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Arts: Ma Family History

In this video segment from Faces of America, musician Yo-Yo Ma learns about his ancestors in China. Historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. also travels to China to meet with Yo-Yo Ma’s distant relatives to talk about the Ma family history and more specifically, how it has been preserved in traditional Chinese texts. Gates articulates the details surrounding these texts and describes information Ma’s ancestors felt necessary to preserve, such as essays, linage rules, moral guidelines, poems and short biographies.

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