PDA

View Full Version : Religious Symbolism in KoAlohas?



Luke El U
06-24-2014, 10:12 PM
Sensitive topic. Just the facts, please.

PhilUSAFRet
06-25-2014, 01:02 AM
An excerpt from "Ukulele Ghetto" on a factory tour to the KoAloha factory:

"The Okamis are Christian family and the signature KoAloha headstock actually has the following meaning: The 2 K's in the logo means "King of Kings", which refers to the almighty God. The center staff is the king's staff, or the Sceptre. There are 7 points on the headstock specifically representing the number 7. All this time I thought the headstock was just something that's supposed to look like a crown or a pineapple head. I literally got the chills as Brian told us about this. I'm a Christian myself, so this is a very cool thing to know and I am even more proud to own a KoAloha 'ukulele."

Luke El U
06-25-2014, 01:40 AM
An excerpt from "Ukulele Ghetto" on a factory tour to the KoAloha factory:

"The Okamis are Christian family and the signature KoAloha headstock actually has the following meaning: The 2 K's in the logo means "King of Kings", which refers to the almighty God. The center staff is the king's staff, or the Sceptre. There are 7 points on the headstock specifically representing the number 7. All this time I thought the headstock was just something that's supposed to look like a crown or a pineapple head. I literally got the chills as Brian told us about this. I'm a Christian myself, so this is a very cool thing to know and I am even more proud to own a KoAloha 'ukulele."

Now that's even more confusing. Whose quote is this? Who is Brian? Shouldn't the quote really end after "...the number 7."? Speaking of the number 7, what else would one expect a seven-pointed headstock to add up to? The whole quote sounds like two or even three people talking. Clarification anybody, or maybe I should just ask the Okamis?

cigarfan
06-25-2014, 01:44 AM
Very cool Phil. Thanks for the quote. I had no idea.

Jim Hanks
06-25-2014, 02:04 AM
An excerpt from "Ukulele Ghetto" on a factory tour to the KoAloha factory:

http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2008/01/visiting-koaloha.html

Luke El U
06-25-2014, 02:25 AM
Okay, thanks for the blog. That explains the quote and turns me on to a new uke website. I guess 7 has meaning in Biblical Numerology, presumably positive connotations. I misinterpreted the meaning of "...I literally got the chills" as negative, as if to paraphrase "...it really creeped me out."

Much more clear now. It's nice to know how and why an artist or luthier puts in certain elements in their creations.

Edgeguy
06-25-2014, 04:24 AM
When I was considering getting a KoAloha concert I did some research on the web for them since no store had one e to try, and that web site came up. Being a Born again Christian that info really meant alot too me. When I got my concert I had some talking points about the uke other than just playing it.

I did not buy it for just that reason, but that was definitely a check mark in its favor.

Dane
06-25-2014, 04:46 AM
Being an agnostic atheist, they hold very little meaning to me. But I think the logo design and headstock look very nice, and are well designed. I bought my KoAloha for the sounds it makes ;)

janeray1940
06-25-2014, 04:53 AM
An excerpt from "Ukulele Ghetto" on a factory tour to the KoAloha factory:

"The Okamis are Christian family and the signature KoAloha headstock actually has the following meaning: The 2 K's in the logo means "King of Kings", which refers to the almighty God. The center staff is the king's staff, or the Sceptre. There are 7 points on the headstock specifically representing the number 7. All this time I thought the headstock was just something that's supposed to look like a crown or a pineapple head. I literally got the chills as Brian told us about this. I'm a Christian myself, so this is a very cool thing to know and I am even more proud to own a KoAloha 'ukulele."

Assuming this thread was prompted by a comment I made here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97992-so-why-Kamaka), just wanted to say that this is exactly what I recall learning in the documentary I referred to (which I believe is this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBNF2rZ2Gm8), but haven't had time to re-watch to make sure).

CeeJay
06-25-2014, 05:35 AM
Being an agnostic atheist, they hold very little meaning to me. But I think the logo design and headstock look very nice, and are well designed. I bought my KoAloha for the sounds it makes ;)

An "Agnostic Atheist"...? That's hedging your bets quite a bit isn't it ?:shaka:

CeeJay

wickedwahine11
06-25-2014, 05:40 AM
I just want to say you all have been quite respectful so far in this thread, and I hope that continues. As a general rule, religion and politics are usually quite emotionally held beliefs and can lead to nasty arguments on both sides. Let's please continue said civility and respect in this discussion. Thanks for your cooperation.

For the record, count me in the I just like the sound their ukes make - and their wonderful customer service -- camp. I am not a religious person but I can understand where the KoAloha philosophy and design would be a draw for those that are.

VampireWeekday
06-25-2014, 05:52 AM
I'm not religious at all, but I love my KoAlohas and the Okamis are great people. The symbolism doesn't mean much to me, but it's a nice headstock and logo. Most importantly, they sound fantastic.

kohanmike
06-25-2014, 06:24 AM
Even though I was brought up an orthodox Jew and I'm a high priest by lineage, I'm not religious at all (atheist works for me). That being said, I'm a graphic designer and I find the logo and headstock to be excellent from a design point of view, they are beautiful ukes. Most members of the Westside Ukulele Ensemble I play with have one, which to me says a lot about the product, they're all advanced players (I'm still trying to catch up.)

coolkayaker1
06-25-2014, 06:29 AM
I always thought the musubi sound hole looked like the mouth of a carp.

