Una Tarde en Sagua La Grande

An Afternoon in Sagua La Grand, Cuba

Snapshots by Ramón Cabrales, Cuba

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Sagua La Grande
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Sagua La Grande
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Sagua La Grande
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Sagua La Grande
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There were many Chinese in Cuba...and I saw many of them, especially in Sagua la Grande, which was their neighbourhood..That how I came to see Chinese theatre. The centre was large, made of wood, and was very well constructed. The Chinese had plenty of talent for this kind of thing. They decorated everything in bright colours and on the stage they made ugly faces and leaped on to each other's backs. The audiences applauded like crazy, and the Chinese bowed politely. The Chinese seemed the most elegant people in Cuba...They had their own clubs in Sagua La Grand where they met and spoke their own languages and read their own newspapers out loud. The Chinese were successful in   business. They had their own shops that sold all sorts of strange things, paper dolls for children, perfumes and other stuff. Most   of Tacon Street in Sagua was owned by Chinese. They had tailor shops, sweet shops and opium dens there. Another thing, they enjoyed gambling...Both whites and negroes went to Sagua to play with them...I remember they used to burn papers as did the puppeteers of Remedios and toss them on the ground till they were reduced to ashes and then pull coloured streamers out of the ashes...

Biografía de un cimarrón (The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave. Esteban Montejo.) Miguel Barnet. Instituto de etnología y folklore, Havana (1966)