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Dragons in Little Paradise: Chinese (Mis-) Fortunes in Samoa, 1900-1950

Ben Featuna'I Liua'Ana
The Journal of Pacific History
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Jun., 1997), pp. 29-48
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25169313
Page Count: 20
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Dragons in Little Paradise: Chinese (Mis-) Fortunes in Samoa, 1900-1950
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Abstract

Chinese emigration was more out of necessity than the desire to leave the land of their fathers. But by the end of the 19th century the desire to migrate had become almost an obsession occasioned by a strong desire to escape internal hostilities and economic gloom, and a zealous passion to amass huge fortunes in the goldmines and plantations of newly developed colonies. Those who found their way into the Pacific did so mainly under the indentured labour system. Samoa, the Navigator Islands of Louis de Bougainville, and the adventurer's quixotic 'Cradle of Polynesia', also lured the 'Sons of the Yellow Emperor'. Almost 7,000 Chinese emigrated to Samoa under the dreaded indentured labour system. This article examines the plight of the Chinese in Samoa, and just how successful they were in fulfilling their dreams.

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