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Tanka people

Tanka people
Total population
4,569,000 [2]
Regions with significant populations
China Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Hainan, Zhejiang
Languages
Tanka dialect of Yue Chinese,
Fuzhou dialect of Min Dong Chinese (Fuzhou Tanka), other varieties of Chinese
Religion
Chinese folk religions (including Taoism, Confucianism, ancestral worship and others) and Mahayana Buddhism.
Traditional Tanka people clothes in a Hong Kong museum
Tanka people
Chinese 1. 蜑家/疍家
2. 艇家
3. 水上人
4. 曲蹄
5. 蜑民
6. 曲蹄囝
Literal meaning 1. Dàn (egg/vermin/..., used only as proper noun in Modern Chinese) families
2. boat households
3. people on water
4. crooked hoof, bowlegged
5. Dàn people
6. crooked hoof children; bowlegged children

The Tankas (simplified Chinese: 疍家; traditional Chinese: 蜑家; pinyin: Dànjiā; Jyutping: daan6 gaa1) or boat people are an ethnic subgroup in Southern China[1] who have traditionally lived on junks in coastal parts of Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Hainan, and Zhejiang provinces, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Though many now live onshore, some from the older generations still live on their narrow boats and pursue their traditional livelihood of fishing. Historically, the Tankas were considered to be outcasts. Since they were boat people who lived by the sea, they were sometimes referred to as "sea gypsies" by the Chinese and British. Tanka origins can be traced back to the native ethnic minorities of southern China who may have taken refuge on the sea and gradually assimilated into Han culture. However, Tanka have preserved many of their native traditions that are not found in Han Chinese culture.

A small number of Tankas also live in parts of Vietnam. There they are called Dan (Đàn) and are classified as a subgroup of the Ngái ethnicity.

Contents

  • Note on the term 1
  • Prehistory 2
    • Mythical origins 2.1
    • Baiyue connection and origins in Southern China 2.2
      • Yao connections 2.2.1
    • Historiography 2.3
    • Scholarly opinions on Baiyue connection 2.4
  • History 3
    • Chinese colonization and Sinicization 3.1
    • Ming Dynasty 3.2
      • Macau and Portuguese rule 3.2.1
    • Qing dynasty 3.3
      • Lifestyle and culture 3.3.1
      • Canton (Guangzhou) 3.3.2
    • Modern China 3.4
    • Under British rule in Hong Kong 3.5
      • Shanghai 3.5.1
      • Commerce 3.5.2
  • Surnames 4
  • DNA tests and disease 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8

Note on the term

The term Tanka is now considered derogatory and no longer in common use.[2] These boat dwellers are now referred to in China as "on-water people" (Chinese: 水上人; pinyin: shuǐshàng rén; Jyutping: seoi2seong6 jan4),[3] or "Nam Hoi Yan" (Chinese: 南海人).[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] No standardized English translation of this term exists. "Boat People" is a commonly used translation, although it may be confused with the similar term that applies to Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong. The term "Boat Dwellers" was proposed by Dr. Lee Ho Yin of The University of Hong Kong in 1999, and it has been adopted by the Hong Kong Museum of History for its permanent exhibition.[12]

Both the Tanka and the Cantonese speak the Cantonese language.[13][14]

"Boat people" was a general category for both the Tanka and the Hoklo, who also made their living on boats. They spoke different dialects, and the Hoklo originated from Fujian. The Hoklo used the term Hoklo to refer to themselves, while the name Tanka was used only by Cantonese to describe the Tanka.

There were two distinct categories of people based on their way of life, and they were further divided into different groups. The Hakka and Cantonese lived on land; the Tanka and Hoklo lived on boats and were both classified as boat people.[15]

The differences between the sea dwelling Tanka and land dwellers were not based merely on their way of life. Cantonese and Hakka who lived on land fished sometimes for a living, but these land fishermen never mixed or married with the Tanka fishermen. Tanka were barred from Cantonese and Hakka celebrations.[16]

British reports on Hong Kong described the Tanka and Hoklo living in Hong Kong "since time unknown".[17][18] The encyclopedia Americana described Hoklo and Tanka as living in Hong Kong "since prehistoric times".[19][20][21]

Prehistory

Mythical origins

Some Chinese myths claim that animals were the ancestors of the Barbarians, including the Tanka people.[22][23] Some ancient Chinese sources claimed that water snakes were the ancestors of the Tanka, saying that they could last for three days in the water, without breathing air .[24]

Baiyue connection and origins in Southern China

The Tanka are considered by some scholars to be related to other minority peoples of southern China, such as the Yao and Li people (Miao).[25] The Amoy University anthropologist Ling Hui-hsiang wrote on his theory of the Fujian Tanka being descendants of the Bai Yue. He claimed that Guangdong and Fujian Tanka are definitely descended from the old Pai Yue peoples, and that they may have been ancestors of the Malay race.[26] The Tanka inherited their lifestyle and culture from the original Yue peoples who inhabited Hong Kong during the Neolithic era.[27] After the First Emperor of China conquered Hong Kong, groups from northern and central China moved into the general area of Guangdong, including Hong Kong.[28]

One theory proposes that the ancient Yue inhabitants of southern China are the ancestors of the modern Tanka boat people. The majority of western academics subscribe to this theory, and use Chinese historical sources. (The ancient Chinese used the term "Yue" to refer to all southern barbarians.)[29][30] The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, states that the ancestors of the Tanka were native people.[31][32]

The Tanka's ancestors had been pushed to the southern coast by Chinese peasants who took over their land.[33][34]

During the British colonial era in Hong Kong, the Tanka were considered a separate ethnic group from the Punti, Hakka, and Hoklo.[35] Punti is another name for Cantonese, who came from mainly Guangdong districts. The Hakka and Hoklo are not considered as Puntis.

The Tanka are compared to the She people by some historians, practicing Han Chinese culture, while being an ethnic minority descended from natives of Southern China.[36]

Yao connections

Chinese scholars and gazettes described the Tanka as a "Yao" tribe, with some other sources noting that "Tan" people lived at Lantau, and other sources saying "Yao" people lived there. As a result, they refused to obey the salt monopoly of the Song dynasty Chinese government. The county gazetteer of Sun On in 1729 described the Tanka as "Yao barbarians", and the Tanka were viewed as animals.[37]

Wolfram Eberhard suggested that the Yueh are related to the Tanka, that the Chinese admixture in the Tanka is due to the Tanka prostitutes serving Chinese, and that the Tanka replaced their own culture with Chinese culture, including the Chinese language.[38]

In modern times, the Tanka claim to be ordinary Chinese who happen to fish for a living, and the local dialect is used as their language.[39]

Historiography

Some southern Chinese historic views of the Tanka were that they were a separate aboriginal ethnic group, "not Han Chinese at all".[40] Chinese Imperial records also claim that the Tanka were descendants of aboriginals.[41] Tanka were also accused of being "sea gypsies".[10]

The Tanka were regarded as Yueh and not Chinese, they were divided into three classifications, "the fish-Tan, the oyster-Tan, and the wood-Tan" the 1100s, based on what they did for a living.[42][43]

The three groups of Punti, Hakka, and Hoklo, all of whom spoke different Chinese dialects, despised and fought each other during the late Qing dynasty. However, they were all united in their overwhelming hatred for the Tanka, since the aboriginals of Southern China were the ancestors of the Tanka.[44] The Cantonese Punti had displaced the Tanka aboriginals, after they began conquering southern China.[45]

The Chinese poet Su Dongpo wrote a poem in which mentioned the Tanka.[46]

The Nankai University of Tianjin published the Nankai social and economic quarterly, Volume 9 in 1936, and it referred to the Tanka as aboriginal descendants before Chinese assimilation.[47] The scholar Jacques Gernet also wrote that the Tanka were aboriginals, who were known for being pirates, which hindered Qing dynasty attempts to assert control in Guangdong.[48]

Scholarly opinions on Baiyue connection

The most widely held theory is that the Tanka are the descendants of the native Yue inhabitants of Guangdong before the Han Cantonese moved in.[49] The theory stated that originally the Yueh peoples inhabited the region, when the Chinese conquest began, the Chinese either absorbed or expelled the Yue to southern regions. The Tanka, according to this theory, are descended from Yue who preserved their separate culture.[50]

A minority of scholars who challenged this theory, deny that the Tanka are descended from natives, instead claiming they are basically the same as other Han Cantonese who dwell on land, claiming that neither the land dwelling Han Cantonese nor the water dwelling Tanka have more aboriginal blood than the other, with the Tanka boat people being as Chinese and as Han as ordinary Cantonese.[51]

Eugene Newton Anderson claimed that there was no evidence for any of the conjectures put forward by scholars on the Tanka's origins, citing Chen, who stated that "to what tribe or race they once belonged or were once akin to is still unknown".[52]