Cheeso
06-25-2014, 06:37 AM
I'm not religious at all, but I love my KoAloha ukes and I want another!

I proudly and gladly support that company because they are wonderful people who provide excellent customer service and they make the best sounding ukes! I love the KK logo and the headstock, they just look cool to me. The symbolism doesn't mean anything to me but if it makes them happy, more power to them.

peaceweaver3
06-25-2014, 06:38 AM
Okay, thanks for the blog. That explains the quote and turns me on to a new uke website. I guess 7 has meaning in Biblical Numerology, presumably positive connotations. I misinterpreted the meaning of "...I literally got the chills" as negative, as if to paraphrase "...it really creeped me out."

Much more clear now. It's nice to know how and why an artist or luthier puts in certain elements in their creations.

7 has many meanings. Some CHristian as above, some Hindu (Chakras), 7 colors for that matter... What I'm saying is that if you have or want a KoAloha but don't like their particular religious symbolism, find or create a meaning you can live with, even if that is, that it means nothing and just looks nice. It's all relative anyway.
Peace all!

Steedy
06-25-2014, 06:45 AM
A thing of beauty for sure:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/005_zpsc8c2f248.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/slawson3/media/005_zpsc8c2f248.jpg.html)

Call me a little slow, but I just noticed the inside of the K's forms the outline of a ukulele body. It's like my KoAloha uke has a tiny KoAloha uke on the headstock! :D

Not to mention the playability and the sound. Oh the sound!

janeray1940
06-25-2014, 06:46 AM
I always thought the musubi sound hole looked like the mouth of a carp.

The musubi sound hole always made me think of... musubi. And then I'd get hungry :)

Jim Hanks
06-25-2014, 06:52 AM
Call me a little slow, but I just noticed the inside of the K's forms the outline of a ukulele body. It's like my KoAloha uke has a tiny KoAloha uke on the headstock! :D
Ok, you're slow. :p I had never seen a close up shot to notice that either. Love that.

Steedy
06-25-2014, 06:53 AM
Yah, it's kinda like the arrow in the FedEx logo.

ukantor
06-25-2014, 06:58 AM
Oh! So those are two Ks are they? I can see that, now.

coolkayaker1
06-25-2014, 06:59 AM
The musubi sound hole always made me think of... musubi. And then I'd get hungry :)

I'm now hungry with you. I can envision strumming a KoAloha on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, eating musubi, Twinkies, and drinking malt liquor, while you take artistic photos with your iPhone.

Dan Uke
06-25-2014, 07:07 AM
This is on their T-shirt, which shows that they are Christians. It's sorta like In-N-Out Burgers in California, which puts a Bible verse on the bottoms of the cups.

68206

stringy
06-25-2014, 07:08 AM
I don't really want any religious symbols on my musical instruments unless I choose to put them there myself. Which I don't. But I believe in tolerance for all religions and beliefs.

janeray1940
06-25-2014, 07:12 AM
I don't really want any religious symbols on my musical instruments unless I choose to put them there myself. Which I don't. But I believe in tolerance for all religions and beliefs.

Seconding all of that. And I think it's great that we are able to have a civilized discussion about this, and enlighten others who may not be aware of the symbols, so that each person can make an informed buying decision.

janeray1940
06-25-2014, 07:12 AM
I'm now hungry with you. I can envision strumming a KoAloha on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, eating musubi, Twinkies, and drinking malt liquor, while you take artistic photos with your iPhone.

Yeeeeeeah. Sounds like good times! Pass the Twinkies, please.

Teek
06-25-2014, 07:39 AM
Ha, I always thought the logo was just a cool and clever design using the K from the name to make a little ukulele inside...

The Christian symbolism is fine but not a plus for me.

Ukejenny
06-25-2014, 07:43 AM
Even though I was brought up an orthodox Jew and I'm a high priest by lineage, I'm not religious at all (atheist works for me). That being said, I'm a graphic designer and I find the logo and headstock to be excellent from a design point of view, they are beautiful ukes. Most members of the Westside Ukulele Ensemble I play with have one, which to me says a lot about the product, they're all advanced players (I'm still trying to catch up.)

I find the "high priest by lineage" kind of cool. I agree the headstock is beautiful.

Gillian
06-25-2014, 08:47 AM
I'm looking at my KoAloha longneck soprano which has only five points at the bottom of the fretboard. Any symbolism in that?

If there was a cross or Jesus fish somewhere on the uke, being an atheist I would have had second thoughts about buying it, though. That "in your face" religiosity is a turn off for me.

I had a great time at the KoAloha factory. Everyone was so nice and we met Mr. Okami who handed out another of his inventions: a tube squeezer!

Vagrant
06-25-2014, 09:11 AM
I'm looking at my KoAloha longneck soprano which has only five points at the bottom of the fretboard. Any symbolism in that?

There is if you're a follower of the goddess of chaos, Eris... the Principia Discordia sets out the immutable and worldwide Law of Fives...

Seriously though, I am an atheist too, but still would love a KoAloha... in fact I think I want one more now, as I love it when seemingly 'aesthetic' choices have some sort of deeper meaning to the maker. And even though I'm not a believer, I've still got to give credit to the huge amount of cultural elements, symbols, phrases and traditions all religions have given us. So long as we can all get on and not force our relative beliefs on others I'm fine and happy...

