Braguinha The Braguinha - the dearest, most treasured, most debated and most interesting of Madeira’s instruments. Light and lively in sound, its elegant designs have made it a desirable accessory, and in the 19th century it was a source of great joy to ladies, perhaps their confidant in happier moments, their comfort in more melancholy ones. Its home was amongst the pomp of parlours, warmed in the cosy laps of romantic young girls whose heartache and secrets it absorbed and transmitted through melodies strummed out on it by the spindly fingers of delicate hands.

The 19th-century Madeiran Machete or Machetinho (little machete) - commonly known as the Braguinha - is a small musical instrument with a body in the shape of an eight, a long neck, and four or five single strings. This small hand chordophone (plucked string instrument) forms part of the large and diverse family of late fifteenth-century Portuguese hand guitars, of which it is the soprano. The earliest mention of the machete (also known as the machinho) as a musical instrument, is to be found in Raphael Bluteau's Vocabulário. On the Isle of Madeira, in the last quarter of the 19th century, the instrument is referred to as the 'Machete de Braga', coming to be known as simply the 'braguinha' by the end of that period.