Some researchers say the origin of the Tanka is multifaceted, with a portion of them having native Yueh ancestors and others originating from other sources.[53]

History

Chinese colonization and Sinicization

The Song dynasty engaged in extensive colonization of the region with Chinese people.[54]

Due to the extensive sinicization of the Tanka, they now identify as Chinese, despite their non Chinese ancestry from the natives of Southern China.[55]

The Cantonese exploited the Tanka, using their own customs against them to acquire fish to sell from the Tanka.[56]

Ming Dynasty

Macau and Portuguese rule

Tanka woman in Macau

The Portuguese, who were granted Macau during the Ming dynasty, often married Tanka women since Han Chinese women would not have relations with them. Some of the Tanka's descendants became Macanese people

Some Tanka children were enslaved by Portuguese raiders.[57]

The Chinese poet Wu Li wrote a poem, which included a line about the Portuguese in Macau being supplied with fish by the Tanka.[58][59][60][61]

When the Portuguese arrived at Macau, women from Goa (part of Portuguese India), Siam, Indochina, and Malaya became their wives, rarely were they Chinese women.[62] The Tanka women were among the only people in China willing to mix and marry with the Portuguese, with normal Chinese women refusing to do so.[63]

The majority of marriages between Portuguese and natives was between Portuguese men and women of Tanka origin, who were considered the lowest class of people in China and had relations with Portuguese settlers and sailors, or low class Chinese women.[64] Western men like the Portuguese were refused by high class Chinese women, who did not marry foreigners.[65]

Literature in Macau was written about love affairs and marriage between the Tanka women and Portuguese men, like "A-Chan, A Tancareira", by Henrique de Senna Fernandes.[66][67][68][69]

Qing dynasty

Tanka. Tankia (tan'ka, tan'kyä), n. [Chinese, literally, 'the Tan family or tribe'; < Tan, an aboriginal tribe who formerly occupied the region lying to the south and west of the Meiing (mountains) in southern China, + kia (pronounced ka in Canton), family, people.] The boat population of Canton in southern China, the descendants of an aboriginal tribe named Tan, who were driven by the advance of Chinese civilization to live in boats upon the river, and who have for centuries been forbidden to live on the land. "Since 1730 they have been permitted to settle in villages in the immediate neighbourhood of the river, but are still excluded from competition for official honours, and are forbidden by custom from intermarrying with the rest of the people. (Q&es, Glossary of Reference.)[70]

The Tankas originally included many refugees to the sea and were considered a non-Chinese aboriginal ethnic group, classified by the Qing government as "mean".[71][72] The Yongzheng Emperor freed them and several other "mean" groups from this status in a series of edicts from 1723 to 1731.[73] They mostly worked as fishermen and tended to gather at some bays. Some built markets or villages on the shore, while others continued to live on their junks or boats. They claimed to be Han Chinese.[74]

The Qing edict said "Cantonese people regard the Dan households as being of the mean class (beijian zhi) and do not allow them to settle on shore. The Dan households, for their part, dare not struggle with the common people", this edict was issued in 1729.[75]

As Hong Kong developed, some of the fishing grounds in Hong Kong became badly polluted or were reclaimed, and so became land. Those Tankas who only own small boats and cannot fish far out to sea are forced to stay inshore in bays, gathering together like floating villages.[76]

Lifestyle and culture

Always there is plenty to see, as the Tanka. the people who live in the boats, are full of life. They are an aboriginal tribe, speaking an altogether different language from the Chinese. On the land they are like fish out of water. They are said never to intermarry with landlubbers, but somehow or other their tongue has crept into many villages in the Chiklung section. The Chinese say the Tanka speech sounds like that of the Americans. It seems to have no tones. A hardy race, the Tanka are untouched by the epidemics that visit our coast, perhaps because they live so much off land. Each family has a boat, its own little kingdom, and, there being plenty of fish, all look better fed than most of our land neighbors. Christianity is, with a few rare exceptions, unknown to them. The only window of our Chiklung house gives the missioner a full view of the village life of some of the boat tribe. The window at present is just the absence of the south wall of the little loft to the shop. Wooden bars can be inserted in holes against robbers.[77]

Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America in 1921

Before leaving the market, by special invitation we had a swim from off one of the sampans (a term used around Canton: here "baby boat" is the name). The water was almost hot and the current surprisingly swift. Nevertheless the Tanka men and boys go in several times a day, and wash jacket and trousers, undressing and dressing in the water. They seem to let the clothes dry on them. Women and girls also jump in daily.[78]

Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America in 1921

Masonry was unknown by the water dwelling Tanka.[79]

Canton (Guangzhou)

The Tanka also formed a class of prostitutes in Canton operating the boats in Canton's Pearl River which functioned as brothels, they did not practice foot binding and their dialect was unique. They were forbidden to marry Chinese or live on land. Their ancestors were the natives of Southern China before the Chinese expelled them to their current home on the water.[80]

Modern China

During the intensive

  • Chaves, Jonathan (1993). Singing of the source: nature and god in the poetry of the Chinese painter Wu Li. University of Hawaii Press.  
  • Christina Miu Bing Cheng (1999). Macau: a cultural Janus. Hong Kong University Press.  
  • Great Britain. Parliament (1882). Correspondence respecting the alleged existence of Chinese slavery in Hong Kong: presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty Volume 3185 of C (Series) (Great Britain. Parliament) (reprint ed.). Printed by G.E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O. 
  •  This article incorporates text from Europe in China: the history of Hongkong from the beginning to the year 1882, by Eitel, Ernest John, a publication from 1895 now in the public domain in the United States.
  • João de Pina-Cabral (2002). Between China and Europe: person, culture and emotion in Macao. Volume 74 of London School of Economics monographs on social anthropology. Berg.  
  • Hansson, Anders (1996). Chinese outcasts: discrimination and emancipation in late imperial China. Volume 37 of Sinica Leidensia. BRILL.  
  •  This article incorporates text from The Century dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language, Part 21, by Whitney, William Dwight, a publication from 1891 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia: The Century dictionary ... prepared under the superintendence of William Dwight Whitney ... rev. & enl. under the superintendence of Benjamin E. Smith, by Whitney, William Dwight and Smith, Benjamin Eli, a publication from 1911 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Middle kingdom: a survey of the ... Chinese empire and its inhabitants ..., by Williams, Samuel Wells, a publication from 1848 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Field afar, Volumes 15–16, by Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, Catholic Foreign Mission Bureau of Boston, a publication from 1921 now in the public domain in the United States.

