Itinerant Hakka Weavers in Hong Kong

James Hayes has kindly given permission to post his 1968 RASHKB article about the weaving of locally grown hemp thread into cloth during the annual visits of mostly male Hakka weavers. This was then used to make clothes, quilts, mosquito nets and other items of use in the New Territories in the 19th century. The practice appears to have ended in the early years of the 20th when it became cheaper to buy cloth.

The article begins, after a general introduction, with a personal account of the tradition by a man born in Nga Tsin Wai which is now part of Wong Tai Sin district, Kowloon…

Itinerant Hakka weavers extract opening RASHKB Vol 8 James Hayes


The article also contains the memories of a man born in 1886 near Pui O, Lantau Island…

Itinerant Hakka weavers extract Lantau RASHKB Vol 8 James Hayes

Source: Itinerant Hakka Weavers – Article James Hayes, RASHKB Journal Vol 8, 1968

The image shown on the Home page of this article does not come from James’ article. It shows a group of Hakka ladies, location and date unknown.

RASHKB says “Anyone with an interest in the history, art, literature and culture of China and Asia, with special reference to Hong Kong, will enjoy membership of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, which is generally regarded as the premier Society for the study of Hong Kong and South China. Dating back over 150 years, the Society is today a very active body, organizing varied visits, talks, seminars and more.”

This article was first posted on 28th February 2015.

Some of our articles about HK’s Traditional Industries include:

  1. Salt production, oldest industry in Hong Kong, Tai O
  2. Dragon Kilns – last Hong Kong one fired in 1990 – dramatic photo
  3. Log Sawing by hand in Hong Kong
  4. Quarrying and transportation of stone in Hong Kong, 1841
  5. Yan O Wan “Log Pond” and Luk Keng Tsuen Lumber Works, Lantau
  6. Agriculture in the “New Territory” – 1931 article
  7. Stone breaking in early 20th Century Hong Kong
  8. Lime-making on Tsing Yi island – 1984 RASHKB article

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