Transcolonial Journeys: The Ayahs and Amahs Project’s online exhibition

One of the key aims of the Ayahs and Amahs project is to reconstruct, describe and analyse the historical experiences of ayahs and amahs and to investigate the way that visual and literary representations of these women travelled with them along circuits of the British empire. Our new online exhibition, Ayahs and Amahs: Transcolonial Journeys,Continue reading “Transcolonial Journeys: The Ayahs and Amahs Project’s online exhibition”

The Ayahs’ and Amahs’ Home: A History

Part II: The Home at Hackney It is the Hansons then (“aka” the Rogers), who appear in front of the door to the imposing new premises, along with the four sari-clad women, in 1900 (figure 2.1).  Christian Hanson and wife Amina were listed as “Manager” and “Matron” respectively of the Ayahs Home on King Edward’sContinue reading “The Ayahs’ and Amahs’ Home: A History”

The Ayahs’ and Amahs’ Home: A History 

This year a new English Heritage Blue Plaque will be unveiled at 26 King Edward Road, Hackney, in London, to commemorate the Ayahs’ Home that operated there in the opening decades of the twentieth century. This public recognition of a major part of Britain’s imperial history has been some time coming. Rozina Visram, historian ofContinue reading “The Ayahs’ and Amahs’ Home: A History “

“For Nannie”? The controversial case of a Sinhalese “amah” in white Australia

The historical relationship that connects Australia and South Asia is one that we are just beginning to understand.[1] Our project brings a new dimension to that story by exploring the experiences of South Asian women who journeyed across the Indian Ocean and came to Australia as nursemaids to children. One such woman was Sinhalese amah,Continue reading ““For Nannie”? The controversial case of a Sinhalese “amah” in white Australia”

Travelling Pictures and Blurry Visions: Photographs of Chinese Amahs

Our project seeks to trace not only how ayahs and amahs travelled across the world but also how images of these women circulated. Pictures of ayahs and amahs travelled as illustrations in books, photographs enclosed in letters, ethnographic postcards exchanged as curiosities, and as paintings purchased for display in homes and galleries. Today these imagesContinue reading “Travelling Pictures and Blurry Visions: Photographs of Chinese Amahs”

A Japanese Amah

The following blog tells the story of a uniquely transnational amah called Tuk-San. [1] Tuk-San was a Japanese woman who travelled with the Hillier family between China and England at the turn of the twentieth century. Her story is contributed by historian and author Dr Andrew Hillier. ‘I came to Europe from Peking for theContinue reading “A Japanese Amah”

Chinese amahs in Britain and Australia

A range of historians and public history practitioners have brought to light the stories of travelling Indian ayahs in Britain. [1] Much less is known about the Chinese amahs that travelled with employer families to Britain. The stories of the Chinese amahs and Indian ayahs who travelled to Australia (even after the passing of theContinue reading “Chinese amahs in Britain and Australia”