These men, on the banks of the Ashburton River in 1903, are waiting for the harvest to begin on the large farms of Canterbury. Like many rural workers they were highly itinerant, moving with the seasons to pick up short-term work. The man on the left has a swag containing his blanket and clothes. The spasmodic nature of much rural work meant that there was little specialisation and a relatively flat occupational hierarchy among the workers.
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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Otago Witness, 20 May 1903, p. 41 (N-P 1431-41)
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