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Curated Submission
Circa 1921
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
52 x 40
Materials & techniques
Cotton; Plain woven, machine-sewn
Gift of Lonnie Seguin
Textile Museum of Canada T93.0117
This vest was brought to Canada in 1921 by Ho See, who presumably made it for her son using blue-and-white striped commercial fabric with miscellaneous bits and pieces used for facing and lining. It was stitched by machine with threads of different colours that don’t always match the fabric – probably what she had at hand and not purchased specifically for the garment. Although Western in style, the vest recalls the popular blue-and-white colour combination of traditional Chinese work cloth.

Ho See entered Canada through Victoria, British Columbia, on August 8, 1921, which was a difficult time for Chinese immigrants. Under the Chinese Immigration Act of the time, each Chinese person entering the county had to pay a head tax of $500. Ho See paid the tax and kept the certificate, which was “of value as a means of identification.” The certificate was donated to the Textile Museum of Canada together with the vest.
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