Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic claim Merengue as their own. According to Haitian lore, an earlier ruler of their country had a lame son who liked to dance. In order that this beloved prince would not feel self-conscious about his affliction, the entire populace took to dancing as though they all were lame. The Dominican’s version is that the dance originated at a fiesta that was given to honor a returning war hero. When the brave warrior rose to dance, he limped on his wounded left leg. Rather than make him feel self-conscious, all the men present favored their left legs as they danced.