The Hawaiian Gazette of 26 April 1898 contained the following review:
Hubert Vos [has painted] a Hawaiian of the present day dressed in red shirt and white trousers with a large handkerchief about his neck and a broad brimmed straw hat tilted back, exposing the face to full view. He is in the act of playing an ukulele and in his half parted lips there is life and suggestion. The whole painting is a strong piece of work, brimful of life and action. The hands dropped lightly over the strings of the adopted native musical instrument of these modern days, is one of the crowning features of the painting.
In Hawaii, the ukulele is a musical instrument (and a nice looking koa job this one seems to be).