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  32. ^ "Tanka, n.1". Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 12 October 2014. Tanka, n.1 Pronunciation: /ˈtæŋkə/ Forms: Also tankia, tanchia. Etymology: < Chinese (Cantonese), < Chinese tan, lit. ‘egg’, + Cantonese ka, in South Mandarin kia, North Mandarin chia, family, people. The boat-population of Canton, who live entirely on the boats by which they earn their living: they are descendants of some aboriginal tribe of which Tan was apparently the name. Tanka boat, a boat of the kind in which these people live. 1839 Chinese Repository 7 506 The small boats of Tanka women are never without this appendage. 1848 S. W. Williams Middle Kingdom I. vii. 321 The tankia, or boat-people, at Canton form a class in some respects beneath the other portions of the community. 1848 S. W. Williams Middle Kingdom II. xiii. 23 A large part of the boats at Canton are tankia boats, about 25 feet long, containing only one room, and covered with movable mats, so contrived as to cover the whole vessel; they are usually rowed by women. 1909 Westm. Gaz. 23 Mar. 5/2 The Tankas, numbering perhaps 50,000 in all, gain their livelihood by ferrying people to and fro on the broad river with its creeks.  Chinese repository · 1832–1851 (20 vols.). Canton Samuel Wells Williams · The middle kingdom; a survey of the geography, government … of the Chinese empire and its inhabitants · 1848. New York Samuel Wells Williams · The middle kingdom; a survey of the geography, government … of the Chinese empire and its inhabitants · 1848. New York The Westminster gazette · 1893–1928. London [England]: J. Marshall http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/197535?rskey=FwlmXQ&result=1#eid http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/197535?result=1&rskey=FwlmXQ& http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/197535?rskey=CRdtvD&result=1#eid http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/197535?rskey=CRdtvD&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid
  33. ^ Sun Yat-sen Institute for Advancement of Culture and Education, Nanking (1940). T'ien hsia monthly, Volume 11. Kelly and Walsh, ltd. p. 342. But from the position of the sites it might be supposed that the inhabitants were pushed onto the seacoast by the pressure of other peoples and their survival may have lasted well into historic times, even possibly as late as the Sung dynasty (AD 960), the date, as we shall see, when Chinese peasants first began to migrate into this region. The Tanka might, in theory, be the descendants of these earlier peoples. They too are an ancient population living on the seaboard without any trace of their earlier habitat. But as we have seen in the first chapter they have been so 
  34. ^ Sun Yat-sen Institute for Advancement of Culture and Education, Nanking (1940). T'ien hsia monthly, Volume 11. Kelly and Walsh, ltd. p. 342. and they were probably evolved as a result of contact with foreign peoples, even as late as the Portuguese. 
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  48. ^ Jacques Gernet (1996). A history of Chinese civilization (2 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 471.  
  49. ^ Eugene Newton Anderson (1970). The floating world of Castle Peak Bay. Volume 4 of Anthropological studies. American Anthropological Association. p. 13. The most widely accepted theory of the origins of these people is that they are derived from the aboriginal tribes of the area. Most scholars (Eberhard, 1942; Lo, 1955, 1963; Ho, 1965; and others influenced by them) have agreed that the 
  50. ^ Eugene Newton Anderson (1970). The floating world of Castle Peak Bay. Volume 4 of Anthropological studies. American Anthropological Association. p. 14. meant little more than "Barbarian." the Yueh seem to have included quite civilized peoples and also wild hill tribes. The Chinese drove them south or assimilated them. One group maintained its identity, according to the theory, and became the boat people. Ho concludes that the word Tan originally covered a specific tribe, then was extended like Man further north to cover various groups. At first it referred to the Patung Tan people, then to the Lingnan Tan, i.e. 
  51. ^ Eugene Newton Anderson (1970). The floating world of Castle Peak Bay. Volume 4 of Anthropological studies. American Anthropological Association. p. 13. and boat people are such as one would expect between groups leading such different ways of life. in culture, the boat people are Chinese. Ward (1965) and McCoy (1965) point out that the land people are probably not free from aboriginal intermixture themselves, and conclude that the boat people are probably not more mixed. As Ward states, "(l)... the boat-people's descent is probably neither more nor less 'non-Han' than that of most other Cantonese-speaking inhabitants of Kwangtung. 
  52. ^ Eugene Newton Anderson (1970). The floating world of Castle Peak Bay. Volume 4 of Anthropological studies. American Anthropological Association. p. 15. Neither theory for the origin of the boat people has much proof. Neither would stand up in court. Chen's conclusion is still valid today: "...to what tribe or race they once belonged or were once akin to is still unknown." (Chen, 1935:272) 
  53. ^ 梁廣漢 (1980). Profile of historic relics in the early stage of Hong Kong. 學津書店. p. 57. Tanka – They are boat-dwellers. Some of the Tanka are descendants of the Yueh ( jgi ), an aboriginal tribe in Southern China. Therefore, these Tanka can be regarded as the natives in the area. However, some Tanka came to the area in a 
  54. ^ Eugene Newton Anderson (1970). The floating world of Castle Peak Bay. Volume 4 of Anthropological studies. American Anthropological Association. p. 15. and others, pers. comm.). Certainly the Sung court did do so (Ng, 1961), and may well have been instrumental in the settlement of the region. At the fall of the Ming Dynasty almost four hundred years later, in 1644 ad, loyalists are 
  55. ^ Far Eastern economic review, Volume 24. Review Pub. Co. Ltd. 1958. p. 280. Historically there can be little doubt that the boat-people and a few of the hill villagers are of non-Chinese origin, but all now regard themselves as Chinese and speak Chinese dialects, the only traces of aboriginal descent (apart) 
  56. ^ Edward Stokes (2005). Edward Stokes, ed. 逝影留踪・香港1946–47 (Issue 5 of Harvard-Yenching Library studies). Hongkong Conservation Photography Foundation. p. 141.  
  57. ^ Charles Ralph Boxer (1948). Fidalgos in the Far East, 1550–1770: fact and fancy in the history of Macau. M. Nijhoff. p. 224. Some of these wants and strays found themselves in queer company and places in the course of their enforced sojourn in the Portuguese colonial empire. The Ming Shih's complain that the Portuguese kidnapped not only coolie or Tanka children but even those of educated persons, to their piratical lairs at Lintin and Castle Peak, is borne out by the fate of Barros' Chinese slave already 
  58. ^ Chaves, p. 53: Wu Li, like Bocarro, noted the presence in Macau both of black slaves and of non-Han Chinese such as the Tanka boat people, and in the third poem of his sequence he combines references to these two groups: Yellow sand, whitewashed houses: here the black men live; willows at the gates like sedge, still not sparse in autumn.
  59. ^ Chaves, p. 54: Midnight's when the Tanka come and make their harbor here; fasting kitchens for noonday meals have plenty of fresh fish. . .The second half of the poem unfolds a scene of Tanka boat people bringing in fish to supply the needs of fasting Christians.
  60. ^ Chaves, p. 141: Yellow sand, whitewashed houses: here the black men live; willows at the gates like sedge, still not sparse in autumn. Midnight's when the Tanka come and make their harbor here; fasting kitchens for noonday meals have plenty of fresh fish.
  61. ^ Chaves, p. 53: The residents Wu Li strives to reassure (in the third line of this poem) consisted — at least in 1635 when Antonio Bocarro, Chronicler-in-Chief of the State of India, wrote his detailed account of Macau (without actually having visited there) — of some 850 Portuguese families with "on the average about six slaves capable of bearing arms, amongst whom the majority and the best are negroes and such like," as well as a like number of "native families, including Chinese Christians . . . who form the majority [of the non-Portuguese residents] and other nations, all Christians." 146 (Bocarro may have been mistaken in declaring that all the Chinese in Macau were Christians.)
  62. ^ João de Pina-Cabral, p. 39: To be a Macanese is fundamentally to be from Macau with Portuguese ancestors, but not necessarily to be of Sino-Portuguese descent. The local community was born from Portuguese men. [...] but in the beginning the woman was Goanese, Siamese, Indo-Chinese, Malay – they came to Macau in our boats. Sporadically it was a Chinese woman.
  63. ^ João de Pina-Cabral, p. 39: When we established ourselves here, the Chinese ostracized us. The Portuguese had their wives, then, that came from abroad, but they could have no contact with the Chinese women, except the fishing folk, the tanka women and the female slaves. Only the lowest class of Chinese contacted with the Portuguese in the first centuries. But later the strength of Christianization, of the priests, started to convince the Chinese to become Catholic. [...] But, when they started to be Catholics, they adopted Portuguese baptismal names and were ostracized by the Chinese Buddhists. So they joined the Portuguese community and their sons started having Portuguese education without a single drop of Portuguese blood.
  64. ^ João de Pina-Cabral, p. 164: I was personally told of people that, to this day, continue to hide the fact that their mothers had been lower-class Chinese women—often even tanka (fishing folk) women who had relations with Portuguese sailors and soldiers.
  65. ^ João de Pina-Cabral, p. 165: In fact, in those days, the matrimonial context of production was usually constituted by Chinese women of low socio-economic status who were married to or concubies of Portuguese or Macanese men. Very rarely did Chinese women of higher status agree to marry a Westerner. As Deolinda argues in one of her short stories,"8 should they have wanted to do so out of romantic infatuation, they would not be allowed to
  66. ^ João de Pina-Cabral, p. 164: Henrique de Senna Fernandes, another Macanese author, wrote a short story about a tanka girl who has an affair with a Portuguese sailor. In the end, the man returns to his native country and takes their little girl with him, leaving the mother abandoned and broken-hearted. As her sailorman picks up the child, A-Chan's words are: 'Cuidadinho . . . cuidadinho' ('Careful . . . careful'). She resigns herself to her fate, much as she may never have recovered from the blow (1978).
  67. ^ Christina Miu Bing Cheng, p. 173: Her slave-like submissiveness is her only attraction to him. A-Chan thus becomes his slave/mistress, an outlet for suppressed sexual urges. The story is an archetypical tragedy of miscegenation. Just as the Tanka community despises A-Chan's cohabitation with a foreign barbarian, Manuel's colleagues mock his 'bad taste' ('gosto degenerado') (Senna Fernandes, 1978: 15) in having a tryst with a boat girl.
  68. ^ Christina Miu Bing Cheng, p. 173: As such, the Tanka girl is nonchalantly reified and dehumanized as a thing ( coisa). Manuel reduces human relations to mere consumption not even of her physical beauty (which has been denied in the description of A-Chan), but her 'Orientalness' of being slave-like and submissive.
  69. ^ Christina Miu Bing Cheng, p. 170: We can trace this fleeting and shallow relationship in Henrique de Senna Fernandes' short story, A-Chan, A Tancareira, (Ah Chan, the Tanka Girl) (1978). Senna Fernandes (1923–), a Macanese, had written a series of novels set against the context of Macau and some of which were made into films.
