Edges of Empire

KNW 2399: Edges of Empire

Colonized Children



Title of Photograph: Girl Sewing on Doorstep

Photographer: Scott, Winfield

The prominent figure in the photograph is a young school girl. She is fully absorbed in her sewing/crafting project and is looking down at her working hands. She is sitting on a step with a long skirt on that resembles a traditional school uniform and she is barefoot. The doorway directly behind her seems to be a cooking room because of the pots and baskets in the background. On her left, there is an open door which is open in order to keep the house cool. The home she is sewing in front of seems old and poorly made because of the deteriorating bricks. She is probably still in primary school since practicing her sewing skills. Since there is a sort of intimacy to this moment of a young girl studying her sewing, it is unlikely that it is a staged activity. I wonder if her parents are watching her through the window and why she chose to sew outside instead of working inside of the house. The door on the left is probably open because there is someone watching out for her. As for choosing to sew outside, I am not sure about that preference.


Title of Photograph: Children at ferry slip

Photographer: Sassoon, Elias Victor

In the foreground, there is a young girl covering her mouth with fabric from her own clothing while standing on a ladder which is on a boat dock. On her immediate left, there are two young shirtless boys looking defiantly at the person taking the photograph. To the left of the young girl, is a boy in a canoe that looks bothered to have his picture taken as he is about to row away. All the children look upset and annoyed at whoever is looking down on them from the docks. They were probably completing labor and are finding that people taking photographs of them are pointless and uninvited distractions. The children seem poor because of their dirty hands, feet, and clothing. I wonder why such young children are rowing boats and standing alone near a deck since it is not safe. They are probably being used for child labor such as transportation of goods.

Works Cited

Scott, Winfield. Girl Sewing on Doorstep. N.d. DeGolyer Library Digital Collection, Dallas.

Sassoon, Elias Victor. Children at ferry slip. N.d. DeGolyer Library Digital Collection , Dallas. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar