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Flamenco is a song, music and dance style which is strongly influenced by the Gitanos, but which has its deeper roots in Moorish and Jewish musical traditions.
Flamenco culture originated in Andalusia (Spain), but has since become one of the icons of Spanish music and even Spanish culture in general.
According to Blas Infante in his story "Orígenes de lo flamenco y secreto del cante jondo", Etymologically, the word Flamenco comes from Hispano-Arabic fellah mengu, "Peasant without Land". This hypothesis has no basis in historical documents, but Infante connects it to the huge amount of Ethnic Andalusians who decided to stay and mix with the Gypsy newcomers instead abandoning their lands because of their religious beliefs (Moriscos). After the Castilian conquest of Andalusia, the Reconquista, most of the land was expropiated and given to warlords and mercenaries who had helped the Castilian kings enterprise against Al-Andalus. When the Castilians later ordered the expulsion or forceful conversion of the Andalusian Moriscos, they took refuge among the Gypsies, becoming fellahmengu in order to avoid death, persecution, or forced deportation. Posing as Gypsies they managed to return to their cultural practices and ceremonies including the singing.
Other hypotheses concerning the term's etymology include connections with Flanders, the flameante (arduous) execution by the performers, or the flamingos.
Originally, flamenco consisted of unaccompanied singing (cante). Later the songs were accompanied by flamenco guitar (toque), rhythmic hand clapping ( palmas), rhythmic feet stomping (zapateado) and dance (baile). The toque and baile are also often found without the cante, although the song remains at the heart of the flamenco tradition. More recently other instruments like the cajón (a wooden box used as a percussion instrument) and castanets (castañuelas) have been introduced.
"Nuevo Flamenco", or New Flamenco, is a recent variant of Flamenco which has been influenced by modern musical genres, like rumba, salsa, pop, rock and jazz.
Latin America is the region of the Americas where Romance languages derived from Latin are officially or primarily spoken. Alternatively, Latin America is typically contrasted with Anglo-America where English, a Germanic language, predominates.
Definitions for what comprises Latin America may vary. From a sociopolitical perspective, including only independent countries, Latin America corresponds roughly to all nations south of the United States including Mexico, most of Central and South America, and the countries of the Caribbean where Spanish, Portuguese, French, or related Creole languages are spoken. Other territories where some languages derived from Latin such as French, Papiamento, or Kreyol predominate (e.g., Quebec in Canada) are frequently not reckoned as parts of Latin America.
Geopolitically, Latin America is divided into 20 independent countries and several dependent territories. Brazil is by far the largest country in Latin America, both in area and in population. It occupies more than 40 percent of the region's land area and has about a third of its people. Its official language, Portuguese, is not officially spoken in other American countries.