Toro Mata, passed down first to Caitro Soto from his grandmother and great-grandmother, then to Lalo Izquierdo, and through him, to a Peruvian performing group in the San Francisco Bay Area, tells the story of a black man in the days of slavery.
This man got a little drunk, and wanted to be allowed to fight one of the bulls that belonged to the plantation. His friend tried to persuade him, but he insisted, and the owner allowed him to. Because of his black color, however, he wasn't able to get away from the bull. The bull followed him instead of the bullfighting cape. You can guess the outcome.
At the suggestion of Lalo Izquierdo, the performers joined "Toro Mata" with another song, called "la Ponde, Ponde." The Ponde was a plantation. The blacks there were partying. Again, this was in the days of slavery, and Izquierdo explains that blacks at that time were branded, like cattle. Along came a black man who had removed the brand from his arm. The party-goers were suspicious and chased after him, but he ran away to where he could get protection.
The music uses lots of percussion, including two instruments developed by Afro-Peruvians: the Peruvian cajon, and the quijada de burro. Its rescuer, Caitro Soto, along with Lalo Izquierdo are two of the founders of the important Afro-Peruvian performance group, Peru Negro. In Peru, Afro-Peruvians are often referred to as "afro descendientes" (descendants of Africans).