LIFE ON THE PLANTATION

LIFE IN THE FIELDS
In pineapple’s heyday, the working day of a plantation laborer began before dawn, six days a week. Workers, both men and women (and sometimes children during their school vacations) rose at 4:30 a.m. and waited for the plantation trucks that took them to the fields before dawn. There were many different kinds of work to be done. Land preparation, planting, fertilization, weeding and harvesting were all done by hand. A laborer’s day was finished by 4 p.m., when the trucks returned them to the plantation camp. A skilled laborer could plant more than 10,000 pineapple crowns a day.

HOME LIFE
On Hawaii’s plantations, workers were usually housed in separate “camps” according to their nationality, a practice that helped the workers maintain a sense of community, continuity, and cultural identity. Within the camps, families celebrated the festivals, shared the foods, and participated in the traditional activities of their homelands. The Japanese camps held  
o-bon festivals in late summer, Chinese camps celebrated the Chinese New Year with fireworks and ceremonial foods, and the Filipino camps celebrated Rizal Day in honor of José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines.






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