colors of your house, but it is helpful to tie them together. If your home has warmer colors, you might pair it with a brown or burgundy pot. A darker or lighter shade can provide some nice contrast to the surroundings.

2. Find Your Personal Style

Another thing you’ll notice when shopping for planters and outdoor pottery is they come in many styles. You might find two pots in the size you need, one with decorative ornamentation and another with a sleek, unadorned look. Which pairs better with your backyard and taste? Only you can decide. Typically, round pots look more traditional, while square and rectangular pots complement contemporary architecture.

You get to decide whether you want all your pots to be the same shape and color, or if you want to add variation by selecting a few different colors or shapes that contrast. Also, consider whether you prefer the matte look or a glossy glaze.

3. Select the Right Size for Your Plants

A planter should always be big enough for whatever you plan to pot. A good rule is to select a diameter that’s 1 inch-2 inches wider than your plant. If repotting a plant into the next size up, budget 2 inches-4 inches of extra diameter. Pottery for outdoor landscaping generally errs on the larger size. Pots for indoor use can come small enough to fit on windowsills and side tables. You might choose larger pots to accentuate your front door and some smaller ones to line your porch.

4. Arrange Your Pottery

Next, decide how to arrange your pottery throughout your landscape. When you know where you want to place your planters, it can be easier to figure out how many and what shape and size to buy. You have plenty of options for placement and configurations. Use potted plants as accent pieces and focal points with arrangements such as:

  • Framing an entrance: With a large pot and a tall plant on either side of your front stoop, you create a symmetrical accent for your front door.
  • Topping pedestals, columns or stairways: If your yard has a brick or stone wall, place some potted plants strategically along the length of the wall. They’re also great for topping pedestals and columns. Another option is to line the edge of a stairway on either side with some plants. Remember to avoid plants that may eventually crawl or cascade into walkways.
  • On the corners: If you have a pool, patio or courtyard, potted plants can anchor each corner.
  • Centered on a table: A small pot makes an excellent centerpiece for your porch or patio table.
  • Creating separation and privacy: If you have a small strip of land between you and your neighbor’s yard, a potted plant makes a great dividing line — no fence required. A tall, broad-leafed potted plant can also create a bit of privacy and separation.
  • Grouped together: If you want to make a focal point in any area of your landscape, a simple solution is to pair three pots of varying heights together. Stagger them, so the shortest container is in front with the taller two flanking behind.

Reasons to Use Pottery for Decor

Pottery has many uses for outdoor decor, and plenty of DIY and store-bought decorations incorporate it. Use pottery and ceramic potted plants to:

1. Add Color and Contrast

Landscapes feature plenty of green. Between your grassy lawn and non-flowering potted plants, it’s easy for your landscape to overwhelm the eye with luscious greenery. Colorful pots are an excellent way to break up a monochrome landscape without detracting from the plants. They can also create some contrast with your property or home exterior.

2. Control Your Backyard Vegetation

Any gardener can tell you that, when planting a garden in the ground, it can be hard to maintain. Your plants may slowly creep past the edge of your garden and into your lawn. By using potted plants, you can keep your outdoor plants neat. From season to season, you know your plants will take up the same space. Pots also make it easier to bring nature to your yard without digging up a garden. Using materials like terra cotta, ceramic and concrete for your plants can help maintain the best growing conditions to make a green thumb more attainable.

3. Easily Spruce up Any Space

If your backyard looks dull and lifeless, adding plants is an easy fix. Simply arrange a few ceramic pots and add your favorite flowers and greenery to give the area new energy. Clay, terra cotta and cement can add their own character to your property. Whether you add a potted plant or a terra cotta pig, backyard pottery lets you add a personal touch.

Have you been searching for pottery for sale in San Diego? If so, you can find the items you want from Backyard X-Scapes, including pottery in bright colors, varying shapes and different sizes. Our eye-catching pottery inventory includes well-made products that reflect the stylish sensibilities of the gorgeous California coast.

Pottery can improve the look of your home or business and infuse it with personality. You can use pottery for decoration or as a functional item to hold cacti, succulents and more. Consider adding pottery to your San Diego home or business for a welcome change of pace and stylish addition that will make people take notice.

Our San Diego Pottery Ties Into Your Home Improvement Projects


Adding ceramic vases and other pottery to your San Diego home and business can improve the look of your space. Many Californians want their spaces to look unique. Vases can take a dining room from dull to delightful. Pottery can also add a dash of color when filled with plants or decorated in cheerful hues, giving the room a dynamic feel.

