The ukulele (Hawaiian for “jumping flea”) is a small, plucked string instrument largely associated with Hawaii, but that is not where the instrument was born. Instead, it was brought over from the island of Madeira off the coast of northwest Africa in the 1870’s by Portuguese immigrants. Three Madeiran cabinetmakers arrived in Hawaii in 1879 and soon started making what we now know as ukuleles. By 1885 they were advertising them and other instruments they were making for sale.
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