MAY 6, 1940


Born October 13, 1874, in Honolulu, Jonah first worked as a teacher, farmer, and Poi manufacturer before turning to making ukuleles in 1911.  In 1915, his ukuleles, made of Koa wood from the Island of Hawai’i, won a Gold Award at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Aside from ukuleles, Kumalae published the Hawaiian language newspaper, Ke Alakai O Hawaii, and had a long and colorful political career. As a Democrat, Kumalae was a member of the Territorial House of Representatives at various times between 1901 and 1925. He served on the Taro and Poi Commission, was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Home Rule Party, and was director of the Hawai’i Land Company, and ran for Mayor of Honolulu in 1923. He is also regarded as the ‘father’ of the Act that made the Flag of Royal Hawai’i the official emblem of the Territory of Hawai’i. Kumalae died in Honolulu.

 “Jonah Kumalae (1875-1940), 2002 Inductee,” The Ukulele Hall of Fame. Retrieved 10/13/2021, The Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum - Jonah Kumalae
Photo:  Author & date unknown, but likely before 1927. Likely Public Domain.  If not Public Domain, then Fair Use.  

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