Cuatro

Description
The modern cuatro is a five double-string guitar-like instrument used to play música jíbara, Puerto Rican country music. In this unusual example, the dried, woody fruit of the higüero tree, a material more commonly used in the fabrication of maracas or güiros, comprises the main body of the instrument. The archaic cuatro had only four strings (sometimes doubled), like the example here. In the early 20th century, Puerto Rican musicians on the northern part of the island revamped the cuatro and added up to six more metal strings to allow for heightened virtuosity.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
cuatro
Date made
20th century
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
bone (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 64.2 cm x 24.8 cm x 12.3 cm; 25 1/4 in x 9 3/4 in x 4 13/16 in
Place Made
Puerto Rico
ID Number
1997.0097.1082
accession number
1997.0097
catalog number
1997.0097.1082
subject
Cultures & Communities
Puerto Rico
Music & Musical Instruments
Vidal
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Vidal
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Title
Cuatro
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal

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