Home improvement projects don’t have to be large and time-consuming to make a huge difference. You can revamp the look of a room just by making a few small changes. Pottery gives new dimension to spaces of all kinds. Make changes that will benefit your space aesthetically and practically when you choose pottery from our San Diego, California retail outlet.

Why Choose Our Local San Diego Pottery?


Backyard X-Scapes is the country’s top provider of tropical commercial and home decor. The high quality of the pottery, grillsoutdoor furniture and other retail outlet items we offer sets us apart from other retailers. When you shop for pottery with us, you’ll find the largest selection in the area – bigger than all our competitors! We offer a variety of eco-friendly solutions you will feel proud to exhibit in your home or business. Our high-quality products are stylish, attractive and fun. Check them out for yourself by visiting our Backyard X-Scapes retail location in San Diego.

Pottery For Sale in Sorrento Valley


Our 75,000sq/ft Outlet in Sorrento Valley San Diego, CA offers a huge selection of pottery. With hundreds of glazed, composite and ceramic pottery options we will have what you need to help make your backyard or any room look amazing. Our pottery is not available for online purchase and with inventory changing daily, please stop by or call us directly for specific sizes, colors and styles. We are open 7-Days per week!

You will find our conveniently located retail outlet near the Torrey Pines golf course. You can explore all types of tropical decor at our store, perfect for adding excitement and variety to your commercial or residential space.

Browse Our Pottery Section at Backyard X-Scapes

Have you been searching for pottery for sale in San Diego? If so, you can find the items you want from Backyard X-Scapes, including pottery in bright colors, varying shapes and different sizes. Our eye-catching pottery inventory includes well-made products that reflect the stylish sensibilities of the gorgeous California coast.

Pottery can improve the look of your home or business and infuse it with personality. You can use pottery for decoration or as a functional item to hold cacti, succulents and more. Consider adding pottery to your San Diego home or business for a welcome change of pace and stylish addition that will make people take notice.

If you’re searching for where to buy pottery in San Diego, check out Backyard X-Scapes. We’re the area’s top provider of tropical-themed commercial and home products. We have everything you need to elevate your outdoor decor in San Diego, including outdoor furniture and bamboo products. Take a look at all the decor available at our retail store, and plan your trip today.


Tiki Mask Meanings

Are you interested in the mythical, mysterious and exotic? Do you love the idea of decorating your backyard, outdoor event, resort, hotel, park or other venue with the authenticity, majesty and tropical allure of symbolic decor that evokes the ancient mystery of the Hawaiian and Polynesian Islands?

If exotic and tropical is the type of aesthetic you’re looking for to make your property stand out, Tiki masks might be the perfect decor choice for you. Natural, wooden and hand-carved with unique personalities and faces brimming with symbolism, Tiki masks don’t just add whimsical elements to your tropical theme — they add meaning, history and authenticity reminiscent of rich island culture.

With the right Tiki masks, you can instill your outdoor setting with a specific mood, blessing or symbol. If you want to channel strength and resilience, there’s a Tiki head that embodies it. If you’re aiming for luxury and sensuality, you can instill it into the atmosphere of your space with a Tiki head to match. If you’re hoping to promote merriment and lightheartedness, you can pick a Tiki face to do that. No matter your venue, occasion, mood or aesthetic, Tiki heads can add authentic island decoration and cultural symbolism to legitimize your tropical theme. But how do you know the specific meaning of Tiki faces, which to choose and where to find them?

If you’re thinking about incorporating Tiki masks into your property’s decoration and want to know a little more about Tiki history, culture and what a Tiki symbolizes, this is the right place to begin. From their origins, history and cultural significance to their production methods and individual tiki mask meanings, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the mysterious, vibrant, multifaceted faces you’re adding to your tropical theme.

Backyard X-Scapes has a large selection of Tiki Masks as well as both hardwood and Coco Tikis at our huge 75,000sq/ft location in Sorrento Valley San Diego, CA. Backyard X-Scapes is one of the leading suppliers of decorative Tikis and masks in the country. Visit us today and view our entire catalog and see everything Backyard X-Scapes has to offer to accentuate your tiki bar, backyard, patio, or outdoor space. We are open 7-Days per week and our expert design team is standing by to help you build your tiki paradise.

What Are Tiki Masks?

