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Thread: Grateful Dead Ukuleles

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Looking more closely.
    This is the link:
    mahaloukuleles.com.au/ukulele-series/art-series-soprano-ukuleles/
    The eBay site selling the ukes from Melbourne has the part number MA1SKBK, which corresponds to "Skull (Black)" on the Mahalo site. The Mahaloeen model has part number MA1MA and may only be available in China. But there is no mention of "Day of the Dead" on the Mahalo site.
    Interestingly, it is called Skull Ukulele or Sugar Skull ukulele on a few sites outside of Australia, but "Day of The Dead" on most Australian sites which sell it. That is a reflection of what the Australian distributor thinks will attract buyers, I doubt that it has any real connection to the Mexican festival. "Day of the Dead" sounds cool like a skull tattoo on your "guns" in the gym, any relationship to a festival may be purely coincidental.
    In surfing around looking for info, I have found that the Chinese and Asian cultures celebrate their own Ghost Festivals every year. They often have skull motifs on the costumes and there are celebrations and festival activities. I suspect that the Skull(Black) ukulele is aimed at Asian parents who buy their children a musical present for their version of the annual Ghost Festival, and that apart from looks, it has no intended connection to any Mexican festival. Some sites translate the Asian name for the festival into things like "Chinese Halloween", so naming the product with the Chinese translation of Mahaloeen in China would be good marketing.
    I have met Chinese people who have a superstition about the words "dead" and "death". The number 44 is though to be bad luck because it sounds like the word for Death in Chinese. So I doubt that a Chinese company would use the words "Day of the Dead" in any product description, they would see it as being very unfortunate. I think that if I gave some of my Chinese friends a "Day of the Dead" ukulele it would get burnt as soon as I left the house, and the Feng Shui man would be called in to fix the energy hole in the house. And the uke is made in China by one of the oldest ukulele production companies in China. So I think the company would call it Skull(Black) or Mahaloeen as the English language product name.
    Buying a $50 possibly collectible uke can be very interesting, you do not have to spend a lot of money to enjoy collecting and owning ukuleles. That is why the five Alvarez ukes which are the subject of this thread are so interesting. For less than US$400, you get the five ukes with the artwork to explore Grateful Dead history and with the right strings and set-up, you also get a playable musical instrument.
    Anyway, the Mahalo MA1BLSK model I ordered will arrive soon and I can hear how it sounds out of the box.
    I think Bill, that if you had ever participated in a day of the dead festival or had ever been around Mexican people when they are celebrating the day of the dead you would recognize that ukulele is being marketed toward the day of the dead. The graphics are unmistakable. By the way, sugar skulls are part of the day of the dead festival. Street vendors sell them everywhere during the festival. Like I said, maybe you have to experience it to fully understand the significance of the graphics on that ukulele.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
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    Have the Alvarez Tatoo GD uke and it plays much better than I expected. I only knew “Ripple” so worked out “Casey Jones” for a 2nd song. Folks don’t expect to see something that different in our area song jams. Gotta be careful as folks will ask for other Grateful Dead songs which I’ve never heard or know. (More passerby’s at open air jams will do this)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Ewa Beach, HI
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    I am a Deadhead and that Alvarez Lightning is calling me!
    1:5255
    My Quiver: S & J Craft Milo Tenor "Liliu" six string custom and Milo and Lychee concert by Emil Bader
    Pono PKT-1 Koa Tenor w/MiSi, Lanikai LU-21T - Autographed!, Hikare CU 528 Baritone
    R&L all koa mini concert, Mainland Gecko, Epiphone Les Paul Vintage, Kala Concert
    Compass Rose 5 string
    Nothin' left to do but : ) : ) : )

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Sure the motif looks like the sugar skull motif. its just a decoration on a low cost ukulele. In 2019 the Sugar Skull motif goes way beyond the original items made out of real sugar in the most southern parts of North America. In the other continents of the planet like Asia, Europe and Australia it is has taken on a different cultural flavour.
    Not sure if you just hate admitting you're wrong or if there's more there. There is a difference between using a cultural motif to decorate with while acknowledging what it is, and using it and saying , ahh, it just looks like it but it's really just a nice look. Obliterating the identity of an important cultural symbol of the Mexican people, or any other people, by saying it no longer is that symbol, just a decoration is racist. Cultural artifacts of non-Caucasians are important too. That means Mexican ones such as the sugar skull, and all Aborigine ones from your area. I had hoped that you just didn't know anything about Sugar Skulls and the Day of the Dead, and so I sought to inform you about the significance. Now I'm wondering if you're just stubborn, or worse. If it's the latter, news flash. The world is full of many cultural symbols from many ethnicities, and they are ALL important, not just the Caicasian ones.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    CT
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    People relax and please take your issues via PM. This is about the Dead Ukuleles. Geez! People take forums way too seriously!!!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerguy View Post
    People relax and please take your issues via PM. This is about the Dead Ukuleles.
    Geeze, thanks for this. More so than that whole Day of the Dead debacle, as a Steal-Your-Face tattoo wearing fan, I'm more disappointed by the apparent lack of GD knowledge on display here.

    Quote Originally Posted by fingerguy View Post
    People take forums way too seriously!!!
    At risk of offending anyone, I've noticed that this is more true on this forum than on any other that I frequent. Maybe musicians are more sensitive or easily offended than skiers/snowboarders, car buffs, or bicyclists.

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