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Excerpts from “Orientation to Hawaii’s Plantation Village”

 

Work Force

 

Because of the shrinking native labor force, which was being ravished by diseases brought by the foreigners, the plantation owners recognized that they needed to look elsewhere for a cheap labor force.  The first immigrant group brought to work on the sugar plantations were the Chinese who had some experience in refining sugar.  Primarily males were recruited.  Many returned to China once their labor contract was completed.  With the demands for sugar increased, a demand for cheap labor force increased too.  To be able to supply the plantations with the needed workers, the owners began looking to other sources.  They sent recruiters to the Azores and Madeira in Portugal, Japan, Korea, Norway, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.  Each different ethnic group would work under a different wage scale and rate; the latest arrival would be paid less.

 

 

 

 

Ravished: to overwhelm

 

 

 

Refining: to produce a purer form of something

 

Labor: the workers

 

Recruiters: to enlist somebody

 

Wage: a scale of the different wages paid to employees (workes)

 

 

Major Ethnic Group Immigration Period for Plantation Laborers

 

Chinese (18,000 +)                 1852 (first group)        1886 - 1884

 

Portuguese (12,000)                1878-1887                   1906 - 1913

 

Japanese (61,000)                   1868 (first group)        1885 to 1924

 

Puerto Rican (5,200)               1900 - 1901

 

Okinawan (20,000)                 1900 - 1924

 

Koreans (7,000)                      1903 - 1905

 

Filipinos (100,000)                 1906 - 1930