Skip to content


16 March 2020

Mexico’s greatest (and only) Tahitian-Afro dancer, was neither Taihitian nor African, but… as the great Chavala Vargas said, “A Mexican can be born any damn place she wants”… and appparently any damn ethnicity she wants, too.

Yolanda Montes was born in Spokane, Washington to a Mexican-Swedish father, and Ango-French mother.  But crediting her grandmother with having claimed to have some Tahitian ancestry, when Yolanda found herself in Mexico City in the early 1940s, and needing a job, she invented herself as Tongolele, becoming the most famous of the Mexican “exotic dancers” of her era.  Her career was temporary put on hold in the late 1950s, courtesy of the Legion of Decency, but she returned to work in the 1960s, expanding her work into roles in telenovelas and horror movies.

Still sharp and … while not dancing… still with us at the age of 88.

No comments yet

Leave a reply, but please stick to the topic

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: