THE CHINESE PRESENCE IN CUBA
María Teresa Linares
THE FIRST MASSIVE WAVE of Chinese laborers brought to Cuba to work on sugar plantations can be traced back to 1847. They were poor people who not only accepted unfair contracts subjecting them to indentured servitude for a period of eight years or longer, but also had to endure forced labor as well as punishment at times more brutal than that inflicted upon African slaves and their descendants. This system lasted until 1886, when abolition of slavery liberated not only blacks but also the Chinese and others from the Yucatan and Galicia who had accepted similar contracts.
Free Chinese immigrants also reached Cuba from California around 1860. These newcomers were fleeing an outbreak of racism that followed the influx of Chinese to California during the gold rush. It is believed that approximately 150,000 Chinese arrived in Cuba during the 1850s and 1860s (Pérez de la Riva 1975: 472), but their numbers dwindled quickly as a result of abuse, suicide, and disease.
The poverty and slave status of the indentured workers, in comparison with the very different social and economic standing of the “Californian” Chinese, as they were called by historian Juan Pérez de la Riva, created class divisions between these two groups that led eventually to the economic dependency and domination of the former by the latter, some of whom had arrived with substantial capital. The indentured group originally had been assigned to the sugar plantations situated mainly in the provinces of La Habana and Matanzas. Once they were freed, however, some of them became small farmers, selling their products in nearby villages. Others began to work in small-scale businesses, such as laundries, grocery stores, restaurants, and fondas (modest cafes), where groups would live in quarters behind the storefronts, sharing the rent while working together. Many turned to domestic service, working as cooks and butlers, or established themselves as tailors and door-to-door vendors of candies, silk, costume jewelry, and perfume. The wealthiest among them set up large import businesses of foods and other Asian products (Díaz Guerrero 1991: 19), while others turned to banking, an enterprise that enabled them to increase their capital.
On the one hand, the absence of interaction with other ethnic groups in Cuba, as well as racial discrimination and the language barrier, led the “Californians” to seek Chinese women in their homeland or bring their entire families. On the other hand, the poorer Chinese formed relationships with blacks, mulattas, and low-income whites (Díaz Guerrero 1991: 21). This resulted in even greater class divisions between these two groups, because the Cuban-born children of Chinese parents maintained their cultural traditions and considered themselves Chinese, whereas the mixed-race offsprings of Chinese men and Cuban women thought of themselves as Cubans and had little if any access to the social and economic status of the wealthier group. One factor that stimulated contact and joint identification between them was the creation of societies of mutual aid. While those who assumed positions of leadership in these societies were always the Chinese of a higher economic status, rank-and-file members who paid monthly dues belonged to the lower social classes (Díaz Guerrero 1991: 22–23).
A significant outcome of the arrival of Chinese merchants from California was the concentration of Chinese communities in specific neighborhoods, which, particularly in Havana, unified this sector of the population and developed rapidly toward the end of the nineteenth century. The largest of these settlements was Havana’s Chinatown, located in the old Barrio de Guadalupe, between the Zanja, Reina, Galiano, and Belascoaín streets. This neighborhood also attracted new Chinese immigrants who arrived during the first half of the twentieth century.
In Cultura cubana (1916), Adolfo Dollero reported the presence of over 25,000 persons of Chinese origin who were holding low-paying jobs, although some already were profiting from sizable businesses. There was also a group committed to the unification of compatriots, improvement of the community, and promotion of cultural traditions. By 1916, the infrastructure included a Chinese newspaper published in Havana, a chamber of commerce, a casino, and a hospital that also served as shelter. In the decades that followed, the establishment of political associations kept the community abreast of struggles in the mainland during this turbulent period of China’s history.
Immigration laws also seem to have regulated the Chinese presence in Cuba during the early Republican period. According to Dollero (1916), a decree that was in place a decade or so after independence (1902) limited entry to officials, tourists, students, and merchants. Such restrictions led the historian to conclude that the Chinese community ranked among the most select, since only individuals deemed valuable to the social mix were allowed to settle in Cuba.
Havana’s Chinatown fostered the development of cultural expressions, especially in the domain of traditional opera. People who engaged in an active community life shared and nurtured the preservation of their customs and traditions, such as the celebration of the Lunar New Year. The first reference documenting the presence of a Chinese theater in Cuba dates back to 1873. This venue was described as a theater for wooden puppets that were handled by “Chinese with good singing voices” (Chufat Latour 1927, cited in Baltar Rodríguez 1987: 74). Economic and logistical factors may have accounted for the introduction of Chinese productions through the puppet theater, which was cheaper and easier to mount in small settings. Moreover, the community of free Chinese was still relatively unintegrated in the late nineteenth century.
Given the popularity of regional opera in China, the possibility of hiring companies from different cities—particularly Canton, the point of origin of most immigrants—became a powerful incentive and a source of strength for this deterritorialized community. The merchants who reached Cuba from California had maintained contacts with these companies and they themselves had established Chinese theaters elsewhere, an experience that offered them another venue for economic advancement.
The second Chinese theater, called Sun Yen, was founded in 1875 with actors from California (Baltar Rodríguez 1987: 79). They brought Cantonese opera to Cuba, the type that predominated on the island because it served as a spiritual anchor for the large Cantonese population. As the growing interest in Cantonese opera led to the establishment of more Chinese theaters in Havana and other cities, entire troupes gradually began to tour Cuba, bringing their own actors and musicians.
The heyday of Cantonese opera also was bolstered by waves of new immigrants who continued to arrive up to the 1920s and 1930s, coinciding with the period of greatest popularity of the genre in China during the first half of the twentieth century. Improved economic conditions and the solidarity that evolved in the neighborhoods between longtime residents and new settlers, in addition to the protection and assistance they were receiving, resulted in the continuous growth of the Chinese community, which also attracted further immigration through a steady exchange with California.
La Gran China theater of Havana was founded in the early years of the twentieth century. Later, with the advent of film, the Nuevo Continental and EI Águila de Oro movie theaters were established. The Teatro Pacífico building became an important hub of activities for the Chinese community, housing recreational associations and a renowned Chinese restaurant. It was common for these theaters to hire opera companies from Canton and Hong Kong, as well as groups from the United States. Occasionally, these theaters would hire actors or small ensembles from associations of Chinese musicians living in Cuba. These musicians also participated in radio programs that emerged in the 1930s under the sponsorship of Chinese merchants, attracting large Chinese and Cuban audiences and providing an excellent outlet for the dissemination of traditional music.
The aftermath of China’s civil war, including the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45) and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, marked a turning point in the short history of an active Chinese presence in Cuba. The size of the population began to decline, the number of activities decreased, opera companies performing in Havana either returned to China or moved to the United States, and Chinese actors and teachers living in Cuba left. A few masters of traditional arts remained in the Estudio de Música China on the third floor of the Pacífico building. To these masters we owe the creation of new Cantonese opera companies and the transmission of its many secrets to a generation of interbred Chinese-Cuban descendants (Baltar Rodríguez 1987: 87). Several troupes emerged from these new Cuban-born groups, which trained new artists in the tradition of singing, acting, dance, formalized role-playing, acrobatics, martial arts, and instrumental performance practice. In addition to a demanding and rigorous apprenticeship schedule, these artists had to face the difficulty of not knowing either the language or the dialect, which meant memorizing the unfamiliar inflections of oral delivery types that masters taught them by rote. Amidst such unfavorable conditions, the life of these companies remained ephemeral. They disappeared gradually until the last one was disbanded in the late 1950s, marking the end to eighty years of Chinese musical practices in Cuba. By then, however, Cantonese opera, while sustaining a bond between immigrants, their descendants, and their traditions, also had introduced the ancient art of China to Cuba through its dances, music, scripts, songs, and timeless legends.
Among the approximately 350 kinds of dramatic stage performance in China, according to a survey conducted in the 1950s, Cantonese opera was the type that spread most widely. During the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, it was performed regularly in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, the Malayan Peninsula, Singapore, and in the United States and San Francisco in particular (Yung 1989: 5, 9), namely where large groups of Cantonese people had settled, as in the case of Cuba.
We only can speculate about the reasons why Cantonese opera did not take root on the Caribbean island. In addition to the loss of social function, other adverse conditions for transculturation might have included the extent to which the genre relies on an implicit system of interrelated codes determining the application of orally transmitted practices in the course of a performance, with which neither performers nor audiences must have been fully familiar; the concomitant necessity to teach it perhaps as product instead of process, thereby subverting its premises; and, as the genre feeds on audience response, the lack of identification with core concepts, from the meanings of “script” and “score” to the traditional associations among types of oral delivery, musical accompaniments, and dramatic situations to which audiences would react in a receptive setting. Even the use of the term “opera” in this context requires an explanation.
As Bell Yung states in Cantonese Opera: Performance as Creative Process (1989), a classic study of this multifaceted regional tradition that emerged before or around the mid-nineteenth century in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, the term “opera” is a matter of choice that in no way alludes to the connotations it carries in the West. “The literary scholar prefers ‘drama’… and the student of theater arts prefers ‘theater,’ [although] in the Chinese xi or qu, singing and musical instrumental accompaniment are obligatory” (1989: xii). Furthermore, in its natural habitat, Cantonese opera fulfills a ritual role when performed for religious occasions, calendrical festivals, and rites of passage, in addition to serving as a form of entertainment of massive popular appeal. According to Yung:
A performance may perhaps be compared to some forms of game or competitive sport in that the participants interact according to a set of general rules, but the details of the operation of the rules and the outcome of the “game” are left to the players’ own skill and ingenuity, and to the circumstances of the moment. An important difference is that, while “rules” in a game or sport are explicitly stated, those in the performance of Cantonese opera are not even in the conscious mind of most of the performers. This characteristic is, of course, found in many kinds of traditional performing arts. What makes Cantonese opera special in this respect is the large number of people involved and the complexity of its musical structure …. A performance on stage can be considered a continual “creative process” rather than a static “display” (1989: ix).
Yung’s study focuses, precisely, on abstracting these “rules” from a sample of performance situations and mapping the implicit codes regulating their interaction. We shall summarize them briefly in order to stress the emphasis placed on process instead of product, as well as the virtual impossibility of successful transculturation in an environment lacking a prolonged tradition of the orally transmitted performance practices that sustain this art form.
In the absence of musical notation and rehearsals, the creative process in Cantonese opera relies first and foremost on “historically determined and socially enforced and shared tradition; individualized habit and aesthetic judgment; and performance situations unique to a particular event” (Yung 1989: x). During a performance that usually lasts three to four hours,
A story [adapted from a large body of folk tales, legends, myths, and historical and semi-historical narratives] is told through speech and mime, song and dance, as well as slapstick and acrobatics. Also, indispensable is a generous display of visual splendor in terms of make-up, costume, and sometimes backdrop, stage set, and prop. Dramatic coherence often gives way to pure entertainment and spectacle. An accomplished performer must be simultaneously an actor, a dancer, and a singer; most performers also must have rigorous training in acrobatics (Yung 1989: 5–6, 18).
In the telling of an often verisimilar story, theatricality transports the audience into the realm of the fantastic by stylization of gesture, which is symbolic even when it conveys mundane actions, suggesting that “all movements on stage are dance” (Qi Rushan cited in Yung 1989: 6). Altogether, the complexity of the genre rests on the range of creative decisions left to the performer, who must apply a reservoir of possible choices to an array of formulaic premises. For instance, the system of stock character types, of which there are six in more recent Cantonese opera, allows for complex characterizations on stage; and the potential for repetition—or monotony—in the fact that, with few exceptions, the vocal music of Cantonese opera is based on preexistent tunes, is subverted by a system of oral delivery types categorized according to the tunes’ historical origin, musical structure and style, and creative process prescribed by tradition in performance. This realm of “song”—whose types of oral delivery Yung translates as “aria types,” “fixed tunes,” and “narrative songs”—is complemented by “speech types,” although the boundaries between the domains of speech and song often are blurred when singing slips into speech-like tones, or, conversely, when the linguistic tones of syllables in spoken Chinese underline melodic contours (1989: 13).
