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Traditional Musical Instruments You Will Find Only in Hawaii

By November 26, 2018About Hawaii, Music

Some people looking at vacation rentals at Kolea in Waikoloa might be interested in some of the Native Hawaiian cultural practices. Live music performances are among the many things that visitors to the islands can look forward to and there are a number of instruments that are traditional and those that were adapted after contact with European culture.

Most people know that the ukulele is a Hawaiian instrument, but it is a variation of a Portuguese instrument known as a machete de braga. The small stringed instrument was introduced to the island by Portuguese travelers and then adapted by the Hawaiians and made into what is now known as the ukulele. But there are other instruments native to the Hawaiian culture itself and these you may not be able to find anywhere else in the world.

The Ipu

The ipu is a percussion instrument that is made from a gourd used during hula dancing. There are two kinds of ipu: the ipu heke and the ipu heke ‘ole. The ipu heke is made from two gourds and is made by cutting and then joining the gourds at their necks. The ipu plays a significant role in traditional Hawaiian culture. The gourd itself was used for food and medicine and played a variety of significant roles in the days before the islands met with Western civilization.

Kâ`eke `eke

Another instrument that is used by hula dancers is the kâ`eke `eke. The drums are made of bamboo and look like shutes of various sizes. They are played simply by striking them on the ground.

The Ohe Hano Ihu

The ohe hano ihu is a flute that you play with your nostril. To be sure, to play the instrument, you blow across the holes with your nose while pinching one of your nostrils shut.

The Pahu

The pahu is a drum which is native to Hawaii and other Polynesian islands. It is considered the most important instrument in the hula dance. It is carved from a single log and covered with sharkskin. The instrument is considered sacred to the Hawaiian people and was kept in the temple.

The Ukeke

The Ukeke is a rather enigmatic traditional Hawaiian string instrument. It is a footlong piece of wood with three strings that uses the mouth as a resonance chamber. While it is difficult to hear from afar, the instrument presents a unique sound and was also believed to be used in the hula dance. Modern ukekes were produced through archaeological and ethnological research.

See These Instruments on a Trip to Hawaii

Music aficionados looking for inspiration will find a number of excellent instruments at their disposal in Hawaii. From our luxurious condos, you’ll be able to access musical performances, hiking trails, beaches, and more. Give us a call or contact us online to set up your reservation today.