Now I'm hungry and really want a KoAloha... this thread has strange effects...

fretie
06-25-2014, 10:20 AM
This has been a really interesting thread.

I'm not religious though perhaps spiritual now and then.

I like how the Koaloha's are designed and I don't mind the symbolism due to its subtlety.

stringy
06-25-2014, 10:27 AM
I sorta got "the king" reference, but I always thought it had to do with Elvis.
Oh well :cool:

Leigh Coates
06-25-2014, 10:57 AM
Now THAT'S funny :>)


I sorta got "the king" reference, but I always thought it had to do with Elvis.
Oh well :cool:

coolkayaker1
06-25-2014, 12:21 PM
I'm surprised at how many respondents to this thread are non-religious.

I'd imagine that Amish Underground would have a different slant: they'd be more religious and their favorite ukulele would be shop-made Oak plank wood with brass tuners and a tiny heart-shaped cutout on the headstock.

I have an Amish-made napkin holder like that.

armchair_spaceman
06-25-2014, 12:39 PM
Like a few here I don't participate in an organised Christian church but fair to say though that I try to live by something like a "Christian" set of values.

Having just taken delivery of my first KoAloha, for me this wonderful instrument feels a bit more special because the Okamis have put this little bit more of themselves into it.

itsme
06-25-2014, 12:46 PM
Call me a little slow, but I just noticed the inside of the K's forms the outline of a ukulele body. It's like my KoAloha uke has a tiny KoAloha uke on the headstock! :D
I never noticed that before, either. :o

Jim Hanks
06-25-2014, 01:15 PM
I'm surprised at how many respondents to this thread are non-religious.
OK, I'll take that bait. I am a devout Christian. Part of that belief is that you should strive for excellence in all you set out to do (I can quote Scripture to back that up but probably crossing the line for this discussion), so it does make me glad when I hear that leaders in their field are Christians, whether that be athletes, politicians, or uke makers. Would this knowledge make me more likely to buy a KoAloha now? Hmm, maybe. I like to support fellow believers with my business when I can but that isn't the only factor. Cost, quality, and availability factor way more heavily into purchase decisions than any aspect of faith or lack thereof by the seller.

mds725
06-25-2014, 01:20 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=16651&d=1286952070 http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=16650&d=1286952069

CeeJay
06-25-2014, 01:28 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=16651&d=1286952070 http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=16650&d=1286952069


Hmmm, Gobsmacked mds725 ?

mds725
06-25-2014, 01:42 PM
Hmmm, Gobsmacked mds725 ?

No religious connotations intended. The KoAloha headstock just reminds me of a certain haircut.

cletus
06-25-2014, 01:54 PM
...The KoAloha headstock just reminds me of a certain haircut.

Me, too.

Lisa Simpson!

tbeltrans
06-25-2014, 02:15 PM
I just want to say you all have been quite respectful so far in this thread, and I hope that continues. As a general rule, religion and politics are usually quite emotionally held beliefs and can lead to nasty arguments on both sides. Let's please continue said civility and respect in this discussion. Thanks for your cooperation.

For the record, count me in the I just like the sound their ukes make - and their wonderful customer service -- camp. I am not a religious person but I can understand where the KoAloha philosophy and design would be a draw for those that are.

I have been looking at this thread too and noticed the same thing. I have not seen this sort of respect/courtesy on a subject like this in any forum until now. Except for one unfortunate incident here involving one of my first posts that really caught me by surprise (I now know to look out for that person since seeing similar in other threads here all with that same poster), I am happy to be here. I am not religious but religious talk doesn't bother me. Each to his or her own and no reason to fight about it.

Regarding the instrument, I have never played or seen a KoAloha ukulele, but I am sure it is a fine instrument. I own a McPherson acoustic guitar. These are made by a shop owned and (I believe) mostly staffed by born-again Christians. From what I understand, a lot of the current crop of Christian acoustic guitar players as well as Nashville studio musicians use them. I hope to go out there for a visit and factory tour soon. These are absolutely flawless instruments, and very innovative. From everything I have heard, these are very decent people and I look forward to meeting some of them one day. Whether Christians are uniquely qualified to make high quality instruments I really can't say, but I can say that McPhersons are absolutely top-notch guitars.

Tony

CeeJay
06-25-2014, 02:20 PM
I have been looking at this thread too and noticed the same thing. I have not seen this sort of respect/courtesy on a subject like this in any forum until now. Except for one unfortunate incident here involving one of my first posts that really caught me by surprise (I now know to look out for that person since seeing similar in other threads here all with that same poster), I am happy to be here. I am not religious but religious talk doesn't bother me. Each to his or her own and no reason to fight about it.

Regarding the instrument, I have never played or seen a KoAloha ukulele, but I am sure it is a fine instrument. I own a McPherson acoustic guitar. These are made by a shop owned and (I believe) mostly staffed by born-again Christians. From what I understand, a lot of the current crop of Christian acoustic guitar players as well as Nashville studio musicians use them. I hope to go out there for a visit and factory tour soon. These are absolutely flawless instruments, and very innovative. From everything I have heard, these are very decent people and I look forward to meeting some of them one day. Whether Christians are uniquely qualified to make high quality instruments I really can't say, but I can say that McPhersons are absolutely top-notch guitars.