The large instrumental ensemble (by Chinese opera standards) is divided into two groups according to their function in performance: a melodic ensemble of strings and winds involving about twelve musicians for a full-size troupe; and percussion comprising three woodblocks, two sets of gongs and cymbals, and drums, requiring altogether four musicians. On the one hand, the percussion group, as the most distinctive aural feature of a performance, plays the critical role of underscoring “the dramatic atmosphere on stage by accentuating speech, bodily action, and facial expression; suggesting thoughts and moods of a character”; marking curtain-raising, entrances, and exits; and “accompanying stage movement, dance, and the acrobatic displays [that provide] some of the most spectacular moments in the opera.” On the other hand, the melodic ensemble accompanies the singing and provides background music during times when actors do not sing (Yung 1989: 13–14, 22). As with all other components of the set of mutually dependent behaviors that characterizes this art form, musicians operate according to a system of implicit codes that normally do not rely on musical notation. In the case of oral delivery types, “based upon which the singer would know the preexistent tunes,” for instance, percussion patterns are never written out but only identified by name in the script. Among the musicians, the woodblock player carries the most important role because he controls the tempo of the singing’s accompaniment and signals the patterns and performance choices to the other percussion players; as such, he is “the only musician who must know every detail of the whole opera.” His counterpart in the melodic group is the erhu player, who signals and guides his ensemble in the choice of tunes, tempi, and rhythmic nuances. “[The erhu player’s] relationship to the principal singer is extremely close and, as a result, is critical to the success of a performance.” Moreover, the woodblock and erhu players are the only instrumentalists who read from the coded script during a performance (Yung 1989: 14, 24, 28). The melodic ensemble consists of bowed lutes (an erhu, Fig. 1; yehu, Figs. 2a and 2b; and three long-neck lutes almost identical to the erhu in construction), plucked lutes (sanxian; pipa; yueqin, Fig. 3; and qinqin), a struck zither (the yangqin), and aerophones (dizi, a transverse flute; xiao, an end-blown flute; and guan, a loud double-reed instrument). Although convention generally dictates the choice of instrumental accompaniment required for a dramatic situation, the melodic ensemble usually accompanies the singing in heterophony, but there are instances in which tradition prescribes a specific instrumentation (Yung 1989: 27–31, 73).
Because of the several levels at which creativity and convention intersect, “a play seldom remains unchanged in different performance situations, and a tune, when repeated, never sounds the same.” Thus, Yung concludes, “the dynamic creative process is as essential to the understanding of a musical tradition as are its static, structural features” (1989: ix–x).
The traditions that the Chinese population cultivated in Cuba have not been sufficiently studied. Research conducted for an atlas of traditional /popular culture in Cuba, which surveyed artistic manifestations across all sectors of the population, detected this lacuna. In 1987 and 1991, respectively, two distinguished researchers, José Baltar Rodríguez and Wilfredo Díaz Guerrero, completed important monographs on the subject. They collected a vast array of historical references and interviewed over fifty older Chinese musicians who had participated in the last phase of opera performances, as well as a number of Cuban informants. One of their most important projects was the reconstruction of the “Danza del León,” which, first performed in 1930 for the Lunar New Year celebration, subsequently was incorporated into Havana’s carnival festivities until the 1950s (Díaz Guerrero 1991: 98). These researchers also were responsible for an attempt to revive an ensemble associated with the activities of the Chung Wa Casino, which in the late 1990s still holds some traditional celebrations.
