Tiki King's Ukulele Database:
Manuel Nunes came to Hawaii from Madeira in 1879. He was instrumental if not responsible for transforming the braguinha, a small four-stringed, Portuguese instrument into the Hawaiian Ukulele. A label on a Nunes Ukulele circa 1910 reads:
"M. NUNES & SONS Inventor of the UKULELE and Taro Patch Fiddles in Honolulu in 1879"
and in the Honolulu City Directory, circa 1916, an advertisement reads:
M.Nunes, Inventor of the original Ukulele patronized by the Royal Hawaiian Family"
His son, Leonardo Nunes was four years old when his family moved to Hawaii, and he (Leonardo) moved to Los Angeles California and began making Ukuleles some time before September of 1918.(as this is when he registered for the draft with a mainland address) The Nunes family stopped producing Ukes in the early l940's. An interesting note: one of Nunes apprentices was Samuel Kamaka.
Manuel Nunes died in the mid 20's, and Leonardo Nunes Died Feb 24, 1944 in California
Thank you to Margaret Nunes for some of the family history
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