The Coolie Sheds
The Coolie Sheds
Call number:
BG C15/991
Inhabitants of the coolie sheds in West Sumatra:
Chinese: 'As the dregs of Chinese society immigrated via Singapore, most of these people were prone to illnesses, they filled the hospitals, and the mortality among them was high. Some of them had to be deported because of 'bestial situations', and now only a small number remains...'
Malayans: 'come to work only when they need money for their daughter's marriage or similar reasons. They get 60 cents daily, but only work for a short period of time and prefer to stay out of the mines.'
People from Nias: 'have more diligence, are very cooperative when they are treated respectfully, are loyal and industrious, and amenable to education. But they are arrogant, vindictive, not sociable, and therefore they are housed in separate sheds...'
Javanese: 'The low quality of the Javanese immigrant workers, the fact that many of them suffer from venereal diseases on arrival, the few [working] children they take along, and the many ronggengs [concubines] they present as their wives are sufficient to show their low level of civilization.' (Uit Onze Koloniën pp 35-37)