Tango’s Dance Around The Globe

Tango Around The World Album Cover, Putumayo Records, 2007

The tango is a dance that has influences from European and African culture.

The precise origins of tango—both the dance and the word itself—are lost in myth and unrecorded history. One plausible theory is that in the mid-1800s, enslaved Africans transported to Argentina would over time with subsequent descendants, influence the local culture.

Folklore aside, the word “tango” represents the place where enslaved Africans and those Africans newly freed in the U.S., gathered to dance.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The word “tango” may be African in origin, meaning “closed place” or “reserved ground”, or as some hold, it may derive from Portuguese fashioned from the Latin verb tanguere (to touch) liberated by Africans along the way during their long and arduous journey on slave ships.

To hear more about the Tango, visit The Odyssey Series on the Hg homepage.

Related Stories