Tony
Hellooooooo....

marcocolo
06-25-2014, 02:34 PM
I really like the sound of the Koaloha but to me the look has the flavor of midwest oak furniture (that's not a good thing). Especially the headstock and the end of the fretboard. Quite cheesy.
Not clean and elegant like the Kamaka, etc.

janeray1940
06-25-2014, 03:03 PM
I really like the sound of the Koaloha but to me the look has the flavor of midwest oak furniture (that's not a good thing). Especially the headstock and the end of the fretboard. Quite cheesy.
Not clean and elegant like the Kamaka, etc.

I agree completely re: the look, but have to admit they sound fantastic. Even though I'm a diehard Kamaka fan now, I have to admit that the first uke I bought solely for sound was a Koaloha - it was pretty amazing.

armchair_spaceman
06-25-2014, 03:28 PM
I agree completely re: the look, but have to admit they sound fantastic. Even though I'm a diehard Kamaka fan now, I have to admit that the first uke I bought solely for sound was a Koaloha - it was pretty amazing.

Same boat here...for a time I thought that the KoAlohas looked a bit cheesy but the sound won me over, big time. And now the look makes me grin when I open the case...

Dane
06-25-2014, 04:08 PM
An "Agnostic Atheist"...? That's hedging your bets quite a bit isn't it ?:shaka:

CeeJay

?

I'm not familiar with that phrase unfortunately.

PereBourik
06-25-2014, 04:19 PM
An "Agnostic Atheist"...? That's hedging your bets quite a bit isn't it ?:shaka:

CeeJay

"Agnostic Christian" would be hedging bets.

PereBourik
06-25-2014, 04:36 PM
I'll see your Christian profession and raise you a Christian professional. I have held holy orders in the Episcopal Church for more than three decades, tending congregations across the country. I've been a professing Christian for 15 years at least before ordination. There is nothing salvific in an 'ukulele, no matter how many symbols you place on it.

If it sounds good, play it.
If you like the looks, hold it close.
If the company has good practices and good customer service, do business with them.

But please don't worship your 'ukulele.

CeeJay
06-25-2014, 04:38 PM
"Agnostic Christian" would be hedging bets.

Here we go again...

I did think afterward that my post would probably not be received as intended . So I contacted a moderator myself and wrote this....

"Originally Posted by CeeJay
Please tell me that I have not gone and got myself another slap from a moderator....please say I am being paranoid.....


Young Dane made my wife and me have a little chuckle.....because that is exactly what an agnostic atheist is doing .....by definition ....right....It would go something like this "I do not believe that a God exists and therefore there is no God ,but because it cannot be proven there is no God there may be one and therefore we are back to agnosticism but because I do not believe that a God exists therefore ....and so on,and so forth " ....however I have obviously struck another wrong chord ........I should just stick to playing the Uke....badly.

Chris Jarvis"

Alright ........?

CeeJay
06-25-2014, 04:42 PM
"Agnostic Christian" would be hedging bets.

No ...a Christian is a follower of a particular faith ...or Lion Food ...depending on your faith or your ticket to the Colisseum

an Agnostic ..well there is a God ...there isn't a God..My God it's You !!......an atheist, I can't be bothered with all this god business...

look this will get me in trouble again with the Model Raters ...... it is off topic for a start ....!!

PereBourik
06-25-2014, 04:46 PM
No criticism intended. Only humorous (or not) commentary on the hedging of bets.

Sorry if I gave offense.

CeeJay
06-25-2014, 04:53 PM
No criticism intended. Only humorous (or not) commentary on the hedging of bets.

Sorry if I gave offense.
No no no ...it's usually me that gives offence .....inadvertantly, spontaneously and often irreverently ...I enjoyed what you wrote...

CeeJay
06-25-2014, 04:55 PM
No criticism intended. Only humorous (or not) commentary on the hedging of bets.

Sorry if I gave offense.
no no offense ..that's my job apparently ....Lions 2 Christians 0

Yukon Cornelius
06-25-2014, 05:03 PM
Back in 2008 I read the sceptre story. As a believer and follower of Christ and the Way I knew I wanted a koaloha. I went to Oahu to play one and papa koaloha surprised my wife and I. He and his wife and family took us upstairs and prayed for us and blessed me with a concert. I'm a koaloha fan for life.

Luke El U
06-25-2014, 05:25 PM
The musubi soundhole was the design element that attracted me the most to the KoAlohas. Much more intriguing than just a circle. It seems to create motion, whereas a circle is static. The points on the headstock add contrast to so many lovely curves in the body.

I have a KoAloha tenor and soprano and a KoAlana concert and soprano from the Thai-made limited special box set. The Koa in the KoAloha is more dramatic and colorful than the sapele mahogany in the KoAlanas, but the latter has a very light satin finish which I prefer. At a promotional show in Thailand in 2012, Paul and Alan Okami, along with Daniel Ho, autographed my KoAlana concert, at which time Alan told me that make would be re-branded. (They were the precursors to the Opios). All the instruments look, feel and sound great to me, and the fact that Christians added a bit of their own beliefs into their designs doesn't bother this atheist.

Dane
06-25-2014, 05:53 PM
Here we go again...

I did think afterward that my post would probably not be received as intended . So I contacted a moderator myself and wrote this....

"Originally Posted by CeeJay
Please tell me that I have not gone and got myself another slap from a moderator....please say I am being paranoid.....


