Story: Dalmatians

A letter bride (3rd of 3)

A letter bride

Until 1920 only 3% of New Zealand’s Dalmatians were women. Men in New Zealand would ask their countrymen if they had young sisters or cousins back home, and many a long-distance match was made around a Northland campfire. Failing that, men would write home asking parents to match them with one of the young village women. This woman dressed up as a bride to celebrate the proposal of marriage she received in the mail. For women in poor villages New Zealand seemed a land of opportunity, but it was often a shock to arrive at the gum fields and live in a lonely shack.

Using this item

Private collection, Senka Bozic

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Dalmatians - Leaving Dalmatia', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/2266/a-letter-bride (accessed 25 September 2020)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2015