Traditions & Culture

25 – Attire of the Chinese Community in the Dutch East Indies – 4/10

25 - Tradities en Cultuur Java 1887

Portrait of Oei Tiong Ham (1866 – 1924) Java, 1887 . See whole image below

Until early 20th century, Chinese men wore their hair in a Manchurian queue, a hairstyle where the front and sides of the head were shaved, and the rest of the hair gathered and plaited into a long braid that hung down the back.

This requirement was also enforced on overseas Chinese men by the Qing government.

Chinese men in the Dutch East Indies had queues as seen in a photograph of a young Oei Tiong Ham, who looked dapper in a modernised Chinese-style jacket with Western-style tailored trousers, cane and hat.

The wearing of queues was abandoned with the collapse of the Qing dynasty. A modern Chinese identity was established with the founding of Republic of China on 1 January 1912.

Portret van Oei Tiong Ham (1866-1924), Java 1887. ‘Amek Gambar’ tentoonstelling 5 mei 2018 – 3 februari 2019, Peranakan Museum Singapore.
Portrait of Oei Tiong Ham (1866 – 1924) Java, 1887  “Amek Gambar” exhibition 
5 May 2018 to 3 February 2019 The Peranakan Museum, Singapore

January 2021

Christopher Ng

This article is part of a series of 10 articles. A new article will be published on the 1st day of each month from October 2020 to July 2021. The bibliography of the series can be found here