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Chuck "Frets" Fayne has been the resident expert for "Uke Yak" since 1998. Peter Lieberman has been building ukuleles as well as guitars in Maui for decades.
The largest wave of Portuguese immigration lasted about 30 years, and 11,000 Portuguese immigrants would arrive in its first decade.It struck me, though, that no one was playing ukulele. However, the only ukuleles I could find in Hawaii were touristy souvenirs.There was one good music store in Hawaii at the time, and its yearly quota of good ukuleles was probably 13 Kamaka ukuleles made on Oahu.But, if it has the wave headstock, my guess would be 1998.More recently, Peter has made some ukuleles using the older design and refers to them as "retro" models.
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Manuel Nunes, Joao Fernandes, Augusto Dias and Jose do Espirito Santo all arrived from Portugal in Hawaii on the Ravenscrag, in 1879, along with 400-plus other immigrants, to work the sugar cane fields.