Originally used in ancient Polynesian and Hawaiian culture, Tiki masks are hand-carved, wooden decorative masks intended to represent deities and bestow specific traits upon the setting in which they’re placed. Each mask represents a different purpose. For example, a Tiki mask in either a private home or a public setting might be thought to protect people from the dangerous threats and temptations of evil spirits, while another mask might bring about general good luck for those in the home. Some people even believe certain masks promote fertility in the family.

While some masks represent specific traits or charms, others specifically represent certain gods and are intended to stand in for the deity itself by instilling his or her traits into the household. One god might infuse the home and its members with strength and resilience, while another might promote peace and harmony in the family. Whatever god or trait each mask was meant to represent in ancient times, it provided the family and community with comfort, confidence and the assurance of protection against harm — and Tiki masks can still do so today.

Depending on its intended meaning, god or representative characteristic, each mask is carved with specific features to embody the identity of its meaning. A fully carved mask takes on the spirit and personality of its god or trait, becoming the personification of specific knowledge and power. Although they are called “masks” and were sometimes meant to protect and empower wearers, traditional Tiki masks were less frequently worn on the body than displayed as statues or decor in the home or the community.

How Are Tiki Masks Made?

Every tiki mask is hand-carved from wood, and no two masks are exactly alike. Because the facial features and specific expressions of the masks are so important to embodying the characteristic and the deities themselves to instill the spirits into the masks, Tiki mask makers must take extra care and carve each mask especially slowly and methodically, with special attention to detail. Requiring a significant mastery of skill, precision and artisanry, Tiki masks and statues occupy a place on the same artistic level as other pieces of historical fine art, such as sculptures and other cultural pieces.

To ensure the strongest build and therefore the strongest characteristics and deity embodiments, Tiki mask artisans use strong hardwood. After cutting workable blocks of wood, the craftsperson then carefully and lovingly carves each block into a unique Tiki face with a specific personality — complete with special designs and patterns. When the artist has finished carving the characteristics and details of the face, he or she then stains and finishes the wooden masks with a combination of lacquers, oils and waxes to make them shine and stand out. The masks might also be painted.

While traditional Tiki masks were often unpainted or finished with natural, earthy stain tones like tans and browns, modern Tiki faces used for decoration and enhancements today often incorporate bright, vibrant paint colors into their facial decorations. These bright, tribal hues and color combinations create an updated aesthetic and bold reinterpretation of tribal culture, while still keeping the historical essence of traditional Tiki statue forms and the deities they embody. Made from such high-quality materials and finished so carefully, Tiki masks can last a lifetime.

Because Tiki masks are typically used as a display piece more often than as bodily adornments, they are much larger than the average mask. Ancient, cultural Tiki faces — like the statues found on Easter Island — could be as large as 14 to 33 feet for community display purposes and to watch over the town. While some Tiki masks are as little as eight inches tall, most are at least a foot. Typical smaller Tiki masks meant for household and decor purposes might range from a couple to a few feet in height. At Backyard X-Scapes, we offer modern, hand-carved, authentic Tiki masks from 20 inches to five feet tall.

History of Tiki Masks

You now know a little about Tiki traditional masks and the process that goes into making them, but where did Tiki history begin, and what is the significance of the masks within Polynesian and Hawaiian island culture? Tiki masks originated with the Maori tribe, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Spanning the Oceanic region, Polynesian tribes of aboriginal peoples include various interconnected cultures with similar belief systems and lifestyles, including the people of Australia and New Zealand, Hawaii, Easter Island and other Oceanic areas. Cultural beliefs, traditions, religious practices and symbols like Tiki masks carried across regions and tribes, looking similar in both aboriginal Polynesian and Hawaiian culture.

In the Maori tribe, which began in New Zealand and made its way to other Polynesian and Hawaiian islands, Tiki culture begins with Tiki, the first man. Believed to have been the creation of the god Kane, Tiki is often worshiped as a god because he was the first and only human being on Earth. Lonely, curious and craving companionship, Tiki wandered to a water pool, where — depending on the origin of the mythology — he either discovered or created the first woman, Marikoriko. Together, they created their son, Hine-kau-ataata, and began the human race.

Because of his mythological importance and vital role in the creation of their people, the Polynesians worshiped Tiki and began to create idols in his image. Over time, the Tiki mask and statue tradition grew to include a wide variety of gods, personas, traits and meanings, becoming integral to Polynesian culture and religion from about 1000 C.E. When the first Hawaiian inhabitants arrived from Polynesia thousands of years ago, they brought the tribal traditions and religious convictions of their many gods, as represented by Tiki masks, and so the tradition continued. Modern Tiki masks, as we incorporate them into our themes and decor, most often derive from the Hawaiian interpretations of traditional Tikis.

