A Chettiar moneylender’s ‘Pelikan’ ink pad

The Chettiars are a South Indian community in Singapore originating from Chettinad in Tamil Nadu. They are usually referred to as ‘Nattukottai Chettiars’ to distinguish them from other groups of Chettiars. The early Chettiar immigrants contributed much to the economic development of the thriving settlement by providing credit and banking services. The majority of them operated their businesses from the shophouses situated along Market Street. A single shophouse was usually shared by many moneylenders, with each having his own workspace.