Young Dane made my wife and me have a little chuckle.....because that is exactly what an agnostic atheist is doing .....by definition ....right....It would go something like this "I do not believe that a God exists and therefore there is no God ,but because it cannot be proven there is no God there may be one and therefore we are back to agnosticism but because I do not believe that a God exists therefore ....and so on,and so forth " ....however I have obviously struck another wrong chord ........I should just stick to playing the Uke....badly.

Chris Jarvis"

Alright ........?

There is some variety to the definition of agnostic atheists, as to be expected, it's the same for anything else. But for me, It's simply that I don't believe in a higher power, but I have no way of proving there is no higher power. If there were to be a higher power, that would be fine, I could care less. But until someone proves or disproves it, it doesn't matter to me, and I will not waste my time on it, I will instead live life in a way that I, and the general populace (I hope), deem morally acceptable. (Although I do hold myself a bit above average on the grounds of morality)

From the literal Greek

A-gnostic
A = Without
Gnostic = Knowledge
Without Knowledge

A-theist
A = Without
Theist = Meaning having a belief in a supernatural deity
Without Belief (more or less)

Meaning I do not believe, but I also do not know, I lack proof of the non-existence of deities.

The Big Kahuna
06-25-2014, 07:06 PM
I have no way of proving there is no higher power

Might want to check out this thing called "science".

Apparently it's been around a while now.

The Big Kahuna
06-25-2014, 07:07 PM
What? Y'all thought I wouldn't spot this thread?

The Big Kahuna
06-25-2014, 07:31 PM
The fact that there are atheists and agnostics who are perfectly happy to own a uke with a disguised "christian" symbol on it raises an interesting question; would the "christians" who have posted previously be happy to buy/own a uke if the company were owned by a cult of devil worshippers, and the headstock decal was "666"?

This is a serious question, and on-topic.

The Big Kahuna
06-25-2014, 07:32 PM
Morning Jon, how's the weather mate ;)

Dane
06-25-2014, 07:33 PM
Might want to check out this thing called "science".

Apparently it's been around a while now.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but that doesn't disprove that there might be a deity of some kind.

As stated, I don't believe in a god of any kind, I believe in what I see and what is proven. That being science. I believe in evolution sure, I believe in facts and experiments.

But there has yet to be any proof that there is, without a doubt, no god, or multiple gods, of any kind. This is a difficult concept for many to grasp. There is always another "what if _____" No one will ever be able to disprove the existence of gods, because there will always be another religious explanation that someone comes up with.

Dane
06-25-2014, 07:39 PM
The fact that there are atheists and agnostics who are perfectly happy to own a uke with a disguised "christian" symbol on it raises an interesting question; would the "christians" who have posted previously be happy to buy/own a uke if the company were owned by a cult of devil worshippers, and the headstock decal was "666"?

This is a serious question, and on-topic.

If it played well, I wouldn't really care. I might be concerned what others think of me, sporting a 666 on my headstock. A crown shape is innocent by nature until you apply one of many meanings to it. A 666 is not, it is a symbol meaning one thing. It's not the same to compare them. Sorry.

I eat food from IN-N-OUT, they have religious references printed on every wrapping, cup, and fry holder. It doesn't bother me though because it's just food. I don't care.

http://www.imediaconnection.com/images/content/120306_Estrin_Michael_2_INANDOUT.png

EDIT: Also, I have no issue with anyones religion as long as it does not negatively impact innocent, non-consenting humans (or animals). So if your devil worshipper friends wanted to start an ukulele company, and they were completely harmless...... I Could Absolutely Care Less and I would be happy to support their company if they provided a quality product.... and if they had nice customer service. I'm pretty picky about customer service.

Steveperrywriter
06-25-2014, 07:44 PM
Well, I have an Amish TV cabinet. It came wired with a power strip. Some irony there ...

Dane
06-25-2014, 07:48 PM
Well, I have an Amish TV cabinet. It came wired with a power strip. Some irony there ...

Not all Amish reject modern technology and electricity. Last year when I was in Pennsylvania, I witnessed Amish youth using cell-phones.

stringy
06-25-2014, 09:21 PM
The fact that there are atheists and agnostics who are perfectly happy to own a uke with a disguised "christian" symbol on it raises an interesting question; would the "christians" who have posted previously be happy to buy/own a uke if the company were owned by a cult of devil worshippers, and the headstock decal was "666"?

This is a serious question, and on-topic.


Agreed. We don't even have to go that far, what about ANY disguised religious symbols. Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, etc. It really doesn't matter what the religion is. I respect all beliefs, but I don't appreciate hidden religious symbolism of any kind be it Christian or non-Christian. No different to me than the knocking on my door to "spread the word."

The KoAlohas i played sounded good. Would I buy one knowing the Religious significance? NO.

Andy Chen
06-25-2014, 10:39 PM
And now, I want very much to buy a Koaloha just to support my brothers in what they do.

itsme
06-25-2014, 11:22 PM
I have no doubt that people of a particular religious bent can make a superior product and run an ethical yet profitable company that offers outstanding customer service.

And that goes for whether they're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, pagan, atheist or whatever. As long as you're not out to convert me, I'm fine with whatever you want to believe. The only issue I've come across is certain born again Christians who are so gung-ho about they think everyone else has to become a Christian just because they told them the "good news" about Jesus Christ. Come to think of it, vegans are kinda like that, too.

buddhuu
06-25-2014, 11:23 PM
The topic is "Religious Symbolism in KoAlohas?" and this is the Uke Talk section.

