Uncle Tony and His Chicken, 1976

Uncle Tony and His Chicken, 1976

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Uncle Tony Torio sits with his fighting chicken, nephew, and niece on the front stairs of their house in the old Kilauea Plantation workers housing "camp." Racially segregated "camps" or workers' villages were an age old custom in Hawaii's plantation economy. Established initially as an anti-union device to "divide and rule", the ethnically segregated Chinese, Portuguese, German, Japanese, and Filipino communities continued after the plantations unionized, as the laborers, deeply rooted in their distinct cultures, continued to settle around their temples, churches, and community centers--with each successive group of immigrants occupying the bottom rung of the island's social ladder.

Though this little house was initially built as a duplex for two bachelors (note the two front doors), Tony and his large, extended family make the best of it.