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The ukulele is usually associated with Hawaiian music. But, before the haole (white) missionaries came to Hawaii, the Hawaiians knew very little about melody. They performed solo chants without any accompaniment for ceremonies and rituals with a monotone voice. Hawaiians also used pahu (drums), double gourds (ipu heke), or uliuli (gourd rattles), and also slapped their hands on their chests (pai umauma) to accompany dancers. The ukulele came much later.

http://elayne001.hubpages.com/hub/How-the-Ukulele-Came-to-Hawaii

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