As has been said before, please stay on topic. General theology is not on topic. This is not the section or the thread for religious or metaphysical discussion. Please let's be quite clear on that.

This request is directed to all participants, not to any poster in particular.

Luke El U
06-25-2014, 11:38 PM
I also like the design of their Juke-u-lele and wonder what makes it so loud. The shape? The bracing? What?

kissing
06-26-2014, 12:50 AM
I also like the design of their Juke-u-lele and wonder what makes it so loud. The shape? The bracing? What?

I'm pretty sure it's the Christian symbolism features on the ukulele that makes it loud. Mystical Bible powers that amplify the soundwaves by divine intervention.



In all seriousness, I really don't see how this entire topic is relevant to ukuleles.
The founders of Koaloha happen to be Christians, so their ukulele design has been inspired by things they like.
They're not preaching through their ukuleles, nor are they implying that their ukulele are sacred relics associated with religion.

An ukulele maker could just as well be fond of pineapples, cupcakes or apples and very well make an ukulele inspired from such things.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/112966719/pineapple-ukulele-relief-carved-sides?ref=listing-7
https://www.etsy.com/listing/57274942/cupcake-ukulele-cakulele-soprano?ref=listing-20
https://www.etsy.com/listing/58889264/custom-made-apple-acoustic-ukulele?ref=listing-19

Luke El U
06-26-2014, 01:04 AM
In all seriousness, I really don't see how this entire topic is relevant to ukuleles.

And so you are free not to read and respond to it. Just as the rest of us may or may not want to continue discussing influences on ukulele design.

kkimura
06-26-2014, 01:05 AM
I'm pretty sure it's the Christian symbolism features on the ukulele that makes it loud. Mystical Bible powers that amplify the soundwaves by divine intervention.



In all seriousness, I really don't see how this entire topic is relevant to ukuleles.
The founders of Koaloha happen to be Christians, so their ukulele design has been inspired by things they like.
They're not preaching through their ukuleles, nor are they implying that their ukulele are sacred relics associated with religion.

An ukulele maker could just as well be fond of pineapples, cupcakes or apples and very well make an ukulele inspired from such things.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/112966719/pineapple-ukulele-relief-carved-sides?ref=listing-7
https://www.etsy.com/listing/57274942/cupcake-ukulele-cakulele-soprano?ref=listing-20
https://www.etsy.com/listing/58889264/custom-made-apple-acoustic-ukulele?ref=listing-19

Mmmmmm, pineapple ukulele! Yum!

JonThysell
06-26-2014, 01:14 AM
Until I got to page 6 or so, this thread was the perfect proof that only the mighty ukulele can overcome our religious differences and bring us all together.

That said - not Christian, have a KoAloha with another on the way, and just because the builder of something puts in design elements that have meaning to them does not mean that they have to have that meaning for me. Especially if they went out of their way to avoid including the most obvious symbolism of their faith (two k's and a seven pointed crown sound a little "Da Vinci code" Christian to me - if they really wanted to they could just have easily put a cross or bible quote in their design).

silveraven
06-26-2014, 01:23 AM
KoAloha wouldn't be the only ukulele with religious symbolism on them. One other brand that comes to mind is Luna, what with their crescent moon at all.

wendellfiddler
06-26-2014, 01:35 AM
Until I got to page 6 or so, this thread was the perfect proof that only the mighty ukulele can overcome our religious differences and bring us all together.

That said - not Christian, have a KoAloha with another on the way, and just because the builder of something puts in design elements that have meaning to them does not mean that they have to have that meaning for me. Especially if they went out of their way to avoid including the most obvious symbolism of their faith (two k's and a seven pointed crown sound a little "Da Vinci code" Christian to me - if they really wanted to they could just have easily put a cross or bible quote in their design).

I'm not a great fan of the entire design on an aesthetic basis, nor am I a fan of religion in general, but I appreciate the subtlety of their symbolism. It's creative. I do like the ukulele enclosed in the K's. I just don't like the headstock points or the soundhole look. But it is very cool that there are so many choices out there in Uke design.

A related musical instrument story (or at least it seems so to me!) - Pre-war Hohner harmonicas had "jewish" stars on them and folks have debated on harmonica lists how that came to be. Of course it's pretty obvious why they started leaving the star off their harmonicas in the late 30's or so. The Hohner folks aren't Jewish. One theory that makes some sense to me is that the star symbolized old man Hohner and his five sons - or maybe it just looked cool. What I've heard is that the star, while being a Jewish symbol for a long time, wasn't "the" major symbol until Hitler made it so - so in other words, it was in common use as a secular design until it was mandated as the way to mark Jews and their property. Since then it has taken on greater significance. Now it's a quick way to identify a Hohner harmonica that was made before WWII.

doug

Doug

buddhuu
06-26-2014, 02:33 AM
From this point on, off topic posts in this thread will be deleted. I'm not going to let one or two people get the OP's thread locked down when the majority have the courtesy to respect requests from the OP and from the mod team.

Repeat transgressions may get you a ban. Please don't push it.

ukantor
06-26-2014, 02:44 AM
68212A designer will be influenced by many things, even without realising it. I liked the KoAloha design before this thread told me the significance of various elements. I still like it, even though I don't share the designer's religious views. To me, it is just a design.

