Slack-key musician Makana's guitar, a gift from the late slack-key master Sonny Chillingworth, was stolen from his Kaimuki home sometime between 9 p.m. last Saturday and noon Sunday. Here, Makana plays at the Honolulu Hard Rock Cafe.

Thieves take guitar
cherished by singer

Thieves stole slack-key musician Makana's best friend, a guitar given by his mentor, the late slack-key master Sonny Chillingworth.

"It has so much sentimental value because Uncle Sonny gave it to me when I was 13," Makana said. "It's accompanied me through the hardest times, played at every show I've ever done. ... It's like a person to me. It's like my best friend."

The guitar, which the 27-year-old considered his most valuable possession even though it has little actual value, was one of several items stolen. Also taken during a burglary at his Kaimuki home sometime between 9 p.m. last Saturday and noon Sunday was a laptop computer full of his work and music.

The guitar is a Takamine EN-10C acoustic cutaway with the pick-guard area worn away from years of playing, resulting in some of the wood being chipped away. There are holes in the face of the guitar near the sound hole.

The guitar also has two electric jacks, and its upper neck has been repaired.

"Any assistance in the recovery of the guitar would be deeply appreciated," Makana said, adding there will be no questions asked. "I just want the guitar back."

The Apple G-4 12-inch Powerbook contained lyrics to 60 unrecorded songs and six years' worth of audio recordings of live shows and demos.

Makana had stored all his written work -- "everything from poetry and prose to speeches" -- on the computer, including a musical he had been working on.

Anyone with information that might lead to the recovery of the guitar can call Makana Music at 255-3826.

Police are investigating the burglary. Anyone with information can contact police by dialing 911 and referring to the Matthew Swalinkavich case.

Despite all the other losses, including a Fender Strat electric guitar with a sunburst pattern and white face plate and two amplifiers, it is the gift from Chillingworth that means so much to Makana.

"It has my sound in it," he said. "It has my mana."

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