  70. ^ William Dwight Whitney, ed. (1891). The Century dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language, Part 21. The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language. The Century co. p. 6180. 
  71. ^ 疍民研究进展及文化地理学研究的新视角. None. Retrieved on 2012-03-02.
  72. ^ Samuel Wells Williams (1848). The Middle kingdom: a survey of the ... Chinese empire and its inhabitants ... (3 ed.). Wiley & Putnam. p. 321. 
  73. ^ Correspondence, p. 55
  74. ^ (水上居民)不见“连体船”. Gzlib.gov.cn (2008-02-25). Retrieved on 2012-03-02.
  75. ^ Hansson, p. 119: An imperial decision in 1729 stated that "Cantonese people regard the Dan households as being of the mean class (beijian zhi liu ^i§;£. Jft) and do not allow them to settle on shore. The Dan households, for their part, dare not struggle with the common people.
  76. ^ http://m.khpost.com/article/Life_in_floating_village_of_Cambodia-36035.html
  77. ^ Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, Catholic Foreign Mission Bureau of Boston (1921). The Field afar, Volumes 15–16. Catholic Foreign Mission Bureau of Boston. p. 18. The back door of our shop opens upon the river, making it handy for the dealer in ducks, who has his headquarters in the main room. We shall have no excuse for not enjoying a daily swim with the neighbors, and the stream gives an unlimited supply of not over-clean water for drinking and cooking. The fish and mussels, the latter unusually small, are being caught all day long right under our noses, for us and others. Nets, lines, and even bare hands are so busy that one wonders why the supply does nor fail. Frequently there is fishing V torchlight. Always there is plenty to see, as the Tanka. the people who live in the boats, are full of life. They are an aboriginal tribe, speaking an altogether different language from the Chinese. On the land the; are like fish out of water. They are said never to intermarry with lar.'ilubbers, but somehow or other their tongue has crept into many villages \r. the Chiklung section. The Chinese say the Tanka speech sounds like that of the Americans. It seems to ha.e no tones. A hardy race, the Ta>ii;i are untouched by the epidemics that visit our coast, perhaps because they live so much off land. Each family has a boat, its own little kingdom, and, there being plenty of fish, all look better fed than most of our land neighbors. Christianity is, with a few rare exceptions, unknown to them. The only window of our Chiklung house gives the missioner a full view of the village life of some of the boat tribe. The window at present is just the absence of the south wall of the little loft to the shop. Wooden bars can be inserted in holes against robbers. 
  78. ^ Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, Catholic Foreign Mission Bureau of Boston (1921). The Field afar, Volumes 15–16. Catholic Foreign Mission Bureau of Boston. p. 19. 
  79. ^ Sun Yat-sen Institute for Advancement of Culture and Education, Nanking (1940). T'ien hsia monthly, Volume 11. Kelly and Walsh, ltd. p. 336. The evidence of dwelling therefore supports the theory that one section of the population is culturally different from the other. On the one hand are the Tanka and Hoklo who do not know the use of stone in building, who live by fishing and who represent in fact a water culture. On the other hand is the culture of the wall- 
  80. ^ Robert Hans van Gulik (1974). Sexual life in ancient China: a preliminary survey of Chinese sex and society from ca. 1500 B.C. till 1644 A.D. Brill Archive. p. 308.  
  81. ^ White, Lynn T. III. , p. 262Shanghai: Revolution and Development in an Asian Metropolis"Shanghai–Suburb Relations, 1949–1966" in . Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 1981.
  82. ^ , Vol. 23, 1983Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong BranchW. Schofield: "The islands around Hong Kong (text of a talk given in 1937)", from
  83. ^ Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew, Katharine Caroline Bushnell (2006). Heathen Slaves and Christian Rulers. Echo Library. p. 11.  
  84. ^ John Mark Carroll (2007). A concise history of Hong Kong. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 36.  
  85. ^ Maria Jaschok, Suzanne Miers (1994). Maria Jaschok, Suzanne Miers, ed. Women and Chinese patriarchy: submission, servitude, and escape. Zed Books. p. 237.  
  86. ^ Henry J. Lethbridge (1978). Hong Kong, stability and change: a collection of essays. Oxford University Press. p. 75. but another source of supply was the daughters of the tanka, the boat population of kwangtung 
  87. ^ Henry J. Lethbridge (1978). Hong Kong, stability and change: a collection of essays. Oxford University Press. p. 75. The Tanka, it seems, not only supplied foreign shipping with provisions but foreigners with mistresses. They also supplied brothels with some of their inmates. As a socially disadvantaged group, they found prostitution a convenient 
  88. ^ Henry J. Lethbridge (1978). Hong Kong, stability and change: a collection of essays. Oxford University Press. p. 210. In the early days, such women were found usually among the Tanka boat population , a pariah group that infested the Pearl River delta region. A few of these women achieved the status of 'protected' woman (a kept mistress) and were 
  89. ^ Fanny M. Cheung (1997). Fanny M. Cheung, ed. EnGendering Hong Kong society: a gender perspective of women's status. Chinese University Press. p. 348.  
  90. ^ Virgil K. Y. Ho (2005). Understanding Canton: rethinking popular culture in the republican period. Oxford University Press. p. 256.  
  91. ^ Virgil K. Y. Ho (2005). Understanding Canton: rethinking popular culture in the republican period. Oxford University Press. p. 249.  
  92. ^ Australian National University. Institute of Advanced Studies (1993). East Asian history, Volumes 5–6. Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University. p. 110. In a late nineteenth-century popular novel, the bed-chamber of a 'saltwater girl ' (low-class Tanka prostitute who served foreigners), is described as nicely decorated with a number of Western household objects, which startles the young observer who is crazy about things western 
  93. ^ East Asian history, Volumes 5–6. Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University. 1993. p. 102. Ethnic prejudice towards the Tanka (boatpeople) women persisted throughout the Republican period. These women continued to be mistaken for prostitutes, probably because most of those who peddled ferry services between Canton and 
  94. ^ Virgil K. Y. Ho (2005). Understanding Canton: rethinking popular culture in the republican period. Oxford University Press. p. 228.  
  95. ^ Peter Hodge (1980). Peter Hodge, ed. Community problems and social work in Southeast Asia: the Hong Kong and Singapore experience. Hong Kong University Press. p. 196.  
  96. ^ Ejeas, Volume 1. Brill. 2001. p. 112. A popular contemporary magazine which followed closely the news in the 'flower business' (huashi) so recorded at least one case of such career advancement that occurred to a Tanka (boat-people) prostitute in Canton.44 To say that all 
  97. ^ Brill Academic Publishers (2001). European journal of East Asian studies, Volumes 1–2. Brill. p. 112. at least one case of such career advancement that occurred to a Tanka (boat-people) prostitute in Canton.44 To say 
  98. ^ Henry J. Lethbridge (1978). Hong Kong, stability and change: a collection of essays. Oxford University Press. p. 75. This exceptional class of Chinese residents here in Hong Kong consists principally of the women known in Hong Kong by the popular nickname " ham-shui- mui " (lit. salt water girls), applied to these members of the so-called Tan-ka or boat 
  99. ^ Peter Hodge (1980). Peter Hodge, ed. Community problems and social work in Southeast Asia: the Hong Kong and Singapore experience. Hong Kong University Press. p. 33.  
  100. ^ Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew, Katharine Caroline Bushnell (2006). Heathen Slaves and Christian Rulers. Echo Library. p. 13.  
  101. ^ Correspondence, p. 54: To understand the social bearings of domestic servitude as it obtains in Hong Kong, it »must be observed that although the Chinese residents of Hong Kong are under British rule and live in close proximity to English social life, there has always been an impassable gulf between respectable English and Chinese society in Hong Kong. The two forms of social life have exercised a certain influence upon each other, but the result now visible is, that while Chinese social life has remained exactly what it is on the mainland of China, the social life of many foreigners in Hong Kong has comparatively degenerated, and not on'y accommodated itself in certain respects to habits peculiar to the system of patriarchalism, but caused a certain disrespectable but small class of Chinese to enter into a social alliance with foreigners, which, while detaching them from the restraining influence of the custom and public opinion of Chinese society, left them uninfluenced by the moral powers of foreign civilization.
  102. ^ Correspondence, p. 55: This exceptional class of Chinese residents here in Hong Kong consists principally of the women known in Hong Kong by the popular nickname "ham-shui-mui" (lit. salt water girls), applied to these members of the so-called Tan-ka or boat population, the Pariahs of Cantonese society. These Tan-ka people of the Canton river are the descendants of a tribe of aborigines pushed by advancing Chinese civilization to live on boats on the Canton river, being for centuries forbidden by law to live on shore. The Emperor Yung Ching (A.D. 1730) allowed them to settle in villages in the immediate proximity of the river, but they were left by him, and remain to the present day excluded from competition for official honours, whilst custom forbids them to intermarry with the rest of the people. These Tan-ka people were the secret but trusty allies of foreigners from the time of the East India Company to the present day. They furnished pilots and supplies of provisions to British men-of-war and troop ships when doing so was by the Chinese Government declared treason, unsparingly visited with capital punishment. They invaded Hong Kong the moment the Colony was opened, and have ever since maintained here a monopoly, so to say, of the supply of Chinese pilots and ships' crews, of the fish trade, the cattle trade, and especially of the trade in women for the supply of foreigners and of brothels patronized by foreigners. Almost every so-called "protected woman," i.e. kept mistress of foreigners here, belongs to this Tan-ka tribe, looked down upon and kept at a distance by all the other Chinese classes. It is among these Tan-ka women, and especially under the protection of those "protected T;in-ka women, that private prostitution and the sale of girls for purposes of concubinage flourishes, being looked upon by them as their legitimate profession. Consequently, almost every "protected woman keeps a nursery of purchased children or a few servant girls who are being reared with aj view to their eventual disposal, according to their personal qualifications, either among foreigners here as kept women, or among Chinese residents as their concubines, or to be sold for export to Singapore, San Francisco, or Australia. Those protected women, moreover, generally act as protectors each to a few other Tan-ka women who live by sly prostitution. The latter, again, used to be preyed upon—till quite recently His Excellency Governor Hennessy stopped this fiendish practice—by informers paid with Government money, who would first debauch such women and then turn round against them charging them before the magistrate as keepers of unlicensed brothels, in which case a heavy fine would be inflicted, to pay which these women used to sell their own children, or sell themselves into bondage worse than slavery, to the keepers of the brothels licensed hy Government. Whenever a sly brothel was broken up these keepers would crowd the shroffs office of the police court or the visiting room of the Government Lock Hospital to drive their heartless bargains, which were invariably enforced with the weighty support of the Inspectors of brothels appointed by Government under the Contagious Diseases Ordinance. The more this Ordinance was enforced the more of this buying and selling of human flesh went on at the very doors of Government offices. It is amongst these outcasts of Chinese society that the worst abuses of the Chinese system of domestic servitude exist, because that system is here unrestraired by the powers of traditional custom or popular opinion. This class of people, mustering perhaps here in Hong Kong not more than 2,000 persons, are entirely beyond the argument of this essay. They form a class of their own, readily recognised at a glance. They are disowned by Chinese society, whilst they are but parasites on foreign society. The system of buying and selling female children and of domestic servitude with which they must be identified is so glaring an abuse of legitimate Chinese domestic servitude that it calls for corrective measures entirely apart from any considerations connected with the general body of Chinese society.
