Island Culture

Kalani's culture is based on the Hawaiian core values of integrity and respect. In this section we invite you to learn more about the island life and Aloha spirit.


Lono Dickson
Co-founder of Kalani
Born & raised on Maui, HI

The History of the Ukulele

Ukulele is the Hawaiian name for a small instrument called the machete (pronounced ma-CHET). The machete originated in the Madeira Islands of Portugal.

During the 1800's, migrants from Portugal came to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane fields. Manuael Nunes, Augusto Dias and Jose do Espirito Santo migrated in 1879 and are believed to have made the first Hawaiian ukulele. It was quickly adopted into Hawaiian culture by King Kalakaua.


Ukulele Pic

There are several nicknames for the ukulele. One of them is "jumping fleas", as the native Hawaiians thought the fast moving fingers of the workers as they played looked like fleas bouncing over the fingerboard. Today the ukulele is a part of Hawaiian culture and a popular instrument worldwide.

Hawaiian Word of the Week:


Pronunciation:  Oh-hah-nah

Translation: Family, relative, kin group, related