The eventual contact between more recent generations of Cubans and Chinese descendants led to performances of Chinese traditional music on Western instruments, among them banjos, saxophones, xylophones, and ukeleles, namely those in Cuban ensembles influenced by popular styles from the United States. Conversely, the Chinese repertoire was expanded to a limited extent by including Cuban and international genres that Chinese musicians and singers would learn by ear and perform on their own traditional instruments (Díaz Guerrero 1991: 99). Some of the instruments from these extinct ensembles are now at the Museo Municipal in downtown Havana, where Chinatown is located. Many Chinese musicians who kept their instruments still play them at a few and sporadic events. There is also a small collection of well-preserved instruments at Havana’s Museo Nacional de la Música that includes a mouth organ (sheng); several flutes; and chordophones associated with Cantonese opera performances, such as the erhu (a two-string bowed chordophone that fulfills the leading melodic role in the accompanying ensemble, Fig. 1), several struck zithers (the yangqin that plays the second most important melodic role in the Cantonese opera ensemble [Yung 1989: 29]), a yehu (the mellow-sounding two-string bowed chordophone whose soundbox is made of a halved coconut shell, Figs. 2a and 2b), and a yueqin (the short-necked plucked lute popularly known in English as “moon guitar,” Fig. 3). Also displayed is a corneta china (suona), the shrill double-reed aerophone described by Sibyl Marcuse as “the oboe of the Chinese population of Cuba” (1964: 537).
Fig. 1: Erhu at the Museo Nacional de la Música, La Habana. Photo courtesy of María Teresa Linares, former Museum Director.
Figs. 2a and 2b: Yehu at the Museo Nacional de la Música , La Habana. Photo courtesy of María Teresa Linares.
Fig. 3: Yueqin at the Museo Nacional de la Música, La Habana. Photo courtesy of María Teresa Linares.
In Cuba, the so-called corneta china was incorporated into the instrumental ensemble that accompanies congas in Santiago de Cuba’s carnival parades (Fig. 4). According to ethnomusicologist María Elena Vinueza (1992),
It is impossible to imagine the boisterous sound of a carnival’s conga in the fiery region of Santiago de cuba without the peculiarly strident and nasal sound of the corneta China. Its acoustical properties, especially its penetratingly high sound that can be heard at great distances, made it the ideal instrument to lead the collective singing at huge gatherings such as carnival. In this city the corneta China joined the idiophones and membranophones of the congas’ instrumental ensemble. For its construction, local craftsmen gradually replaced original materials with native ones: the resistant leaf of the yarey (a species of Copernicia) replaced the bamboo used for the reeds; in addition to cedar, craftsmen used mahogany, baría, ácana, and granadillo for the pipe; the bell was made of copper, or of an alloy of copper and tin. The corneta China first entered the ensemble of a comparsa in Havana as a picturesque element in the early 1900s, and, by 1913, it had reached the city of Santiago de Cuba. Since 1915 it is the conga’s most characteristic instrument and a symbol of the celebration of carnival. (see also Rodriguez González 1997: ii, 502–509.)
Fig. 4: Corneta china reproduced from Helio Orovio’s Diccionario de la música cubana (1981: 103).
The conga ensemble that adopted the corneta china (or Chinese suona) in Santiago de Cuba consists of membranophones and iron idiophones, thereby associating the double-reed instrument with percussion. In this context, the corneta china assumed the role of soloist improvising on fragments from popular melodies in the call-and-response structure of the singing. It would be interesting to explore the degree to which the corneta china retained its association with percussion in Cuba, given that, in the orchestra that accompanies Cantonese opera, a pair of large and small instruments called suona almost always are played together with percussion and considered a part of this group, despite the association of aerophones with the melodic ensemble. The probable reason for associating the suona with percussion in this context is that its dramatic functions coincide with those of the percussion ensemble within the dual grouping of instruments underscoring the clearly differentiated roles that tradition prescribes in Cantonese opera. For instance, the beginning of a play is announced by the suona and the percussion group playing a fixed tune performed for curtain-raising (Yung 1989: 21, 25).