It is interesting how people will see different things in a design. I made one uke with an abstract design on the headstock. Somebody asked me what it represented, so I asked what it "said" to them, and then asked various other people what they thought it might mean. The replies included a dove, a hawk, an angel, Goth design, Nazi symbolism - the list could be endless. My wife sees all sorts of things when she looks at the shapes of clouds - I don't. I guess I'm just a dull old twerp.

buddhuu
06-26-2014, 03:02 AM
Enjoy your break, CeeJay. See you in a week.

coolkayaker1
06-26-2014, 03:11 AM
If one really thinks about it, even the warranty has some theological overtones. A better than weather warrantee, each Ukulele being part of the family, reflects a universal theme.

haole
06-26-2014, 03:55 AM
Another KoAloha fan here who isn't religious. They build amazing instruments, and they're some of the nicest, most sincere people in the business. If belief in a higher power keeps them inspired to make people happy then I sure can't fault them! They aren't jerks about it so it's all good! Besides, their design aesthetic is pretty metal and I dig it.

wayfarer75
06-26-2014, 04:09 AM
I'm not a great fan of the entire design on an aesthetic basis, nor am I a fan of religion in general, but I appreciate the subtlety of their symbolism. It's creative. I do like the ukulele enclosed in the K's. I just don't like the headstock points or the soundhole look. But it is very cool that there are so many choices out there in Uke design.

I agree with you. I'm not a fan of KoAloha's headstock design, and it has nothing to do with the (very subtle) symbolism. It just looks like a webbed foot to me. The rest doesn't bug me, including the musubi soundhole. I don't plan on ever buying one, but the appearance of a KoAloha isn't the reason. I'm just more into other brands.

Dane
06-26-2014, 04:56 AM
Agreed. We don't even have to go that far, what about ANY disguised religious symbols. Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, etc. It really doesn't matter what the religion is. I respect all beliefs, but I don't appreciate hidden religious symbolism of any kind be it Christian or non-Christian. No different to me than the knocking on my door to "spread the word."

The KoAlohas i played sounded good. Would I buy one knowing the Religious significance? NO.

You may find that many, many, MANY items you currently possess have religious symbolism of some kind printed on them or incorporated into their design. Religion is a massive part of human history, it's the oldest form of government. I might not be religious, but I understand the importance it has for our society, and how certain people absolutely need it and rely on it.

Also, I don't think it's the same as someone coming to your door. KoAloha isn't trying to recruit you, they aren't coming to your door and forcing an ukulele on you, saying that you must believe. It's just their design. You cannot compare that to your example.

I have to be honest, I find it rather petty that someone would choose to NOT buy a quality product from a company with quality customer service, based solely on the fact that the headstock design, and company logo has some religious significance to the creators. It doesn't hurt you in any way, and it's not like a giant christian cross pressed into the fretboard. It is very subtle, and most didn't even know until they were told about it.

Without trying to be directly confrontational, it sounds more like you tolerate all beliefs, not that you respect all beliefs. There is a big difference. I would say that I try to respect all beliefs, but I absolutely tolerate all of them...

Some might even say this is a religious symbol. A silly example, but the point I am making is that you can find symbolism, for anything, anywhere, if you choose to look for it:
http://i.imgur.com/IA6sPNF.jpg

Luke El U
06-26-2014, 05:33 AM
Okay, I had my KoAloha with me today as my daughter and I went site-seeing. Thinking about this thread, I couldn't resist. Sorry.68214

And then I got a cool idea. They sell gold leaf there for people to put on the Buddha. I bought some with the idea of trimming the headstock with it for a shiny (real) gold crown!

Down Up Dick
06-26-2014, 05:54 AM
Ha! UAS with a new twist--what next?

The Big Kahuna
06-26-2014, 06:51 AM
So, somebody points out that the makers of Koaloha are christians, and choose to hide some symbolism in the design of their uke. Christians are happy as bunnies (possibly of the 6 foot tall invisible variety), some of us dirty non-believers express a complete lack of interest, and others (ok, so one other) question how happy the aforementioned christians would be if it were a hidden pagan message, rather than christian (I notice the only people who took the trouble to answer THAT one were atheists/agnostics...come on all you "people of faith", I'd really like to hear how YOU feel about that).

The moderator decides, in the usual high-handed fashion, that the only appropriate response is "my word, how interesting", and thereby kills one of the few threads that doesn't consist almost entirely of people getting teary eyed over the latest acquisition by another member.

How, exactly, did you expect a thread of this kind to develop on a forum inhabited by people of various faiths, lack of faith, and varying degrees of tolerance to hypocrisy?

I'll take my week off now please.

The Big Kahuna
06-26-2014, 06:55 AM
Before I go, I'd just like to mention something I spoke to a moderator about earlier, in regard to this whole thread.

There is a brand of string, marketed with a clear christian theme, by a "good christian".

Rather than confront the person directly, I have chosen to assume that, as a good christian, this person tithes.

I have therefore decided, despite the excellent reviews of these strings, to refrain from buying them, as I am opposed to 10% of the profit from my purchase going to an organisation I fundamentally oppose.

