Christianity and Needlework Industry in Chaoshan

  • Ellen Xiang-Yu Cai


By assessing the impacts of Christianity on gender and material culture, Cai investigates the ways in which Protestant female missionaries and Catholic nuns initiated a unique industrial approach that continues today in needlework. Between 1886 and 1900, foreign missionaries taught their converts Western needlework techniques in order to make them self-reliant financially. Between 1900 and 1914, the needlework industry expanded and many workshops were established in Shantou with investments by Christian and non-Christian merchants. Meanwhile, American investors arrived and marketed the products globally. Interrupted by the Pacific War, the industry underwent a revival from 1946 to 1949. By and large, these church-initiated enterprises taught female believers vocational skills and laid the infrastructure for the modernization of the needlework industry.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Xiang-Yu Cai
    • 1
  1. 1.Guangzhou UniversityGuangzhouChina

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