Mike is a gardener who loves Bosko’s carvings. Bosko is an artist who loves Mike’s tropical palms. Over the past years, the two men have formed a lasting friendship, one that a biologist might fondly classify as symbiotic mutualism.
In biology, symbiotic mutualism refers to the beneficial relationship between two different organisms in a given ecosystem. Brazil nut trees benefit from large-bodied bees. Capuchin monkeys are likely pollinators for the flowering Luehea speciosa. Black and white ruffed lemurs help out the traveler’s palm. Bromeliads or orchids live happily on the tall trunks of tropical trees. In Tiki culture, I’d posit that symbiotic mutualism refers to the beneficial relationship between polynesiacs who freely share their passion, expertise, and skills. Mike and Bosko are exemplars.
Read the rest of the story in Polynesiacs: Tiki at Home, page 254.
Rano Raraku, Escondido, California