One of Durban’s first ricksha from the late 1800’s
I got this information on rickshas from Facts about Durban, written by Allan Jackson: He writes that rickshas were introduced to Durban in 1893 by Sir Martin Campbell and rapidly became a vital means of transport for Durbanites. Some people had their own private vehicles, often with the gardener doubling as a puller in the afternoons.
Most Durbanites only got a ricksha when they needed one, and they were called by sending a servant out onto the street outside the home to shout “Shaw” as loudly as possible. The ricksha pullers evolved a style of dress which included a fringed version of the calico kitchen uniform, a head dress with horns, and they often whitewashed fancy designs on their legs. Rickshas were used as transport even as late as the 1940s.
This photo is of my Dad with his parents and grandmother in about 1933.
And this one on Durban beachfront is of my 3 siblings, taken in 1965.
The ricksha can still be found today on our beachfront. They transport tourists up and down the promenade and will happily pose for photos for a small donation.
Information taken from Facts about Durban, written by Allan Jackson.