History on the indigenous Hong Kong villagers | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

History on the indigenous Hong Kong villagers

Hi guys, I'm sure quite a few of you can help with this. I'm planning on making a YouTube video giving a brief history of the indigenous villagers of Hong Kong (原居民). I am the son of an indigenous villager myself and have been asking my own dad some questions.


But if you guys have anything useful bits of information to chip in or could point me in the direction of some useful content that's already out there for my research, that would be great

There are some particular questions I have:

- How many indigenous clans are there in Hong Kong? Is there a list of all the family names of the clans and where they are in Hong Kong? Would be good if there was a visual map of where these clans are.

- Six day war in 1899. This when the villagers attempted to fight off the British who were taking over the New Territories. Does anyone have links to content on this?

- WW2. I heard from my father that the indigenous villagers briefly teamed up with British soldiers in an attempt to fight off the Japanese invasion. I'm having a hard time finding information on this period of history. Can anyone help?

- 1967 pro communist riots. I know a bit about this history already myself. Do you guys have links to content about how involved these indigenous were in the uprising?


Some other things I'd love to know more of and see content/photos of concerning these subjects around the indigenous villagers:

- Ding rights.

- Heung Yee Kuk

- British generally trying to appease these villagers during colonial rule.

- Anything of note in history about these villagers that I've missed that I should really be focusing my attention on. Please point it out to me.


Really, really appreciate your help guys and thank you for such a fantastically interesting website and community of people on Gwulo!





Dr Patrick Hase's book on the subject is probably the definitive English language piece: https://hkupress.hku.hk/pro/67.php

Hi Andy1987,

Each of the sub-topics you mentioned is a huge topic on its own.  Do you have access to resources in Chinese, or do you want to focus on resources in English?

Regarding villagers teaming up with the British forces in World War 2, it seems not so likely that any large scale cooperation occurred.  The defenders retreated from Lo Wu to the Gin Drinkers' Line within a day of the start of the battle.  After the capitulation, there might have been cooperation between villagers and the British Army Aid Group (BAAG), but I am not sure.

Try also

The Rural Communities of Hong Kong-Studies and Themes by James Hayes- Hong Kong Oxford University Press-1983-ISBN 0 19 5815504 1

The Rural Communities of Hong Kong-book published 1983
The Rural Communities of Hong Kong-book published 1983, by IDJ


Hi C,

Yeah they are all huge topics in their own right. English preferably but I do know a lot of stuff is probably only available in Chinese. I can understand Cantonese fairly well so if there is video content in Cantonese, please do share it.

As for written content, if I can somehow apply Google translate to it, then I can definitely use it.


Many thanks!

Thank you! Very interesting.

Hi Andy1987,

In the 1990s and 2000s, district councils in Hong Kong published books about history and heritage (usually titled 風物志 in Chinese).  From memory, some of them are bilingual.  You can get an overview of the history of the districts in the New Territories through those books.  Some of these and other resources are available through links on Tere Wong's blog entry in Chinese as well as resources pages of the National Education Association and the Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Co-ordinators.

For academic publications in English, please look for books and articles by Hugh Baker, James Hayes, David Faure, Patrick Hase, James and Rubie Watson, et al.  Some good articles can be found in the Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.

The resource page on the Heung Yee Kuk web site has a list of established villages and other documents on the small house policy (about four-fifths the way down the page).

Also from memory, some entries on villages in the book 'A gazetteer of place names in Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories' (published in 1960) named the major clans and the community identities (e.g. Punti, Hakka) in those villages.

I hope these help!

A good example of the articles mentioned by C is The five great clans of the New Territories by HughB Baker.

 There is a book Chinese Lineage Village: Sheung Shui. That might help

You can contact me at sandymadar@hotmail.com and I will try and give you more info.