  103. ^ Meiqi Lee (2004). Being Eurasian: memories across racial divides. Hong Kong University Press. p. 262.  
  104. ^ Maria Jaschok, Suzanne Miers (1994). Maria Jaschok, Suzanne Miers, ed. Women and Chinese patriarchy: submission, servitude, and escape. Zed Books. p. 223.  
  105. ^ Helen F. Siu (2011). Helen F. Siu, ed. Merchants' Daughters: Women, Commerce, and Regional Culture in South China. Hong Kong University Press. p. 305.  
  106. ^ Henry J. Lethbridge (1978). Hong Kong, stability and change: a collection of essays. Oxford University Press. p. 75. The half-caste population in Hong Kong were, from the earliest days of the settlement of the Colony and down to the present day [1895], almost exclusively the off-spring of these Tan-ka people 
  107. ^ Eitel, p. 169: The day labonrers settled down in huts at Taipingshan, at Saiyingpun and at Tsimshatsui. But the largest proportion of the Chinese population were the so-called Tanka or boat people, the I«riahs of Sonth-China, whose intimate connection with the social life of the foreign merchants in the Canton factories used to call forth au annual proclamation on the part of the Cantonese Authorities warning foreigners against the demoralising influences of these people. These Tan-ka people, forbidden by Chinese law (since A.D. 1730) to settle on shore or to compete at literary examinations, and prohibited by custom from intermarrying with the rest of the people, were from the earliest days of the East India Company always the trusty allies of foreigners. They furnished pilots and supplies of provisions to British men-ofwar, troopships and mercantile vessels, at times when doing so was declared by the Chinese Government to be rank treason, unsparingly visited with capital punishment. They were the hangers-on of the foreign factories of Canton and of the British shipping at Lintin, Kamsingmoon, Tungkn and Hongkong Bay. They invaded Hongkong the moment the settlement was started, living at first on boats in the harbonr with their numerons families, and gradually settling on shore. They have maintained ever since almost a monopoly of the supply of pilots and ships' crews, of the fish trade and the cattle trade, but unfortunately also of the trade in girls and women. Strange to say, when the settlement was first started, it was estimated that some 2,000 of these Tan-ka lieople had flocked to Hongkong, but at the present time they are about the same number, a tendency having set in among them to settle on shore rather than on the water and to disavow their Tan-ka extraction in order to mix on equal terms with the mass of the Chinese community. The half-caste population in Hongkong were, from the earliest days of the settlement of the Colony and down to the present day, almost exclusively the off-spring of these Tan-ka people. But, like the Tan-ka people themselves, they are happily under the influence of a process of continuous re-absorption in the mass of the Chinese residents of the Colony.
  108. ^ Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (1980). Journal, Volumes 18–21. p. 121. How does it come about that this pleasing mixture of American Youth camp and English public-school sports day should come to represent" the emotional high point of the year for these fifteen schools which cater for the Shui-sheung-yan (water-folk), traditionally the lowest of all Hong Kong's social strata. Organised quite separately from them. 
  109. ^ Bill Cranfield (1984). All-Asia guide (13 ed.). Far Eastern Economic Review. p. 151. The rural population is divided into two main communities: Cantonese and Hakka. There is also a floating population — now declining — of about 50.000 boat- people, most of whom are known as Tanka. In mid-1970 Hongkong seemed once again 
  110. ^ William Knox (1974). William Knox, ed. All-Asia guide (8 ed.). Far Eastern Economic Review. p. 86. The rural population is divided into two main communities: Cantonese and Hakka. There is also a floating population—now declining—of about 100000 boatpeople, most of whom are known as Tanka. In mid-1970 Hongkong seemed once again 
  111. ^ Cheah Cheng Hye, Donald Wise (1980). All-Asia guide (11 ed.). Far Eastern Economic Review. p. 135. The rural population is divided into two main communities: Cantonese and Hakka. There is also a floating population—now declining—of about 100000 boatpeople, most of whom are known as Tanka. In mid-1970 Hongkong seemed once again 
  112. ^ Bangqing Han, Ailing Zhang, Eva Hung (2005). Ailing Zhang, Eva Hung, ed. The sing-song girls of Shanghai. Columbia University Press. p. 538.  
  113. ^ Matthew Calbraith Perry, Robert Tomes (1859). Japan and the Japanese: a narrative of the US government expedition to Japan under Commodore Perry (2, reprint ed.). ü LONDON : TRÜBNER & CO., 60, PATERNOSTER ROW.: Trübner. p. 78. of commercial activity, always enlivened by the fleet of Tanka boats which pass, conveying passengers to and fro, between the land and the Canton and Hong Kong steamers. The Chinese damsels, in gay costume, as they scnll their light craft upon the smooth and gently swelling surface of the bay, present a lively aspect, and as they are looked upon in the distance, from the verandahs above the Praya, which command a view of the bay, have a fairy-like appearance, which a nearer approach serves, however, to change into a more substantial and coarse reality. The Cave of Camoens, where the Portuguese poet is supposed to have written a portion of his Lusiad, 
  114. ^ Matthew Calbraith Perry (1857). Robert Tomes, ed. The Americans in Japan: an abridgment of the government narrative of the US expedition to Japan, under Commodore Perry. NEW YORK: D. APPLETON & CO., 346 & 848 BROADWAY LONDON: 16 LITTLE BRITAIN.: D. Appleton & co. p. 78. of commercial activity, always enlivened by the fleet of Tanka boats which pass, conveying passengers to and fro, between the land and the Canton and Hong Kong steamers. The Chinese damsels, in gay costume, as they scull their light craft upon the smooth aud gently swelling surface of the bay, present a lively aspect, and as they are looked upon in the distance, from the verandahs above the Praya, which command a view of the bay, have a fairy-like appearance, which a nearer approach serves, however, to change into a more substantial and coarse reality. The Cave of Camoens, where the Portuguese poet is supposed to have written a portion of his Lusiad, 
  115. ^ Ballou's monthly magazine, Volume 8. Thomes & Talbot. 1858. p. 514. quered, gilded and ornamented. In Simoda, they take the place of horses, the latter being used only under the saddle. The third engraving represents the dinner given on board the Powhatan, in honor of the commissioners appointed by the emperor to conduct negotiations. Commodore Perry invited the officers of the squadron to meet the Japanese officials, of whom there were about seventy. A very excellent dinner was served up, to which the guests did ample justice. Toasts to the emperor and president were drank with all the honors, and the company did not disperse until a very late hour. Our next picture shows a Chinese tanka boat. The tanka boats are counted by thousands in the rivers and bays of China. They are often employed by our national vessels as conveyances to and. from the shore, thereby saving the health ot the sailors, who would be otherwise subjected to pulling long distances under a hot sun, with a liability ot contracting some fatal disease peculiar to China, and thus introducing infection in a crowded crew. On her voyage, the Powhatan touched at Singapore, the capital of a small island at the southern extremity of Malacca. The town stands on a point of land near a bay, affording a safe anchorage at all seasons, and commanding the navigation of the Straits of Malacca. While the Powhatan lay at anchor here, the captain permitted two jugglers to come on board to gratify the wishes of the sailors, by exhibiting their skill in legerdemain, which art they profess in a wonderful degree of perfection. The feat of swallowing a sword was performed, as exhibited in our fifth engraving. But as the weapon belonged to the juggler, the men suspected it was prepared for the purpose, and that the blade consisted of running slides, which, by the pressure of the tongue to the point, would be forced into the hilt. The Malay, however, was determined to confound the doubters, and taking up a piece of rough cast iron from the armorer's forge, swallowed it with as much ease and facility as he did the sword. The performances ended with a lively dance executed by two cobras, to the accompaniment of harsh sounds from a trumpet played by an assistant. From Singapore lev us pasS to the Sandwich Islands, those gems of the Pacific. The arrival at the Sandwich Islands is always a welcome event in a cruise—the delicious climate, the abundance of fruits, the romantic scenery, the gentle manners of the inhabitants, render this portion of the globe peculiarly attractive. Our sixth engraving represents a group of Sandwich Island girls dancing the hula-hula to the intense delight of a group of Jack tars, who probably experience as much satisfaction at the exhibition, as was ever experienced by the refined Parisians at the efforts of Taglioni, Cerito, or Fanny Ellsler. The hula-hula was formerly a favorite dance among the Sandwich Islands, but has now become nearly extinct through the influence of the missionaries. There are still, however, a few Kanakas, who are addicted to their old amusement. The dance does not admit of much grace, each female going through her gyrations with the mechanical stiffness of an automaton. The next port we shall touch at, pleading the privilege of a roving commission, is Cape Town, the capital of the Cape of Good Hope, the wellknown British colony at the Southern extremity of Africa. This point early attracted the attention of the Dutch, who saw that it was of the first importance as a watering-place for their ships. They accordingly established a colony there about the middle of the 17th century. They treated the native inhabitants, the Hottentots, with great severity, driving most of them beyond the mountains, and reducing the remainder to slavery. In 1795, it was captured by the English, but restored by the peace of Amiens, in 1802. In 1806, it was again captured by the English, and has remained in their possession since. It is defended by a castle of considerable strength, and contains many fine public buildings. The harbor is tolerably secure from September to May, during the prevalence of the southeast winds ; but during the rest of the year, when the winds blow from the north and northwest, vessels are obliged to resort to Fulse Bay, on the other side of the peninsula. Our seventh