Ukelele - Hawaii
Purchased in Waimea, Kauai Island, Hawaii, 1996
From Graciela's Notes
This is a popular smaller guitarlike instrument with four strings now native to Hawaii. The instrument was originally imported by Portuguese sailors into Hawaii in the 1870’s and it found its way into the continental U. S. in the early 20th century. It proved very popular, in part because the use of tablature allowed players to learn quickly without the ability to read music. Popular music of all kinds employed the instrument, and it could be heard in vaudeville, musicals, and films. Its popularity died out after World War II, but it could be heard in unusual settings, that is as the accompanying instrument to the unusual vocal stylings of Tiny Tim who revived an endless number of Tin Pan Alley songs. It is definitely associated with Hawaiian music and Hula Hula dancing. I bought this ukelele in Waimea, Kauai Island (Hawaii) when I visited with Betty Itakura in February 1996.