Contract of leading the way to Taiwan

Exhibit Area:
Chinese Migration to Taiwan > Immigrants > Legal Harbors and Illegal Immigration
Category:
Plate
Form:
Replica
Object description:
During the early stages of the Qing Dynasty of Taiwan, there were vast expanses of fertile, undeveloped land. However, due to the emigration policy of the Qing Government, which restricted the number of people immigrating to Taiwan, moving to the island legally was extremely difficult. However, many troops stationed in Taiwan came from regularly rotated army units in Quanzhou or Zhangzhou, Fujian, and thus were able to smuggle relatives or compatriots into Taiwan. As a Taiwanese proverb states “Six die, three stay, and one turns back”, which shows the dangers that these immigrants had to face. Despite this, many immigrants were still willing to risk their lives in hopes of coming to Taiwan, and thus sought the assistance of smugglers, who stored them in small to medium-sized commercial or fishing boats and took them across the strait. The people specializing in this trade were called ketou, and the Contract of Leading the Way to Taiwan indicates the number of passengers and the amount of money required, and stipulates that the ketou are responsible for taking their customers safely to the island.
Keyword:
Ketou, illegal immigration, immigration

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