One of my Grandma’s friends who knows how much I love the ‘ukulele, gave me a Kumalae soprano a few weeks ago. It used to be her mother-in-law’s, and was purchased in the 30s. For being at least 70-80 years old, it is in wonderful shape – and it sounds awesome. I did what little research I could on The Kumalae brand. I couldn’t find much more than that Jonah Kumalae took some of his ‘ukuleles to the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. While there, his instruments won a “Gold Award”. The ‘ukuleles he made after that bore “Kumalae Gold Award PPIE 1915, Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka ‘Aina I Ka Pono, Hawaii” on the headstock.
I was amazed that the bridge hadn’t pulled the soundboard in more. Usually after time the soundboard starts to sag – not here.
There are only a few little “issues”
There is some pencil writing on the inside, but it could be one of five different things.
It’s weird to hold two instruments that span 70+ years.