The ukulele is a member of the lute family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon strings.
The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese machete, a small guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants many from Madeira and the Azores. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.

The ukulele is commonly associated witH music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as “jumping flea”, perhaps because of the movement of the player’s fingers.
Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin.