August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday To Uke

It was upon this day in 1879 that the Ravenscrag, after a long four month journey, finally landed in Honolulu carrying Portuguese immigrants from the island of Madeira.

In celebration of their arrival, Joao Fernandes borrowed his friend's braguinha, jumped off the ship, and started playing folk songs from his native land on the wharf. The Hawaiians who came down to the dock were very impressed at the speed of this musicians' fingers as they danced across the fingerboard and they called the instrument "ukulele", which translates into English as "jumping flea". Thus, the birth of the ukulele. Visit Brudda Bu's website for the rest of the story...

1 comment:

Kittie Howard said...

We lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for nine years. The story you shared is one of my favorites..."jumping flea" just makes me the ukulele. Hawaii wouldn't be Hawaii without the ukulele.