A Photo from a British colony?
Here we have an interesting photo we have difficulties to interpret.
It was found in a lot of UK photos. There are no inscriptions or a photographers
mark. Also, the other photos in the lot did not provide any clue.
We see one adult man, four boys and two little children, presumably
girls. The man wears somewhat safari-type clothes. The boys wear sailor
suits, the younger children dresses. The man, the little child he is
holding, and the two boys with lighter hair look European. The little
boy in the middle is clearly Asian, probably South-East-Asian. The two
children on the left might be biracial.
We guess the picture might have been taken in the 1890s.
Below the photo we have collected some guesses and thoughts. If anyone
can say more we would be thankful for a message!
Ein Photo aus einer britischen Kolonie?
Hier haben wir ein interessantes Photo, dass uns Schwierigkeiten bei
der Interpretation bereitet. Es wurde in einer Gruppe britischer Photos
gefunden. Das Photo ist auf dünnen Karton montiert, worauf sich
keinerlei Widmungen oder Vermerke finden lassen, nicht einmal ein Photographen-Vermerk.
Auch die anderen Photos gaben keine Hinweise und schienen nichts mit
diesem zu tun zu haben.
Das Bild zeigt einen erwachsenen Mann, vier Knaben und zwei kleine Kinder,
wahrscheinlich Mädchen. Der Mann trägt einen Safari-artigen
Anzug. Die Knaben tragen Matrosenanzüge und die kleinen Kinder
Kleider. Der Mann, das kleine Kind, das er hält sowie die Knaben
mit dem helleren Haar sehen europäisch aus. Der kleine Junge in
der Mitte ist Asiate, vielleicht Südost-Asiate. Die zwei Kinder
auf der linken Seiten mögen je ein asiatischen und ein europäisches
Elternteil gehabt haben.
Wir vermuten, dass das Photo in den 1890ern aufgenommen wurde.
Unterhalb des Photos haben wir einige Meinungen und Gedanken (bislang
nur in englisch) zu dem Bild gesammelt. Wer mehr zu diesen Photo weiß,
wird gebeten, ihre/seine Informationen mit uns zu teilen.
Thoughts and guesses about the picture
- the discussion so far
- "Taken in Thailand or Indonesia?"
- "Neat image. As to tracking it down, thats a bit difficult.
A first thought is the Dutch in Indonesia, in part because I think
there was more intermarriage there. But the children don't look right
for Indonesia. Its not German, both because of the way the sailor
scarves are tied and the Germans didn't have South-East-Asian colonies.
And the children don't look right for the English in India. The children
to me look South-East-Asian. That narrows it down a bit. Thailand
was not colonized. So my guess is the French in Indochina or the British
in Burma. I'm inclined to go with the French in Indochina, but of
course that is just a guess on my part."
- "The (English) man might have lived with his own children in
a British colony. Some South-East-Asian children of the neighbourhood
might have been dressed up in western style clothing. The picture
looks rather old. There is a heavy sepia tone. And the sailor suits
look pre-1900. A first thought were the late 1880s but the 1890s seem
to be more likely."
- "I doubt if anyone would have gone to the trouble to dress
up neighborhood children. The curious thing to me is that while two
of the younger children look biracial, the one he is holding does
not. There might be two women in the man's life. While I would guess
French, the fact that
it was with British photographs is strong evidence that it is British.
- "Just imagine the western lady of the house in
Asia seeing some cute Asian children around the house, maybe orphans
or just begging. Maybe she says "oh how cute, lets give them proper
clothing". I am rather confident she felt superior. Well, I don't
say it is like this, it is just a guess. Of course, there can be also
two women in his life."
- "I suppose a possibility is that they are missonaries and took
in orphans, but I do not think that was very common."
- You think the bigger boy on the left to be biracial. I am not so
sure here. He does look different than the two other boys with dark
hair, but I do not see Asian eyes. He looks to be rather French or
Italian. But no matter how varied, they are clearly a family as seen
by the three matching sailor suits as well as the ways the boys are
holding the younger girls. Body language like this I think is telling.
There are a lot of family images in which the children are very stiff
and not touching each other as well."
- "Yes, the children do look close but another thing is the photo
was not taken in a studio. So the whole scene looks far more relaxed."
Meinungen und Gedanken zum Bild