Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hakka Clan Village

The Hakka people originally came from the northern provinces and settled in the south mostly to get 
away from persecution and to find agricultural land to develop. The Chinese characters for Hakka literally 
mean "guest families"  There were five major migrations of the Hakka people over the centuries from the 
north to the southern areas and around the world. 

Sam Tung Uk is a traditional Hakka walled village that was founded by a Chan clan who settled in Hong Kong in the 18th century.  In the mid 18th century,Chan Yam-shing of the clan came with others
to present day Tsuen Wan and they constructed seawalls to reclaim land which they then could farm.
The upper photo was taken between 1951-1953.  There's not a rice paddy to be seen
 anywhere in Hong Kong today!!  The new school will be built in this area where once 
there were rice fields on the mountain sides.
Garden on the outside of the village.
This guy was practising his sword drills in the garden!
You often see groups of people practicing together in the mornings with swords, fans, and
doing Tai Chi.
View from above of the layout of the village.
Entrance to the village.  There were a group of University students touring the museum, and they
insisted they get pictures taken with us!!
Try lifting this pot!! It was used for storing grain.
They were considerably shorter back then!
Tea pot resting on a small heating element.  Fire was built in the bottom of the orange pot.

Kitchen oven.  It must have been unbearably hot in the summer, because there was no breeze coming
through the walkways between the various rooms.
Typical eating area.
Above the eating area is the sleeping room.
Winnowing machine.  Hand cranked!  Probably quit an innovative invention in its day.
Long narrow walkways.

Checking out some of the various foods that were made.

Fried rice cakes.
The name itself would make you want to pass these by!!

Kitchen utensils. The wire mesh strainer is still used here all the time.
Typical head gear for Hakka women.  The Hakka people refused to participate in the practice
 of binding  woman's feet.

These are called cool hats which were worn in the fields by the woman, to protect them from the sun and insects. In the summer you see workers wearing these hats all over Hong Kong.  The farm work was done mostly by the woman and the men either took other jobs in the military or even in other countries, and then sent for their families. 

Hakka women wore basic black without much ornamentation.
I just liked this big tub!

In front of each door is this square depression which was used to collect rain water for the homes use.

The coolies were paid according to how many sacks of rice they hauled.  For every one or two sacks
they were given a bamboo stick and then was paid for the appropriate amount at the end of the day.

Rice was kept in these barrels.

Look at the highchair on the right!
Although is looked rather spartan the beds had beautiful carvings around them.

Beautiful lanterns.
Ancestral alter with flower shaped lanterns. The main place of worship for the clan.  Little alters
like the one under the bench are all over the place here, sometimes sitting on sidewalks beside 
doors or built into the outside walls of the buildings. 
Child's chair and swinging baby cradle.
Wedding palanquin.  The bride sat inside and was carried to her wedding.  Wine jars are behind it and 
the hamper in front of the jars were used to carry food by brides returning for visits to their
own families.

The wedding cage would hold a hen and a cock, and would be sent to the brides
family as a betrothal gift.  The boxes behind were used to put wedding cakes in that were sent to
the brides family also as betrothal gifts.  The pole was used so you could carry two at a time.  A roast pig could be put on the top cover when it was turned up side down.

Beautifully carved wooden trunk.
Don't fall into the water reservoir as you go to the front door!!

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