Hong Kong Sedan Chair (Jessica Haggard)

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 03:17

Text on Flickr:

Jessica Haggard; Found from Boston University Data Base. Taken in Hong Kong between 1880 and 1923.

I chose this picture because the Sedan Chair was a huge part of Chinese culture. It was not only a means of transportation but also a way to distinguish class. When Hong Kong was colonized, many westerners took Sedan Chairs- because it was operated by a man, it made the Chinese operator seem inferior to the Westerner.

Later Sedan Chairs became a part of the tourism industry in Hong Kong when old Sedan Chairs would be available for rent, prominently around Victoria Harbor on HK Island.

When I went back to HK recently, I only saw several sedan chairs parked by the harbor with "For Sale" signs. Compared to tour buses etc., the Sedan Chair cannot compare (it is also hard work to operate!) so it is no longer part of the tourism industry.

However, there are Tour Buses designed and named after Sedan Chairs and Sedan Chairs are sometimes placed outside tourist museums and popular tourist areas for picture taking. Once a year, there is a charity race where schools and other charity teams design a Sedan chair and run a mini-marathon with it. These are the modern developments to the classic culture Sedan Chair.

Date set arbitrarily to 1910.

Date picture taken