engraving presents a sketch of a group of marketmen at Cape Town. We here see the native fish dealers and purchasers. A young negro in the foreground is feeding a pelican with a small fish which he has purloined from the bench. The principal market of Cape Town is not very attractive externally, but it is noted for the abundance and excellence of its fish, flesh and fowl, which supply the inhabitants and the ships touching at the port. The sales are conducted much after the manner of this country. The salesmen arc representatives of all quarters of the globe, and include specimens of the native Hottentot and the genuine Yankee, who is always found where money is to be made. The eighth engraving is a view of the natives and their huts at St. Augustine's Bay, Madagascar. The inhabitants of this remarkably fertile island are composed of two distinct classes—the Arabs, or descendants of foreign colonists, and the Negroes, or original inhabitants of the island. The character of the inhabitants differs much in the different parts of the island, and the accounts of writers vary greatly on this subject. The island is off the eastern coast of Africa, separated from the continent by the Mozambique channel, and is about 900 miles long and 200 broad. Its surface is greatly diversified, and its mountain scenery is exceedingly grand. The name and position of this island was first made known to Europeans by Marco Polo, in the 13th century, though the Arabs had been acquainted with it for several centuries. It was visited by the Portuguese in the beginning of the 16th century. The French made several attempts to found colonies there in the middle of the 17th century, but abandoned them after ineffectual struggles with the natives. In 1745, they renewed their efforts with but little better success. In 1814, it was claimed by England as a dependency of Mauritius, which had been ceded to her by France, and some settlements were established. One of the native kings of the interior, who had shown himself eager to procure a knowledge of European arts for his subjects, consented, in 1820, to relinquish the slave trade on condition that ten Madagassees should be sent to England, and ten to Mauritius, for education. Those sent to England were placed under the care of the 
  116. ^ Jeanie Mort Walker (1875). Life of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Cuban martyr: Being a faithful record of his remarkable career from childhood to the time of his heroic death at the hands of Spanish executioners; recounting his experience as an officer in the U.S. and Confederate navies, and revealing much of the inner history ... J. B. Burr Pub. Co. p. 99. Macao. "We arrived here on the twenty-second, and dispatched a boat to the shore immediately for letters. I received three or four of those fine large letters which are the envy of all who see them, and which are readily distinguishable by their size, and the beautiful style in which they are directed. You cannot imagine the delight with which I devoured their costents. I am glad you wrote so much of our dear pet. 0, my Dita, the longing I feel to take the dear little thing to my heart is agonizing! Yesterday I was on shore, and saw a beautiful child of about the same age as ours. I was almost crazy at the sight. Twenty months old! How she must prattle by this time! I fancy I can see her trotting about, following you around the 
  117. ^ Jeanie Mort Walker (1875). Life of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Cuban martyr: Being a faithful record of his remarkable career from childhood to the time of his heroic death at the hands of Spanish executioners; recounting his experience as an officer in the US and Confederate navies, and revealing much of the inner history ... J. B. Burr Pub. Co. p. 100. 100 MACAO: TANK A BOATS. house. What a recompense for the hardest toil of the day would it not be to me, could I only lie down on the floor and have a good romp with her at night! "And now for Macao, and what I saw, felt, and did. You probably know that a very numerous Chinese population lives entirely in boots; some of them so small that one pities the poor unfortunates who live so miserably. They are born, grow up, marry, and raise children in these boats. You would be astonished to see mothers, with infants at the breast, managing the sails, oars, and rudder of the boat as expertly as any sailor. The tanka is of very light draft, and, being able to go close in shore, is used to land passengers from the larger boats. As we neared the shore, we noticed small boats pulling toward us from all directions. Soon a boat, "manned" by two really pretty young girls pulling oars, and a third sculling, came alongside, calling out earnestly, 'Takee me boat!' 'Takce me boot!' They had beautiful teeth, white as ivory, brilliant eyes, and their pretty faces, so earnest and pleading, were 
  118. ^ Jeanie Mort Walker (1875). Life of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Cuban martyr: Being a faithful record of his remarkable career from childhood to the time of his heroic death at the hands of Spanish executioners; recounting his experience as an officer in the U.S. and Confederate navies, and revealing much of the inner history ... J. B. Burr Pub. Co. p. 101. TANK A GIRLS. 101 wreathed in smiles as we gave them the preference over others that joined us from all quarters, clinging to the sides of our large boat, and impeding our headway. The boatmen tried in vain to drive them off One brute of a fellow splashed repeatedly a poor girl, who. though not at all pretty, had such a depth of meaning and such a sad expression in her eyes and face as charmed me completely. It would have interested any one to hear her scold back, and to see the flashing of her eyes, and the vivid expression in every feature. When I frowned at our sailor, the sudden change in her face from anger to smiles, the earnest 'tdkee me boat,' as she caught evidence of sympathy from me, was beautiful. We were assailed with these cries from so many, and there was such a clamor, that, in self-defense, we had to choose a boat and go. The first-mentioned girls, on account of their beauty, won the majority, and their boat was clean and well furnished, which is more than could be said of many of them. I caught the look of disappointment which passed over the features of the girl I have described, 
  119. ^ Jeanie Mort Walker (1875). Life of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Cuban martyr: Being a faithful record of his remarkable career from childhood to the time of his heroic death at the hands of Spanish executioners; recounting his experience as an officer in the U.S. and Confederate navies, and revealing much of the inner history ... J. B. Burr Pub. Co. p. 102. 102 THE RELIGIOUS INSTINCT. and it haunts me even now. Trifling as it, appeared to us, such scenes constitute the great events in their poor lives, and such triumphs or defeats are all-important to them. "Upon entering the tanka boat, we found the mother of the young girls, and a young infant dressed heroically. The infant was the child of the prettiest one of the girls, whose husband was away fishing. The old woman was quite talkative, and undoubtedly gave us lots of news! "They had a miniature temple on the bows of the boat, with Joss seated cross-legged, looking very fat, and'very red, and very stupid. Before him was an offering of two apricots, but Joss never deigned to look at it, and apparently had no appetite. I felt a sincere respect, however, for the devotional feeling of these poor idolaters, recognizing even there the universal instinct which teaches that there is a God. "I called upon the commodore, who received me with great courtesy, and gave me a very interesting account of the voyage out, by the way of Mauritius, of the Susquehanna, to which I was first appointed. She has gone on to Amoy. 
  120. ^ Jeanie Mort Walker (1875). Life of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Cuban martyr: Being a faithful record of his remarkable career from childhood to the time of his heroic death at the hands of Spanish executioners; recounting his experience as an officer in the U.S. and Confederate navies, and revealing much of the inner history ... J. B. Burr Pub. Co. p. 103. SOAP-FRUIT. 103 "I made the acquaintance of a Portuguese family, named Lurero. The young ladies are quite accomplished, speaking French, Spanish, and Italian, but no English. They came down to receive the visit of our consul and lady, who called while I was there. Mr. Lurero gave me some specimens of a soap-fruit, and showed me the tree. The fruit is an exceedingly fine soap, which, without any preparation, is used for washing the finest goods. "We expect to hear of the sailing of the 'Japan Expedition' by the next mail. When Commodore Perry arrives, we shall be kept so busy that time will fly rapidly, and we shall soon be looking forward to our return home, unless Japan disturbances (which are not seriously anticipated) delay us. "I did not tell you of my visit to 'Camoens' Cave,' the principal attraction of Macao. This 'cave' was the resort of the distinguished Portuguese poet Camoens, who there wrote the greater part of the ' Lusiad.' The cave is situated in the midst of the finest wooded walks I ever saw. The grounds are planted beautifully, 
  121. ^ Jeanie Mort Walker (1875). Life of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Cuban martyr: Being a faithful record of his remarkable career from childhood to the time of his heroic death at the hands of Spanish executioners; recounting his experience as an officer in the US and Confederate navies, and revealing much of the inner history ... J. B. Burr Pub. Co. p. 104. 104 THE POET CAMOENS. and immense vases of flowers stand around. The grounds are not level, but lie up the side of a slope or hill, irregular in shape, and precipitous on one side. There are several fine views, particularly that of the harbor and surrounding islands." I will here reproduce the following additional items regarding Camoens, from the pen of Walter A. Hose: — "Macao had a particular interest for me as the first foothold that modern civilization obtained upon the ancient shores of 'far Cathay,' and as the birthplace of one of the finest epic poems ever written. ... On one of those calm and beautiful nights peculiar to sub-tropical climes, I stood alone upon the white sea-wall, and no sound fell upon my ears save the whirring monotone of insects in the trees above the hills, the periodical chime of bells from anchored ships, and the low, sweet cadence of the incoming tide. I thought it must have been such a night as this that inspired Camoens when he wrote,— 
  122. ^ Hansson, p. 117: Unless a change of surnames occurred for some unknown reason, or unless the ' water names' are not the real names of the Fujian boat people, it would seem that the Dan people lacked Chinese-style surnames at the time the Fujian branch
  123. ^ Hansson, p. 116: In a late Qing dynasty work which has a section on boat people that mainly refers to those in Fujian, common surnames are said to be Weng 翁 ('old fisherman'), Ou 歐, Chi 池 (pond), Pu 浦 (river bank), Jiang 江 (river) and Hai 海 (sea). None of those surnames is a very common one in China and a few are very rare.
  124. ^ Hansson, p. 116: Some of them list the five names Mai 麥, Pu 濮, Wu 吴, Su 蘇 and He 何 The Huizhou prefectural gazetteer even states that there are no other boat people surnames, while others also add Gu 顧 and Zeng 曾 to make seven
  125. ^ Cooley's anaemia among the tanka of South China
  126. ^ Cooley's anaemia among the tanka of South China, A.J.S. McFadzean, D. Todd. Tropicalmedandhygienejrnl.net. Retrieved on 2012-03-02.
  127. ^ Asiaweek, Volume 15. Asiaweek Ltd. 1989. p. 90. Koo has found too that cancer rates differ among Hongkong's Chinese communities. Lung cancer is more prevalent among the Tanka, or boat people, than among local Cantonese. But they in turn have a higher incidence than  