Most of the instruments in the Museo Nacional de la Música collection were brought from China and still have their trademarks. They were the personal property of musicians who were hired in the past to join the orchestras of touring troupes and also performed at traditional celebrations, parties, dinners, and on live radio broadcasts that reached large audiences. Although these musicians would get together to practice when their services were needed, they did not form stable ensembles.
The difficulties faced by the Chinese who attempted to reinvigorate the production of Cantonese opera in Cuba—especially after the exodus in the late 1940s—partially can explain the decline of this tradition on the island, at least on a surface level. In general, the majority of actors/musicians were not carriers of the tradition, but rather tenacious individuals determined to learn specific manifestations of ancient performance practices in an effort to preserve them. Many lacked systematic training and most were unfamiliar with the language and dialect. The arduous process of trying to memorize most likely the static structural features of a genre essentially based on a dynamic creative process that requires training in the tradition’s system of codes, as well as the recreation of legends, myths, and narratives of a historical or semi-historical nature that no longer were integral to their cultural environment, must have strained their endurance. Moreover, a majority of makeshift performers were merchants and workers, or members of a single family who would mount productions for their own enjoyment during their free time. Complex sets of symbols and a long history of orally transmitted performance practices—expressed through elaborate costumes, colors, make-up, coded poetic scripts, formalized role-playing, a broad spectrum of oral delivery types, and supporting instrumental music—converge in this highly stylized dramatic tradition that relies on a process of controlled group improvisation based on implied but unformulated rules. In the absence of that shared substratum of “historically determined and socially enforced” (Yung 1989: x) accumulation of practice and experience we call “tradition,” Chinese opera, “transplanted” as it were to a culturally incompatible environment, could not but fade when the lack of new immigrants, touring professional companies, and visits to China by Cuban groups failed to reenergize it. As Chinese descendants in Cuba became increasingly distant from their cultural roots, the substitution of Western instruments and melodic formulas for traditional ones went hand in hand with a loss of repertoire, costumes, props, and even tuning systems. Although Chinese-Cuban musicians were always aware of the importance of adjusting their instruments to the same tuning, using a flute, for instance, as their guide, some would search for the pitches G and D in their memory to tune to a seven-pitch scale. This was the manner in which amateur performers of great artistic sensibility would tune empirically and play their instruments, obstinately trying to keep alive a semblance of their cultural past. The musicians who still remember how to play their instruments were taught at the music studio of Havana’s Teatro Pacífico by the last remaining masters associated with opera performances in China.
In the late 1990s the Chung Wa Casino still stands as a stronghold of traditional celebrations. Its directors are Cubans of Chinese ancestry or naturalized Chinese immigrants who promote their culture by maintaining a bond between them and younger generations. The embassy of the People’s Republic of China has worked closely with them and continues to provide substantial support. In addition to centralizing activities, the Chung Wa Casino organizes cultural events and offers language instruction. This institution also maintains alive the entrenched tradition of Chinese medicine on the island, presently dispensing treatments that keep abreast of the latest advancements in China.
We do not believe that a process of sustained and lasting transculturation took place during the period in which Chinese cultural traditions—as represented mainly by Cantonese opera and a few dances practiced in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos, and perhaps a few other cities with significant numbers of Chinese descendants—were practiced most actively in Cuba. Except for the adoption of the suona, known in Cuba as corneta china, most of the elements that Cubans appropriated remain exogenous to Cuban culture. These include anecdotes, linguistic adulterations, dress, and some occasional pentatonic melodies that surface during carnival celebrations and in some popular musical comedies.
