What is Koa Hawaii?

Koa Hawaii
Hawaii is reminiscent of heavenly beaches, volcanoes, lush forests and of course the ukulele. It is indeed a traditional Hawaiian musical instrument that was originally made exclusively from koa wood. It’s precisely koa from Hawaii that we’re going to talk about today. Let’s see what it’s more about.

The essentials about koa Hawaii

Koa Hawaii, also known as Hawaiian koa, Hawaiian koa or Acacia koa, is an endemic tree of the Hawaiian archipelago. Koa wood was once used by Hawaiians to make one-piece canoes. They took a large trunk, dug the interior and got a boat. The peculiarity of this tree lies in the fact that when it is young, it produces characteristic leaves typical of the Fabaceae family. As an adult, the leaves take on a very simple shape and are more like sickle blades. Around the world, koa is considered the traditional wood of the ukulele. It is actually a Hawaiian variety of acacia, its name means bold, fearless and courageous.

The characteristics of koa Hawaii

Koa Hawaii has an average density of 0.55. It is a large tree which generally reaches 15 to 25 m in height. It grows quickly since it can reach up to 9 m tall in just 5 years. As already announced above, the leaves of Hawaii koa change over time. Namely, it is a tree with pale yellow flowers.

The uses of koa Hawaii

As we have already mentioned, the ancient Hawaiians took the Koa's trunk to build a canoe. Then koa was used to make surfboards. To date, koa wood has been widely used in carpentry on the Hawaiian Islands. It is thus used to make furniture, wood carving, etc ... Since the invention of the ukulele, koa has been used for its manufacture. Over time, the entire violin making world has embraced it to make guitars, violins and other musical instruments. Around the world, Koa Hawaii is still associated with the ukulele. Fans of this small string instrument still prefer it over other essences such as mahogany and maple. The sound is a little tight at first but it opens and softens over use. Besides the traditional side which gives koa an exceptional value, its overexploitation has rarefied it over time. Thus, a ukulele in Hawaii koa is currently considered a luxury instrument.

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