ʻŪkēkē: E Kani Hou (To Resonate Once Again)
Before the Portuguese braguinha was transformed into the ukulele in the 1870s by immigrant sugar workers, the ʻūkēkē, or Hawaiian musical bow, was the stringed instrument known to Hawaiians.
Hawaii’s only indigenous stringed instrument, the ʻūkēkē is believed to have evolved from its cousin, the ʻūtētē, of the native Marquesans. This obscure and unfamiliar Hawaiian instrument is used in song, chant, and hula. Today, most people have not seen, heard, or know how to make and play this once-treasured chordophone.
Hui ʻŪkēkē Aʻo
The mission of Hui ʻŪkēkē Aʻo is to learn and share about ʻūkēkē, the only indigenous stringed instrument of Hawaiʻi, to ensure that the traditional Hawaiian art, science, and practice of ʻūkēkē lives on for generations to come.
Hui ʻŪkēkē Aʻo is comprised of nā hoa pili: Lance Genson Mahi La Pierre of Kapālama and Maunalua, Oʻahu; ʻIliahi Shawn Doo of Wailua and Kapahi, Kauaʻi; and Kunāne R. A. Wooton of Mānā and Hanalei, Kauaʻi – who all share a love for ʻāina and kānaka, and a passion for learning and sharing about nā mea Hawaiʻi that are not-so-well-known.