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Usage conditions apply
The tiple, the smallest string instrument in Puerto Rico, may be the one with the most regional variety. Small guitar or ukulele-like instruments are found throughout Latin America with the name tiple. The Puerto Rican tiple is derived from an instrument of the same name brought by settlers from the Canary Islands.
Description (Spanish)
El tiple es el instrumento de cuerdas más pequeño de Puerto Rico y, podría decirse, el que presenta la mayor cantidad de variaciones regionales. Es posible hallar bajo el nombre de tiple guitarras pequeñas o instrumentos similares al ukulele en toda América Latina. El tiple puertorriqueño se derivó de un instrumento del mismo nombre introducido a Puerto Rico por colonos provenientes de las Islas Canarias.
Object Name
Date made
early 20th century
Place Made
Puerto Rico
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (part: frets material)
overall: 30 cm; x 11 13/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal
Puerto Rico
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Music & Musical Instruments
Cultures & Communities
Many Voices, One Nation
Many Voices, One Nation
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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"We have a tiple that dates back to 1910-1925. We've had it restored and are playing it. From what we have read it is the American derivation of the original instrument, since it has 10 strings: 2, 3, 3, 2. We're wondering how the tiple got to the United States from Latin America and the Caribbean. Does anyone have any history on its migration into the U.S.?"

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