Hong Kong rattan and bamboo products 1960s

Hugh Farmer: On a visit to the HK Museum of History on 6th Feb 2014 I noticed this enticing snippet from the Information Services Department 1960s.

“Most home utensils such as baskets and strainers were woven from rattan rather than bamboo as in the past. Demand was high for bamboo-made fishing and farming tools, such as fish traps, cages for chickens and pigs, bamboo mats for surrounding rice grain threshing tubs”.

Such traditional agricultural and fishing objects can still be seen in old, abandoned village houses in many parts of the New Territories. I wonder when plastic, metal and other materials started to replace bamboo and rattan. On coming to Lamma Island in the early 1990s I saw pigs being transported in metal cages off kaidos.

Does anyone else have specific memories or general information about where such bamboo and rattan products were made in HK, when they became redundant and when they were replaced by other materials?

This article was first posted on 10th February 2014


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One comment

  • Haider

    Thank you for your interesting entry. I have a question. In Cantonese we have the word 嗎辰蓆, or ‘ma sun’ rattan mat/bed topper in English. I wonder what 嗎辰/‘ma sun’ refers to. Could it be a place in Indonesia, or maybe it’s a rattan species?

    Thank you!

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