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  • Data
  • Data Source

This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Tool with leaf-shaped iron blade, the end of which is bent upwards and then wrapped around a short, round handle. The part attached to the handle is partially broken and rusty.

History Of Use

Such tools were in common use, and readily recognized. They were used to locate and secure sea snails, which were commonly eaten by these people who lived by the shore. The tool was used to lift rocks to find the snails, and to pry them off from the rocks. The rust may have resulted from its exposure to salt water. This work was normally done by women, but sometimes also by men. Women from Shatin sometimes walked over mountain paths to Tsuen Wan to obtain sea snails for food. After the mid-twentieth century the New Territories of Hong Kong began to undergo fundamental changes. The people who had been settled there before 1898, when the British colonizers claimed the area, began to give up rice agriculture and coastal fishing, turning instead to wage labour and increased employment overseas. By the end of the century, educational opportunities leading to the possibility of white-collar work also increased, together with western influences. These changes meant that objects and clothing once useful and appropriate were no longer needed and generally were discarded. Some were saved by their owners, who sometimes were willing to donate them to museums, sharing, also, their knowledge of how they were made and used.


This object is one of a number of old and no longer used objects collected from relatives of Mrs. Yau Chan, Shek –ying. She understood the purpose of the museum and of developing its collections, and encouraged her relatives to donate them. She also documented the objects for MOA based on her remarkable memory because, like most women her age, she had no opportunity to go to school. In 1980, Chik Wai Koon Village was about to be destroyed to make way for the development of Shatin new town, and its residents moved to new housing. They would then have to give up agriculture. Hakka people are one of the two original land-dwelling groups that settled the area that became the New Territories of Hong Kong. Their spoken language, and some customs, differed from those of the other original group, the Cantonese or Punti. The Cantonese arrived first and settled on the best rice-growing lands, while the Hakka began to arrive after the late 17th century and settled the more hilly lands.

Cultural Context

daily use

Specific Techniques

The iron part was purchased, while the handle was made, perhaps from a broken grass-cutting knife.

Item History

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