Hawaiian koa ukuleles are ukes that are made in Hawaii, of koa wood. Koa wood is native to the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii, as most people know, is the modern home of the ukulele. So having a ukulele made from traditional koa wood and manufactured in Hawaii is very desirable to the serious ukulele player and collector.
The ukulele came from a music exposition in 1915. The ukulele was played at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco California. It was after this that Hawaiian music and the ukulele became quite popular in the mainland United States. Amazingly, despite there now being many ukulele manufacturers, the ukulele has not changed in general design since its introduction.
every instrument has evolved in some manner since it was first
introduced, but not the ukulele. It is still made the same way as
always. There may be changes in design or color, but the general basis
of a ukulele has never changed. However, the highest quality and most desired ukulele is an original Hawaiian made ukulele constructed of 100% koa wood. If you are a collector, they can cost over $5,000 US. I believe some actually went over $10,000 US.
Koa is only found in Hawaii and it is rather rare and quite expensive. The Koa trees grow high up in the mauna (mountain). Since it's natural habitat is high in humidity, taking a koa ukulele to a lower humidity area, such as Las Vegas, could result in warping and cracking of the wood. It's advisable to buy a humidifier to keep it in an ideal environment.
A ukulele made from koa is an investment. However, koa makes the ukulele have a rich and excellent sound that just can not seem to be duplicated with other wood. Additionally, this wood has a lovely rippled pattern that gives the ukulele a beautiful finish.
Since Hawaii is the birthplace of the ukulele, there seems to be nothing better than getting a ukulele made there. A ukulele that is actually made in Hawaii just seems to be more authentic. Most of the ukuleles made here are made by techniques and knowledge that have been passed from generation to generation. It is just something special to know that a ukulele came directly from the place where it was born.
Hawaiian koa ukuleles are considered to be the ultimate, and something that every serious player or collector of ukuleles should add to his collection.Return to Home Page
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