Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

15 January 2007

Chapter Six: Ukuleles and Portuguese Tunes

Ukuleles were very popular with the Portuguese who brought the instrument from the Madeira Islands where it had been originally invented by Manuel Nunes around 1877. The ukulele sounded so good played to the Hawaiian songs as well as the Portuguese tunes. It was an instrument easily carried, easily made, and simple to play, that attracted the Hawaiian natives who named it the ukulele which means a dancing flea.

Later Rose helped distribute the food to all the families. But she rejoined João and Tony when her task was done. She enjoyed their stories and jokes and songs and they made her laugh. After they ate, their brothers joined them for awhile and exchanged gossip.

Rose felt lighthearted and happy as she confided, “My family is moving to Kokomo within 6 months. They have someone who is willing to give them a good price for their land. I’m sorry to leave Hana because I think it is such a beautiful place, but I will be glad to be nearer my brothers and sister Flora. I miss them all so much, especially Mary who lives in Honolulu.

Tony interrupted, “How about me? Will you be glad to live closer to Punene?”
“And how about me? Added João “Will you be glad you’re closer to me in Kokomo? We’ll practically be neighbors.”
Rose laughingly answered. “It will be nice to see you both every so often.” She admitted.

Then Rose helped the ladies clear the picnic remains and store them in the wagons. The boys helpfully followed, adding their meager assistance.


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