References

See also

The Tanka suffer from lung cancer more than the Cantonese and Teochew. The frequency of the disease is higher among Tanka. The rate among the Teochew is lower than that of the Cantonese.[127]

Tests on the DNA of the Tanka people found that the disease Cooley's anemia was common among the Tanka. Tests also stated that the ancestors of the Tanka were not Han Chinese, but were native people.[125][126]

DNA tests and disease

The Fuzhou Tanka have different surnames than the Tanka of Guangdong.[122] Qing records indicate that "Weng, Ou, Chi, Pu, Jiang, and Hai" were surnames of the Fuzhou Tanka.[123] Qing records also stated that Tanka surnames in Guangdong consisted of "Mai, Pu, Wu, Su, and He", alternatively some people claimed Gu and Zeng as Tanka surnames.[124]

Surnames

Life of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Cuban martyr: Being a faithful record of his remarkable career from childhood to the time of his heroic death at the hands of Spanish executioners; recounting his experience as an officer in the U.S. and Confederate navies, and revealing much of the inner history ... in 1875

"Macao. "We arrived here on the twenty-second, and dispatched a boat to the shore immediately for letters. I received three or four of those fine large letters which are the envy of all who see them, and which are readily distinguishable by their size, and the beautiful style in which they are directed. You cannot imagine the delight with which I devoured their costents. I am glad you wrote so much of our dear pet. 0, my Dita, the longing I feel to take the dear little thing to my heart is agonizing! Yesterday I was on shore, and saw a beautiful child of about the same age as ours. I was almost crazy at the sight. Twenty months old! How she must prattle by this time! I fancy I can see her trotting about, following you around the house. What a recompense for the hardest toil of the day would it not be to me, could I only lie down on the floor and have a good romp with her at night! "And now for Macao, and what I saw, felt, and did. You probably know that a very numerous Chinese population lives entirely in boots; some of them so small that one pities the poor unfortunates who live so miserably. They are born, grow up, marry, and raise children in these boats. You would be astonished to see mothers, with infants at the breast, managing the sails, oars, and rudder of the boat as expertly as any sailor. The tanka is of very light draft, and, being able to go closo in shore, is used to land passengers from the larger boats. As we neared the shore, we noticed small boats pulling toward us from all directions. Soon a boat, "manned" by two really pretty young girls pulling oars, and a third sculling, came alongside, calling out earnestly, 'Takee me boat!' 'Takce me boot!' They had beautiful teeth, white as ivory, brilliant eyes, and their pretty faces, so earnest and pleading, were wreathed in smiles as we gave them the preference over others that joined us from all quarters, clinging to the sides of our large boat, and impeding our headway. The boatmen tried in vain to drive them off One brute of a fellow splashed repeatedly a poor girl, who. though not at all pretty, had such a depth of meaning and such a sad expression in her eyes and face as charmed me completely. It would have interested any one to hear her scold back, and to see the flashing of her eyes, and the vivid expression in every feature. When I frowned at our sailor, the sudden change in her face from anger to smiles, the earnest 'tdkee me boat,' as she caught evidence of sympathy from me, was beautiful. We were assailed with these cries from so many, and there was such a clamor, that, in self-defense, we had to choose a boat and go. The first-mentioned girls, on account of their beauty, won the majority, and their boat was clean and well furnished, which is more than could be said of many of them. I caught the look of disappointment which passed over the features of the girl I have described, and it haunts me even now. Trifling as it, appeared to us, such scenes constitute the great events in their poor lives, and such triumphs or defeats are all-important to them. "Upon entering the tanka boat, we found the mother of the young girls, and a young infant dressed heroically. The infant was the child of the prettiest one of the girls, whose husband was away fishing. The old woman was quite talkative, and undoubtedly gave us lots of news! "They had a miniature temple on the bows of the boat, with Joss seated cross-legged, looking very fat, and'very red, and very stupid. Before him was an offering of two apricots, but Joss never deigned to look at it, and apparently had no appetite. I felt a sincere respect, however, for the devotional feeling of these poor idolaters, recognizing even there the universal instinct which teaches that there is a God. "I called upon the commodore, who received me with great courtesy, and gave me a very interesting account of the voyage out, by the way of Mauritius, of the Susquehanna, to which I was first appointed. She has gone on to Amoy. "I made the acquaintance of a Portuguese family, named Lurero. The young ladies are quite accomplished, speaking French, Spanish, and Italian, but no English. They came down to receive the visit of our consul and lady, who called while I was there. Mr. Lurero gave me some specimens of a soap-fruit, and showed me the tree. The fruit is an exceedingly fine soap, which, without any preparation, is used for washing the finest goods. "We expect to hear of the sailing of the 'Japan Expedition' by the next mail. When Commodore Perry arrives, we shall be kept so busy that time will fly rapidly, and we shall soon be looking forward to our return home, unless Japan disturbances (which are not seriously anticipated) delay us. "I did not tell you of my visit to 'Camoens' Cave,' the principal attraction of Macao. This 'cave' was the resort of the distinguished Portuguese poet Camoens, who there wrote the greater part of the ' Lusiad.' The cave is situated in the midst of the finest wooded walks I ever saw. The grounds are planted beautifully, and immense vases of flowers stand around. The grounds are not level, but lie up the side of a slope or hill, irregular in shape, and precipitous on one side. There are several fine views, particularly that of the harbor and surrounding islands." I will here reproduce the following additional items regarding Camoens, from the pen of Walter A. Hose: — "Macao had a particular interest for me as the first foothold that modern civilization obtained upon the ancient shores of 'far Cathay,' and as the birthplace of one of the finest epic poems ever written. ... On one of those calm and beautiful nights peculiar to sub-tropical climes, I stood alone upon the white sea-wall, and no sound fell upon my ears save the whirring monotone of insects in the trees above the hills, the periodical chime of bells from anchored ships, and the low, sweet cadence of the incoming tide. I thought it must have been such a night as this that inspired Camoens when he wrote,[116][117][118][119][120][121]

