Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hakka Women: China's Feminists

For some time, I've been meaning to post some of Eliza's history on the blog.   I belong to a yahoo group of families who have also adopted children from the same SWI (orphanage) as Eliza.  Someone posted this about the Hakka women (we can assume Eliza is probably a descendent of the Hakka, an ethnic minority in China) -- 

The book is Four Centuries of Silver: Personal Adornment in the Qing dynasty and After by Margaret Duda.

"A Hakka man often ventured to another country for better wages, leaving his wife to run the farm and weave the fancy silk ribbons, which she sold along with her produce and livestock. Celebrated for their hard work and home remedies, Hakka women did not bind their feet or breasts, did not prostitute themselves, and never hired wet nurses for their children. The Hakka women were also renowne as warriors. During the 1850 Taiping revolution, led by a Hakka man named Hong Xiuguan, Hong's sister fought by his side against the Manchus. She also unbound the feet of all the women who came under Taiping rule during the war.  Often called 'the only feminist symbol in China,' the Hakka women--rendered in silver-represented courage, perseverance, and industriousness. Such an amulet was probably worn to encourage diligence and insure success and wealth....Whether simple or detailed, each Hakka woman wears a knee-length tunic coat over long trousers, or a long skirt. (The word for "trousers" in the Hakka language is fu, a homonym of the word for"good fortune.")...."

Hakka Women photo by Grant Gouldon

From time to time I will fill in as much as I can about Eliza's past and general history about the area where she was found.


  1. very interesting... I love learning things about our daughters histories.