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© Photo by: Kasia Idzkowska . All Rights Reserved.
Elio Villafranca's "Don't Change My Name" represents many years of research into the Arara music of Cuba, tracing its roots to the religion and culture of Dahomey, in present day Benin, and telling the story of Florentina Zulueta, an important Arara figure in Cuba and the Cuban slave rebellions. Florentina was born in Dahomey in the 17th century. At just age 15, she was one of many who were captured and transported to Cuba to be sold as a slave. Her original name was "Tolo-Ño," but at the time of her capture in Dahomey, her name was changed to "Na-Tegué." "Na-Tegué" was sold to Julián de Zulueta y Amondo, a notorious slave owner in the Perico region of Matanzas, Cuba. After branding her flesh, he claimed her as his property and forever changed the name of the young "Na-Tegué" to Florentina Zulueta.
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