The Cangue - Was it used in Hong Kong?
Was the cangue used as punishment in Hong Kong, and if so during which years, and under what circumstances?
The cangue is a form of punishment that was used in China. Sometimes described as a 'wooden collar', it was a large wooden board that fastened around a person's neck. Here's a photo on Flickr that shows the cangue in use:
It had several effects:
- Shame: Apart from the obvious sign you've done something wrong, papers noting your crime would be stuck on the boards, making them clear to passers-by.
- Pain: Wearing the heavy wooden board was very uncomfortable.
- Hunger: The board was large enough that you couldn't reach your mouth with your hand, so had to rely on others to feed you.
But were they used in Hong Kong? There are several old postcards in circulation that show show petty criminals on display in Hong Kong, but they'd be shown with their legs fastened in wooden stocks:
I've seen a photo dated to the 1890s, and labelled as showing prisoners in Victoria Gaol. All the prisoners are wearing cangues.
There's a page on Wikipedia that says:
During the early colonisation of Hong Kong, prisoners in Victoria Prison were forced to parade in public, were often beaten with a cane, and their arms locked with a cangue on which their name and crimes-committed were penned. Policeman, often of Indian descent, would walk the prisoners to a plaza in front of the Man Mo Temple where the lawbreakers were scoffed and condemned by the passers-by. After a few hours, the criminal was returned to the Old Bailey Street jail. This form of punishment was abolished after World War I.
That would certainly explain the scene in the photo, however there are no sources quoted for the Wikipedia text, so I'm not sure how accurate it is.
Can anyone shed more light on this?
Thanks and regards,