Kumalae Ukulele

4.07/5 (10)

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Johnah Kumalae was part of the second generation of ukulele makers starting in 1911. He quickly became one of the most prodigious ukulele makers around – making around 300 a month according to Jim Beloff’s The Ukulele: A Visual History. This may account for the fact that, despite them being high quality ukuleles, they can usually be bought cheaper than most Hawaiian ukuleles of the same era.

The Kumalae name has been relaunched recently. But the ukuleles they’re currently producing aren’t anywhere near the standard of the original Kumalaes.

On Video

Jake Wildwood picks out a tune on a Kumalae.

On eBay


  1. Hillfield July 19th, 2010 2:38 pm

    idiosyncratic, beautiful (what a sexy waist!!), light as a feather, big bloody barking tone… by far the loudest uke I’ve come across! I love ’em. this is not one I’d play every day, but one I don’t think I’ll ever part with – uncracked, Style Zero, with one previous owner. the tastiest uke I’ll ever own…

  2. samantha curtis December 13th, 2011 4:16 am

    Hi there,
    I have a Jonah Kumulae 1915 Ukulele in great condition that I would like to have valued.
    Do you know of anywhere in Australia that I can have this done. I might like to sell it.

  3. Manoel October 11th, 2014 7:08 pm

    What do you think about the Ukulele Kumalae. He is better than Kala?

  4. Michael April 30th, 2016 6:46 pm

    My first ukelele, a gift from a friend. Lovely, bright sound. Tone is warm and projects well. I’m going to enjoy playing this instrument.

  5. Joe Thompson August 20th, 2016 6:14 pm

    I have a very early Kumalae Koa Uke with no headstock label (ever) and the #26 written in pencil where label usually would be and I am interested in an appraisal and in selling it.
    Any advice? Thanks-

  6. Meerkat Mystery May 14th, 2018 10:55 pm

    Those are nice riffs Mr. Jake Wildwood. I, Meerkat Mystery (my real name, as is yours), also own an old Kumulae. No new uke can replicate the era aural of the authentic axe.

  7. Karl S Markl November 25th, 2019 9:06 pm

    I own seven vintage Kumalae ukuleles of all models. I am also a Kala dealer. While the Kala ukuleles are excellent ukuleles, they are no match for a vintage Kumalae ukuleles. The volume, projection and sound of the vintage Kumalae ukuleles is unmatched with the possible exception of the Manuel Nunes ukuleles. Both are all koa instruments that have aged for 100 years. They are lightweight because the top, sides and backs are thin, and have very little bracing. The oils have evaporated from most of these vintage ukuleles leaving them slightly pale and subjected to cracks, but the sound is excellent! I love these ukuleles!

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