A Great Emporium

Sir Stamford Raffles wrote in 1819, ‘Our object is not territory but trade; a great commercial emporium.’ At the heart of the settlement’s trade was the Singapore River. Lighter craft crowded the banks of the River along Boat Quay, and merchants had offices and godowns either here or at Commercial Square (Raffles Place). Early trade was in silk, cotton, spices and other exotic commodities. In the late 19th century, this shifted to rubber, tin and copra.

史丹福萊佛士爵士於1819年寫道:“我們的目標不是領土,而是貿易; 一個偉大的商業商場。 該定居點的核心是新加坡河。 較輕的工藝沿著駁船碼頭擠滿了河岸,商人在這里或商業廣場(萊佛士坊)設有辦公室和倉庫。 早期的貿易是絲綢,棉花,香料和其他異國商品。 在19世紀後期,這種轉變為橡膠,錫和椰乾。

Material : Bronze
Location : Singapore River, in front of the Asian Civilisations Museum
Duration : Permanent
Collection : Singapore Tourism Board
Dimensions : 3.6m x 3m (Approx. surface area)

尺寸:3.6米x 3米(約表面積)

European traders, like those here, profited from Singapore’s trade but it was the Chinese traders, like the towkay holding an abacus, who generated the most wealth. Providing much needed labour to the trading industry were Chinese and Indian coolies. Chinese coolies came from the southeastern provinces of china, while Indian coolies hailed from South India. The Chinese coolie and towkay in the sculpture are identified by their queue, or pigtail, which the Qing authorities required all Chinese then to wear. When the Qing dynasty ended in 1912, queues were done away with. The Indian coolie wears the customary turban.
像這裡的歐洲交易員從新加坡的交易中獲利,但是中國交易員就像持有算盤的towkay一樣,創造了最多的財富。 為貿易行業提供急需的勞動力是中國和印度的苦力。 中國苦力來自中國東南部省份,而印度苦力來自南印度。 雕塑中的中國苦力和拖車是由他們的隊列或辮子確定的,清政府要求所有中國人隨後穿。 當清朝於1912年結束時,排隊就被廢除了。 印度苦力穿著習慣性的頭巾。

Life as a coolie was difficult. Coolies lived in cramped and squalid conditions, often with no proper ventilation or sanitation. Many a coolie ended his days in Singapore, alone and penniless, plying the trading boats that crowded the Singapore River.
作為苦力的生活很難。 Coolies生活在狹窄和骯髒的環境中,通常沒有適當的通風或衛生條件。 許多苦力結束了他在新加坡的日子,獨自一人和身無分文,在擁擠的新加坡河上的貿易船上行走。

This sculpture is one of four pieces that are part of the People Of The River sculpture series depicting various historical scenes of people who lived and worked along the river. It commissioned in the early 2000s by the Singapore Tourism Board. The other three pieces – The River Merchants, From Chettiars to Financiers and First Generation – are also located nearby.
這個雕塑是“河流人物”雕塑系列的四部分之一,描繪了沿河生活和工作的各種歷史場景。 它於21世紀初由新加坡旅遊局委託。 其他三件作品 – The River Merchants,從Chettiars到Financiers和First Generation–也在附近。


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