The ukulele is a Hawaiian four-string type of guitar used for chordal accompaniment of songs and playing solo. The ukulele appeared in the Hawaiian Islands in the second half of the 19th century, where it, under the name masheti da braça, was brought by the Portuguese from the island of Madeira. The first ukulele store in Hawaii was opened in 1880 by Manuel Nunez. Hawaiians use the ukulele to perform sentimental songs in English and “Hawaiian style” music.
The name of the instrument is translated as “jumping flea” – what the quick movements of the right hand when playing the ukulele look like. Considering that the small kawakinho ukulele related to the ukulele was brought to Africa by the Portuguese in the 15th century, it is possible that this name is somehow connected with the word ukulele from the South African language kosa, the meaning of which well conveys the dreamy and thoughtful mood caused by the sounds of the ukulele.
In the United States, the instrument began to gain popularity after the performances of Hawaiian musicians as part of the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, held in San Francisco in 1915. The peak of popularity came in the 1930s. In connection with the history of the ukulele in Russia, it should be noted that in 1994 the innovative teacher E. Ya. with a ukulele concert in form, string length and tuning. Edelvena Smelova has been using the guitar and flute in her own method of teaching children music since at least 1988, long before the ukulele grew in popularity in Russia in the first half of the 2010s.