Tiki Mask Meanings and Uses

What does a Tiki head symbolize? Originally used to mark boundaries for sacred grounds and serve as religious idols, symbols and protectors in Polynesian culture, Tiki mask meanings have evolved over time and have only become richer, encompassing various deities, cultural traditions, meanings and uses. Here are the main ways Tiki masks have been used in history, along with their particular meanings.

  • Protection: Depending on the type of god or attribute they represented, Tiki heads could provide their users or wearers with special protection against evil spirits. A Tiki with strong, fierce facial features, for example, would provide individuals or families with embodiments of similar strength, resilience and positivity, protecting them from dangers that might come their way, preventing ill winds or unfortunate events from befalling them or instilling them with the power and majesty of the particular god the Tiki mask paid tribute to. Also, the Tiki mask itself could represent an idol, sentinel and manifestation of each god — so there would always be a higher power watching over the people nearby. Tiki heads could also protect and guard the borders of both villages and temples.
  • Deity worship: In addition to using their Tiki statues and masks for the symbolism and literal practicality of protection, ancient Polynesian tribes paid tribute to the gods by using Tiki heads as idols for deity worship. In Hawaiian culture, the gods and the people shared a symbiotic relationship. When the people treated the land properly and offered acknowledgment and thanks to the gods, the gods rewarded the people with sustenance and bounty through fair weather, ample crop growth and verdant lands. This relationship was essential to the people’s culture and lifestyle, and erecting and displaying Tiki statues and masks was part of honoring the gods and communicating with them in one of their many forms by harnessing their mana — or power — in Tiki heads. Artisans would make specific Tikis to resemble specific gods and harness particular powers.
  • Ancestor worship: Just like the tribal people worshiped the gods and carved Tiki heads in their likenesses, Tiki mask meanings could be intended for remembering and honoring tribal ancestors. Carved in remembrance of either the distinctive facial features or the symbolic characteristics of a beloved passed family member or tribal ancestor, the Tiki masks were thought to take on the spirit of the personality they were carved to embody. This tradition kept ancestors and loved ones close and unforgotten among the living people and in the community or the household, where they could watch over their descendants and protect the tribe.
  • Good fortune: While the meanings of Tiki faces are always linked to a particular god, natural element or spiritual characteristic of the land, that doesn’t mean they’re exclusively for religious purposes. Often throughout history, Tiki heads were placed in the home or community for specific reasons other than worship. Motivations for erecting Tikis could include the desire for good fortune, the development of specific attributes or the hope of a specific event for the individual or family. For example, a certain Tiki mask in the home might promise overall favorable fortune and luck, to promise victory and bravery in battle pursuits, to bring bounty and good crops to the land or to bestow fertility upon a couple hoping for many children. Tiki masks promised tribal people many blessings and provided them with hope, comfort and stability.

The Tiki Gods

The Hawaiians and Polynesians worshiped thousands of gods that pertained to natural elements, landmarks, plants and animals — and Tiki heads were a prominent factor in their lifestyle and the cultural importance of keeping the balance on their islands, acknowledging their lineage and thanking the deities who created and kept them.

In communicating with the gods, worshiping the land and ancestors and reaping the rewards of Tiki heads’ characteristics, the tribal peoples of Oceana and Hawaii typically crafted their unique Tiki heads after the images of four specific and prominent gods known as the Tiki gods. In Hawaiian culture especially, these gods represented the four elements in nature and had special characteristics. These are the four deities most traditionally represented in the styles and attributes of Tiki masks.

Ku: As one of the most prominent gods in Hawaiian mythology, Ku is one of the four great Tiki gods in history. The husband of the goddess Hina, he is the ancient god of war and a harbinger of strength. Even his name speaks to his fierceness and strong nature, as “ku” means “standing up” in the native language. Worshiped by many tribes, Ku is also known by variations of his name, including Ku-ka-ili-moku, meaning “the seizer of land.”

Ku is especially unique among the gods because some of his worship rituals included human sacrifice, which was never part of worship rituals for the other gods. He is also one of the most ancient — along with Lono, Kanaloa and Kane, he is an original, eternal, uncreated god responsible for providing light to the world, and he has always existed. In Tiki mask symbolism, his features lend the owners the strength, bravery, energy, motivation and focus of a great warrior.

