Coolies and Samsui women

Coolies and Samsui women had one thing in common; both groups engaged in hard labour. Coolies were primarily impoverished Chinese immigrants who came to Singapore in the second half of the 19th century, seeking employment as construction and plantation workers, miners or even rickshaw pullers. Samsui women were Cantonese and Hakka immigrants from southern China who wore the unmistakable red headdress, which has become an iconic representation of their hard but dignified lives, as they slaved on construction sites carrying rocks and doing menial work.