Unknown artist, Chinamen's Huts on Golden Point, Cassell's Picturesque Australasia, 1888-1889, Private collection.Contributors
This item has been released by the collection holder to foster Victoria's cultural and creative life. If using, please attribute the creator of the work and the collecting institution.Copyright
This item is out of copyright.
Chinese miners set up camps within their village dialect or ethnic units.
See Yup language speakers (a variety of Cantonese spoken by residents of four counties south-west of Guangzhou/Canton) populated much of the goldfields. They congregated according to dialect, home village or family group. Eventually specific family names became attached to certain goldfields towns: the Loueys predominated in Bendigo and Vaughan Springs, for instance, and the Chins in parts of Ballarat and Creswick.
Macao, Shantou and Shunde Chinese usually congregated in separate camps. The culturally distinct Hakka minority assembled in separate districts to Cantonese speakers. Beechworth had its own separate Hakka camp and See Yup camps.
Hokkien-speakers from the province of Fujian were another linguistically different cultural group. Ballarat had a significant minority of Fujianese, also known as Amoy Chinese, present on the goldfields, large numbers of whom settled at the Golden Point camp, pictured here.