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Hsinchu MAAG

Commerce and Production

Rice paddies were everywhere in the countryside.  Farmer and his water buffalo harrow the flooded soil to break up clods in preparation for the hand-transplanting of rice seedlings.  Circa 1958-1959.

These women might be dispatching the kinds of weeds that can grow in wet conditions, something that should be done once or twice per crop.  This involves either pulling out the weed and putting in into a pouch or pushing it back into the mud upside down so it will act as fertilizer. It took Roy a long time to get a shot of women working paddies; they would not take money, but somehow he eventually got this shot.  He later assumed that they were sensitive that their job was not glamorous, and preferred to be anonymous under their well-wrapped hats that help keep the sun from darkening their faces. Ca 1958-1959.

Rice is being threshed in a drained field of harvested rice next to a railroad bed.  Under the woven shroud is a rotating wooden drum of bent-over wires which knocked rice kernels from the stalks. Ca. 1958-1959.

Tied-up geese and chickens being freighted to a Hsinchu market.  Ca 1958-1959.

We are in the downtown Hsinchu open food market, which was a dank, dimly lit alley that snaked between buildings for about 500 feet.  Ca 1958-1959.  Standing here, bag in hand, is “Cookie,” the Rayle’s vegetable man.  Merchants weighed produce with a Chinese steelyard (pictured below) that was graduated in caddies (aka catties.) The price was then calculated on abacus and briefly haggled over, as was expected. 

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