Lonely Planet Writer

Ukulele, pahu become Hawaii’s official state musical instruments

Ukeleles have become the state instrument of Hawaii.
Ukeleles have become one of the state instruments of Hawaii. Image by pixelsuite / CC BY 2.0

Hawaii lawmakers have recently passed a bill highlighting the ukulele and the pahu – a type of Hawaiian drum – as the state’s official musical instruments. Previously, a similar bill was dropped after critics suggested the ukulele wasn’t ‘Hawaiian’ enough. This time around, lawmakers allowed local students to vote on the matter as part of a project to increase civic engagement in kids. The ukulele became the favourite ‘modern’ Hawaiian instrument by a wide margin, while the pahu took the top category in ‘Traditional’ Hawaiian instruments, beating out the ipu heke (a gourd drum) by just a few thousand votes. Read more: kitv.com