The tendency to include “exotic” themes in carnival festivities—and Chinese themes in particular—was characteristic of almost all Cuban communities. Accordingly, ethnic identity in the comparsa “Los Chinos Buenos” that took to the streets of Havana during one carnival was reduced to whites and blacks wearing Chinese attire. In Santiago de Cuba, the well-known “Comparsa de las Kimonas” involved a group of men wearing kimonos and performing choreographies associated with the carnival music of paseos, namely popular music ensembles of trumpets, saxophones, trombones, and Cuban percussion playing sones, guarachas, and merengues. Undoubtedly attracted by its timbric quality, musicians in Santiago de Cuba adopted the corneta china, which plays an improvisational melodic role in relation to choruses of congas. Initially cornetas chinas were purchased in Havana’s Chinatown, but demand later prompted craftsmen from Santiago de Cuba to build them locally. After the death of the last craftsman, cornetas chinas have been imported from Korea. (See Argeliers León and María Teresa Linares, “The Comparsa in Cuba,” in this volume.)
Another cosmetic remnant of the presence of Chinese traditions in Cuba surfaced in a few works by composers who used pentatonic melodies with the intention of evoking a generic association with “the Chinese.” An interesting composition in this vein is “Ahí viene el chino” (Here comes the Chinaman) from the Danzas cubanas for piano by the iconic Ernesto Lecuona (1895–1963), a prodigiously prolific composer and virtuoso pianist whose vast canvas of danzas captured enduring musical portraits of Cuban life (Ex. 1).
As the remaining traces of cultural expressions that sustained Chinese immigrants in Cuba linger on only in the memory of the last generations of descendants, they themselves are now a part of the broader spectrum of Cuban culture and receptive to global trends, far removed from the music of their roots. Cuban musicologists believe that the cultural legacy of the Chinese in Cuba should be rescued from oblivion. This complex effort, barely sketched in these pages, would require the cooperation of experts from both countries and logistical support from both governments. Most importantly, it would contribute to our knowledge of the dynamics of cultural behavior in incompatible environments.
Ex. 1: “Ahí viene el chino” from Danzas cubanas by Ernesto Lecuona (1895–1963). Copyright 1929, Edward B. Marks Music Company, copyright renewed. Used by permission, all rights reserved.
Baltar Rodríguez, José 1987. “El teatro chino tradicional, vehículo de preservación y transmisión de valores culturales en las asociaciones de inmigrantes chinos en la Ciudad de La Habana.” La Habana: unpublished monograph.
__________________ 1988. “Los chinos en la nación cubana,” Revolución y cultura 7 (July).
__________________ 1989. “Presencia de los immigrantes chinos en la Ciudad de La Habana y el surgimiento de sus asociaciones tradicionales,” paper presented at the first symposium on “El Primer Oriente Ibérico” (Madrid).
Baltar Rodríguez, José, and Raúl Simanca 1989. “Apuntes para el estudio de las asociaciones patronímicas de inmigrantes chinos en Ciudad de La Habana,” paper presented at the second “Simposio de la Cultura de Ciudad de La Habana” (La Habana).
Chufat Latour, Antonio 1927. Apunte histórico de los chinos en Cuba. La Habana: Molina y Cía.
Díaz Guerrero, Wilfredo 1991. “Aproximación al estudio de la práctica musical en el antiguo barrio chino de La Habana.” La Habana: unpublished monograph.
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Guanche Pérez, Jesús 1996. Componentes étnicos de la nación cubana. La Habana: Editorial Unión.
Iznaga, Diana 1989. Transculturación en Fernando Ortiz. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales.
Marcuse, Sibyl 1964. Musical instruments: A comprehensive dictionary. New York: Doubleday.
Mesa Díaz, Juan 1992. “Un discreto acercamiento al Casino Chung Wah.” La Habana: unpublished essay.
Pérez de la Riva, Juan 1975. El barracón y otros ensayos. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales.
Rodríguez González, Santiago 1997. “Corneta china” in Instrumentos de la música folclórico-popular de Cuba, 2 vols. and Atlas. La Habana: Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Música Cubana—Editorial de Ciencias Sociales—Empresa Geocuba, vol. 2, 502–509.
Vinueza, María Elena 1992. Unpublished information on aerophones of traditional use in Cuba commissioned for these volumes.
Yung, Bell 1989. Cantonese opera: Performance as creative process. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.