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Song ID: Kendell Kardt – “Tutu and the Cannibals” (1973)


While Kendell was staying with a Hawaiian family that included 10 children during his time in L.A., he was able to meet the family’s grandmother, who was known affectionately – as many Hawaiian grandmothers are – as “Tutu.” This particular Tutu was the widow of a Catholic missionary who’d served on a South Sea island inhabited by cannibals. The revered matriarch’s visits from Hawaii were “anticipated with great delight,” and when she came, the children would traditionally gather at her feet and ask her to repeat once more the story of how she lived in the jungle with the cannibals. Kendell found this little ritual “both charming and amusing,” given the fact that he felt like he too was “living in the ‘jungle’ – right there in LA,” where the “‘natives’ were as exotic and perplexing” as any that Tutu had encountered. His tongue-in-cheek “Tutu and the Cannibals” would become a popular staple of Kendell’s live performances.

Kendell Kardt – “Tutu and the Cannibals”

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One Response to “Song ID: Kendell Kardt – “Tutu and the Cannibals” (1973)”

  1. Regina Says:

    Really cute song! The song vividly expresses the spirit of children frightened yet irresistibly curious about the diet of the cannibals. I picture Tutu with a chuckle in her eye as she says that that the cannibals are just as civilized as you.

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