Kanaloa: As the ancient god of the sea, Kanaloa is connected with the powers of the ocean, sailing, strength, water, springs and forces. Art often portrays Kanaloa alongside Kane as a complementary power — together, they symbolize the dual powers of wildness and taming. As the essential water element integral to island societies, Kanaloa is a major part of the Hawaiian mythology and lifestyle. His symbol is an image of a squid, and when represented in Tiki masks, he instills the characteristics of faith, hope and resolve, along with the property of cleansing.

Lono: Another one of the eternal, original gods, Lono is the ancient Tiki deity of peace and fertility. According to Hawaiian lore, he descended from a rainbow to the Earth below, bringing music, balance, peace, prosperity and bounty. Extremely important to the tribal lifestyle in terms of crops, human fertility and the home, Lono represents rain, plant growth and food, and ancient culture honored him through the annual festival of Makahiki, during which no tribes were allowed to participate in war or unnecessary work.

The twin brother of Kanaloa, Lono promotes peace, love and prosperity. When his image and characteristics are honored in the carving of a Tiki mask, he represents good fortune, strong family ties, happiness, love, fertility, strength in relationships and the seeking of higher knowledge. He is the most ancient of all the eternal gods.

Kane: Creator of the Earth, sky and heavens in ancient Hawaiian mythology, Kane is the father of many minor gods and the giver of gardens. Also known as Kane Hekili and Kane Hoalani, meaning “thunderer” or “lightning breaking through the sky,” Kane is considered a creative force, the father of the human race and all living things and a divine symbol of life in the natural world. The term “Kane” also means “man.” Kane is essential to tribal tradition, crop growth, planting and agriculture as a representation of life associated with the sun.

Legend has it that Kane possesses a tiny seashell that can transform into a large sailboat that will take its rider to whatever destination he wishes to reach. Such is Kane’s creative power. When used as inspiration for Tiki mask features, Kane embodies the traits of virtue, patience and consciousness, and provides security and safekeeping.

Modern Tiki Culture

Tiki masks have been in existence for thousands of years in the Polynesian and Hawaiian tribal cultures, but they didn’t gain prominence in the Western world until roughly the early 1900s. With the growing popularity of a Polynesian, South Pacific tropical look, bar owners, hotel managers and restaurant owners began to feature the tribal decor on their properties. Now, many cafes, clubs, restaurants, resorts, properties and parties incorporate them into their aesthetics to keep the culture alive and create a vibrant, tropical feel for their homes or customers.

When you add your own unique Tiki masks to your home or business, they can represent whatever you desire. Use them as mere decorations to add a tropical flair to your aesthetic, or display them with special attention to their more symbolic meaning. You can even choose specific Tiki mask meanings to bring you good luck, good fortune and blessings for yourself and others!

Choose Your Tiki Masks at Backyard X-Scapes

Whether you’re enhancing your business, home, luau or event with a bright, tropical theme or hoping to bring optimal fortune and blessings to your settings, Backyard X-Scapes has the authentic quality and variety of Tiki masks you’re looking for. Incorporate our bold colors, unique faces and exciting patterns and designs into your backyard, Hawaiian Tiki party, tropical resort, island restaurant aesthetic, Tiki bar or other party or event. Our authentic Tiki masks are ideal for hanging on walls, decorating bamboo fences and placing on top of tables.

As the only tropical decor provider based on both the East and West Coasts, Backyard X-Scapes is dedicated to providing you with the quality experience and products you desire in decorating your setting. We are open seven days a week — our friendly, experienced staff is ready to help you with all your needs, preferences and questions, so feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Complement your tropical theme with the unique character of traditional and modern Tiki masks by visiting us today.

Maintaining Your Fountain

Whether in your yard, patio, or outdoor kitchen area, there are many reasons to incorporate water fountain accents into your home’s landscape design. Like any other decorative element, water features can help you add a personal touch to your backyard. No matter your style, you can express yourself with a water fountain that matches your needs and your home’s architectural design.

Keeping your fountain beautiful may sound like a daunting task, but with a few quick maintenance tips, you’ll have it looking brand new for years to come. Fountains come in numerous styles and options, so be sure to consult one of our designers on maintenance when selecting your outdoor fountain. We will give you expert advice on how to properly clean your fountain, what cleaning products to use, and more.


Read more

Backyard Tropical Garden Ideas

Backyard Tropical Garden Ideas

If you’re like us and think tropical gardens are more fun and attractive than traditional backyards, you’re in the right place. Bringing the sun, fun and bold hues of the tropics into your outdoor space is the perfect way to create a garden that accentuates your home and showcases your vibrant personality and interests.

Read more