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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

One of flamenco’s many palos, or forms, is the tango, which was transported as the tango de negros or tangos de Americas from Cuba to Spain in the mid-nineteenth century. There, it was transformed into the tango de gitanos and the tango flamenco, an action which disassociated it from its Africanist roots. In order to illustrate the consequences of omitting negro references to the tango in flamenco narratives, this chapter addresses the mechanisms of myth-making in the construction of identity as the Cuban tango was appropriated and subsumed into the flamenco repertoire. This chapter argues that despite the open acknowledgement of negro influences in southern Spanish dance in the early nineteenth century, negotiations during the development of Spain’s national identity affected the eventual denial of the tango as “negro” because concepts of negro were less valued as imperial commodities in Romantic discourses.

Keywords: Africanist, appropriation, flamenco, myth-making, national identity, negro, tango, Spanish dance

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