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Unknown Chinese Woman in Traditional Clothing

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Family portraits hold a special place in Chinese culture since family and social harmony is a major tenant of Confucianism. In China, multiple generations often lived in one household with the younger generation taking care of their elders and most Chinese children did not move far from their hometowns. Chinese immigrants to the United States made the difficult decision to leave the support of their families. Portraits may have been a way to remain connected to family traditions or to share their new life with their parents back home.

Photograph taken in Canton.