Majie’s mandarin-collar top

This grey coloured mandarin-collar top with woven stripes belonged to a majie, a Cantonese female domestic helper. Majie is derived from a Shun Tak term (ma cheh) which means mother and sister. As this group of women had taken a vow never to marry, the term Majie alludes to their spinsterhood and refers to their work taking care of children. Majies typically wore a samfoo uniform consisting of a white mandarin-collar top and black trousers.

Date/Period
Mid-20th century
Region
Singapore
Dimension
Gross measurement: 73.0 x 107.0 cm
Accession No.
2017-00891
Material
Cotton
Collection of
National Museum of Singapore
Credit Line
Gift of Dr Mark Lu
Category
Garments and Accessories