Plucked lute of Portugal and Brazil, midway between a guitar and a mandolin; a small Cavaco. During the 15th century the four-course cavaquinho reached Africa, the Americas, and even Hawaii, where it became the four-string Ukulele. In the northern areas of Latin America and in the West Indies it became known also as the cuatro. In Portugal it is used with other instruments to accompany dances. In Brazil, where its four metal strings are tuned d'-g'-b'-d", it has become popular in the cities since the mid-19th century. Courtesy of New Grove DMI © 1995.