KoAloha & The Legend of Naupaka

KoAloha is never afraid to go “outside the box”. This new model that will be available in their 3 sizes at about the same price as the regular models is the yin and yang of two lovable Hawaiian woods. It looks cool in my opinion, but the reason I really like it is because the tone is sweeter. It mellows out the highest frequencies while still having the KoAloha volume, which is always impressive. I’d say you have to played a half koa half mango ukulele “Naupaka” and experience it for yourself.

So What’s the name Naupaka mean? Here’s some info from aloha-hawaii.com/

One of Hawaii’s most famous legends is built around naupaka, a shrub found in the mountains or near the beach. The flower’s unique appearance—it resembles a half-flower, with petals missing—caused early Hawaiians to believe it was the incarnation of an ancient native separated from her lover.
The Legend
In ancient times, one version goes, there was a beautiful Hawaiian princess known as Naupaka. One day, the villagers noticed that Naupaka looked very sad. They told her parents, who approached Naupaka and asked her what was troubling her.
“I have fallen in love with a man named Kaui,” replied the princess. “But Kaui is not of noble birth—he is a commoner.” According to Hawaiian tradition, it was strictly forbidden for members of royalty to marry people from the common ranks.
Distressed, Naupaka and Kaui traveled long and far, seeking a solution to their dilemma. They climbed up a mountain to see a kahuna who was staying at a heiau (temple). Alas, he had no clear answer for the young lovers. “There is nothing I can do,” he told them, “but you should pray. Pray at this heiau.”
So they did. And as they prayed, rain began to fall. Their hearts torn by sorrow, Naupaka and Kaui embraced for a final time. Then Naupaka took a flower from her ear and tore it in half, giving one half to Kaui. “The gods won’t allow us to be together,” she said. “You go live down by the water, while I will stay up here in the mountains.”
As the two lovers separated, the naupaka plants that grew nearby saw how sad they were. The very next day, they began to bloom in only half flowers.

KoAloha says,

Our interpretation tells a more joyful story. Our Naupaka unites the unlikely couple of of koa and mango to produce an ukulele with a truly unique aesthetic and tone.

I have always loved the tone on both Koa and Mango ukes. These new KoAlohas have positive tonal qualities from both woods. The power of koa and sweetness of mango. A truly wonderful sound and super fun to play with, the Naupaka is definitely different. It makes a statement. What do you think Naupaka says?

Comments 5

  1. What is most distinguishing feature of a “KoAloha”? i have small hands and have trouble with some chords, as I have limited reach. I have a Pono Tenor and really like it, however would a soprano be a better fit for me?

    1. Post

      Hey Linda, KoAloha is known for their sound first. Open wuth plenty of volume. The tonality is unique because the way they are built is different, a totally unique concept that’s proven to be the choice for many. But the signature look including the 5 crown points and “musubi” sound hole also distinguish this Hawaiian maker. If the stretch of a tenor is too much the next step smaller is concert. That might be just right for you.

  2. This new Naupaka sounds amazing, but I would love to hear how it sounds higher up the fret board. I started playing the uke a few months ago, on a Kohana concert. While it’s a good starter uke, I’m already shopping for my next uke. I’m sure I want a tenor, just need to pick which one and save my pennies. lol. Thanks for the great demos by great musicians. They have really helped me narrow down my uke choices and inspired my learning. 🙂

  3. I’m gonna be at the Ukulele Festival next week. I hope to be able to come see you. I have a KoAloha which my son in law gave me. It’s concert soprano and it’s my baby…I love it. Have a twang on A and would like to see if you could do a quick fix or if it’s a more difficult fix. I have tried many other instruments when I was at the Reno Uke fest earlier this year. I gotta say your KoAloha has the best sound. Some really good players played it and nearly drooled all over it…nah, just makin’ it up on the drooling. Will hope you are open sometime during my visit there and between the group performances I’m in. July 14 thru 24. Aloha for now. Mahalo.

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