What to Bring
Field Cape, palm fibre, Guangdong Province, Southern China, ca. 1860. Image by Taryn Ellis.
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Clothing: a field cape. This cape, together with a basket and hat was brought from China to Victoria.
It was kept and handed down by a family who occupied the same property for four generations at Smeaton, Victoria.
The palm fibre cape is constructed from the matted and fibrous palm sheaths of the Chinese windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei). Although found throughout Asia and the tropics, the palm fibre cape has been specifically attributed to the rural areas of the Guangdong province in Southern China. Worn by both men and women, the rigid structure extends from the shoulders and effectively funnels rain away from the wearer.
It probably arrived in Australia from China around 1860.
Smeaton, in central Victoria, was at the centre of several Chinese encampments.
More information at: https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/261004