Ballou's monthly magazine, Volume 8 in 1858

Our next picture shows a Chinese tanka boat. The tanka boats are counted by thousands in the rivers and bays of China. They are often employed by our national vessels as conveyances to and. from the shore, thereby saving the health of the sailors, who would be otherwise subjected to pulling long distances under a hot sun, with a liability ot contracting some fatal disease peculiar to China, and thus introducing infection in a crowded crew.[115]

Japan and the Japanese: a narrative of the US government expedition to Japan under Commodore Perry in 1859

...always enlivened by the fleet of Tanka boats which pass, conveying passengers to and fro, between the land and the Canton and Hong Kong steamers."[113][114]

Commerce

Shanghai, with its many international concessions, contained prostitutes from various areas of China, including Guangdong province, this included the Tanka prostitutes, who were grouped separately from the Cantonese prostitutes. The Cantonese served customers in normal brothels while the Tanka served customers in boats.[112]

Shanghai

During the 1970s the number of Tanka was reported to be shrinking.[109][110][111]

In 1962 a typhoon struck the Tanka and Hoklo boats, with hundreds being destroyed.[19][20][21]

During British rule some special schools were created for the Tanka.[108]

The day labourers settled down in huts at Taipingshan, at Saiyingpun and at Tsimshatsui. But the largest proportion of the Chinese population were the so-called Tanka or boat people, the pariahs of Sonth-China, whose intimate connection with the social life of the foreign merchants in the Canton factories used to call forth au annual proclamation on the part of the Cantonese Authorities warning foreigners against the demoralising influences of these people. These Tan-ka people, forbidden by Chinese law (since A.D. 1730) to settle on shore or to compete at literary examinations, and prohibited by custom from intermarrying with the rest of the people, were from the earliest days of the East India Company always the trusty allies of foreigners. They furnished pilots and supplies of provisions to British men-of war, troopships and mercantile vessels, at times when doing so was declared by the Chinese Government to be rank treason, unsparingly visited with capital punishment. They were the hangers-on of the foreign factories of Canton and of the British shipping at Lintin, Kamsingmoon, Tungkn and Hongkong Bay. They invaded Hongkong the moment the settlement was started, living at first on boats in the harbonr with their numerons families, and gradually settling on shore. They have maintained ever since almost a monopoly of the supply of pilots and ships' crews, of the fish trade and the cattle trade, but unfortunately also of the trade in girls and women. Strange to say, when the settlement was first started, it was estimated that some 2,000 of these Tan-ka lieople had flocked to Hongkong, but at the present time they are about the same number, a tendency having set in among them to settle on shore rather than on the water and to disavow their Tan-ka extraction in order to mix on equal terms with the mass of the Chinese community. The half-caste population in Hongkong were, from the earliest days of the settlement of the Colony and down to the present day, almost exclusively the off-spring of these Tan-ka people. But, like the Tan-ka people themselves, they are happily under the influence of a process of continuons re-absorption in the mass of the Chinese residents of the Colony.[107]

Ernest John Eitel claimed that all "half caste" people in Hong Kong were descended exclusively from Europeans having relationship with Tanka women, and not Chinese women. The theory that most of the Eurasian mixed race Hong Kong people are descended only from Tanka women and European men, and not ordinary Cantonese women, is backed up by other researchers who pointed out that Tanka women freely consorted with foreigners due to the fact that they were not bound by the same Confucian traditions as the Cantonese, and having a relationship with European men was advantageous for Tanka women. The ordinary Cantonese women did not sleep with European men, the Eurasian population was formed only from Tanka and European admixture.[103][104][105][106]

A report called "Correspondence respecting the alleged existence of Chinese slavery in Hong Kong: presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty" was presented to the English Parliament in 1882 concerning the existence of slavery in Hong Kong, of which many were Tanka girls serving as prostitutes or mistresses to westerners.

Tanka women who worked as prostitutes for foreigners also commonly kept a "nursery" of Tanka girls specifically for exporting them for prostitution work to overseas Chinese communities such as in Australia or America, or to serve as a Chinese or foreigner's concubine.[100]

Tanka women were ostracized from the Cantonese community, and were nicknamed "salt water girls" (ham sui mui in Cantonese) for their services as prostitutes to foreigners in Hong Kong.[98][99]

The stereotype among most Chinese in Canton that all Tanka women were prostitutes was common, leading the government during the Republican era to accidentally inflate the number of prostitutes when counting, due to all Tanka women being included.[93][94] The Tanka women were viewed as such that their prostitution activities were considered part of the normal bustle of a commercial trading city.[95] Sometimes the lowly regarded Tanka prostitutes managed to elevate themselves into higher forms of prostitution.[96][97]

The Tanka prostitutes were considered to be "low class", greedy for money, arrogant, and treating clients with a bad attitude, they were known for punching their clients or mocking them by calling them names.[90] Though the Tanka prostitutes were considered low class, their brothels were still remarkably well kept and tidy.[91] A famous fictional story which was written in the 1800s depicted western items decorating the rooms of Tanka prostitutes.[92]

Ordinary Chinese prostitutes were afraid of serving Westerners since they looked strange to them, while the Tanka prostitutes freely mingled with western men.[85] The Tanka assisted the Europeans with supplies and providing them with prostitutes.[86][87] Low class European men in Hong Kong easily formed relations with the Tanka prostitutes.[88] The profession of prostitution among the Tanka women led to them being hated by the Chinese both because they had sex with westerners and them being racially Tanka.[89]

Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew (1845–1917) and Katharine Caroline Bushnell (February 5, 1856 January 26, 1946), who wrote extensively on the position of women in the British Empire, wrote about the Tanka inhabitants of Hong Kong and their position in the prostitution industry, catering towards foreign sailors. The Tanka did not marry with the Chinese, being descendants of the natives, they were restricted to the waterways. They supplied their women as prostitutes to British sailors and assisted the British in their military actions around Hong Kong[83] The Tanka in Hong Kong were considered "outcasts" categorized low class.[84]

In 1937, Walter Schofield, then a Cadet Officer in the Hong Kong Civil Service, wrote that at that time the Tankas were "boat-people [who sometimes lived] in boats hauled ashore, or in more or less boat-shaped huts, as at Shau Kei Wan and Tai O". They mainly lived at the harbours at Cheung Chau, Aberdeen, Tai O, Po Toi, Kau Sai Chau and Yau Ma Tei.[82]

Hong Kong boat dwellings in December 1970.

Under British rule in Hong Kong

[81]

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