There, that's pretty on-topic, wouldn't you say?

davidrboy
06-26-2014, 07:02 AM
Two points (from someone with a degree in religious anthropology):

(1) Brian W. is correct about the accepted meanings of agnostic vs. atheist. Agnostic is "without knowledge" one way or the other while "atheist" is anti-theist, meaning opposed to belief in a god or gods. Agnostic beliefs tend to be open to evolution when presented with new information. Atheism, like the great majority of world religions, is dogmatic -- that it, it has rules based in faith rather than evidence. (Which, I think, lines up with your point Dane.) Not a slight intended at anyone or either, but those are the definitions. (I'm not quite sure which one of the two I am. Probably the former.)

(2) I love my Koaloha. I appreciate the abstract symbols included by a group of very talented builders. However, if there were a crucifix on the headstock, or something else as in-your-face, I wouldn't own this uke no matter how good it sounded (well, within reason).

Vagrant
06-26-2014, 07:07 AM
Before I go, I'd just like to mention something I spoke to a moderator about earlier, in regard to this whole thread.

There is a brand of string, marketed with a clear christian theme, by a "good christian".

Rather than confront the person directly, I have chosen to assume that, as a good christian, this person tithes.

I have therefore decided, despite the excellent reviews of these strings, to refrain from buying them, as I am opposed to 10% of the profit from my purchase going to an organisation I fundamentally oppose.

There, that's pretty on-topic, wouldn't you say?

But - and I'm speaking also as an atheist - is that 10% directly from your sale, or 10% of his earnings that he decides to do what he wants with (which is his choice)... and doesn't nearly everything we buy end up channeling money to something we'd probably disagree with on a personal level?
Personally I like that they stick things that mean things to them on the ukuleles they make. Whether others of the same beliefs would tolerate a uke I'd make with the symbols I'd like is debatable, but that'd be their choice...

You should try 'those' strings, though, they're really good... tolerance is a two-way street and all ;)

The Big Kahuna
06-26-2014, 07:14 AM
tolerance is a two-way street and all ;)

True, but we all have to make our own choice as to where in the sand to draw our line. :)

The Big Kahuna
06-26-2014, 07:17 AM
Remember the uproar from the religious right about the backmasking in Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest tracks?

That was all because of a "hidden message" that opposed the beliefs of a particular group.

#justsayin

Vagrant
06-26-2014, 07:17 AM
Yeah, I know - there's a gallery I won't go to anymore because I found out they've got all the low-paid staff on zero hours contracts. We all have our personal limits.

But those strings are really good...

The Big Kahuna
06-26-2014, 07:24 AM
But those strings are really good...

...but my ears are really shit ;)

Pundabaya
06-26-2014, 07:33 AM
I just find the concept of religious symbolism like that odd. Not that I care anyway, it's not like I have enough money to buy one.

I'd totally buy a hammer shaped uke dedicated to Thor, which would also be pretty odd, when you think about it.

janeray1940
06-26-2014, 07:37 AM
Interesting. I haven't tried those strings, but didn't know that about them. Thanks for filling me in!

As a freethinker, I do tend to "vote with my dollar" when it makes sense (i.e. I've never eaten at an In-and-Out, but then I don't eat burgers, so why would I?) or when there is concrete evidence that a company's profits go toward a cause I am opposed to (i.e. Richard Hayne's well-documented campaign contributions to a presidential candidate I loathed will keep me from ever spending a dime at Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie, but then I'm not much of a shopper).

As for the strings, or the ukulele in question - it is a two way street, and knowing this information allows one to make a better-informed purchasing decision, regardless of the side of the street that they are on.

The Big Kahuna
06-26-2014, 07:41 AM
Interesting. I haven't tried those strings, but didn't know that about them. Thanks for filling me in!

A word of caution: the "tithing" is just supposition on my part, and not to be treated as fact. I'm merely trying to show a bit more class than usual for me, and not contact the person directly to ask for confirmation, which might be considered a bit rude. If this person does indeed tithe, this is a fundamental part of his faith, and he does so with my blessing (irony?)

stringy
06-26-2014, 07:45 AM
[QUOTE=Vagrant;1543749]

Personally I like that they stick things that mean things to them on the ukuleles they make. Whether others of the same beliefs would tolerate a uke I'd make with the symbols I'd like is debatable, but that'd be their choice...
[QUOTE]


And that is my problem with it. "Hidden" religious symbolism takes away my choice.

I always talk about the brands that refuse to put ("made in ____") in their soundhole labels. It is deception. It takes away my choice. If I want to buy something made in Vietnam that should be my decision.

If KoAloha had an obvious crucifix or cross on the headstock I would not have a problem with it. I also wouldn't have even picked it up to hear it. MY CHOICE.

buddhuu
06-26-2014, 08:10 AM
Ok, two participants in this thread are now on a brief break.

Certain topics tend to degenerate into uncivil arguments; religion is one of them. In the rules we ask that people not start threads that might seem calculated to cause trouble. The OP seemed to recognise the possible direction that the thread might take and specifically tried to set parameters for the topic. Furthermore, this is the Uke Talk section.

From the rules: "2.1 Stay on topic."

General religious discussion tends to end untidily, even when conducted in the General Discussion section, which is why even that section has the rule: "NO POSTING OF DISCUSSION TOPICS THAT ARE OBVIOUSLY HEADED FOR DESTRUCTION."

I apologise to the OP for not being able to keep this thread on track, and closing it down.

If anyone wishes to take issue with any of my decisions here, Admin and the mod team will be happy to consider your submissions and overrule if appropriate.