World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lai Choi San

Article Id: WHEBN0017658536
Reproduction Date:

Title: Lai Choi San  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Women in piracy, Chinese pirates, Eli Boggs, 1660s in piracy, 1620s in piracy
Collection: Chinese Pirates, Female Pirates, Terry and the Pirates, Year of Birth Unknown, Year of Death Unknown
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lai Choi San

Lai Choi San (Mountain of Wealth) was a 20th-century Chinese pirate. The only evidence of her existence is the book I Sailed With Pirates by Aleko Lilius, published in 1930.[1] She was claimed to be the most powerful and well-known female pirate leader in Chinese history, rivaled perhaps only by Cheng I Sao of the previous century, commanding a fleet of some 12 junks in the area of Macao and the South China Sea during the 1920s and 30s. Though her fleet was based in South China Sea, she frequented the East China Sea and sometimes the Sulu Sea near Palawan

Lai Choi San was one of several pirates that Lilius claims to have traveled with during the late 1920s. Lilius describes her fleet as "twelve smooth-bore, medieval-looking cannons onboard, and two rather modern ones. Along the bulwarks of the junk were bolted rows of heavy iron plates". Her crew are referred to as ladrones by the Portuguese and, according to Lilius, were "all fearsome fellows, muscular bare-chested men who wore wide-brimmed hats and tied red kerchiefs around their necks and heads". Lai Choi San has been referred to as a female "Robin Hood" figure, however she and her crew were often paid protection money by local merchants[2] and operated with little interference from either Portuguese or Chinese authorities since inheriting the fleet from her father upon his death.[3]

Lai Choi San was the model for the Dragon Lady, one of the main villains which appeared in the comic, radio and television series Terry and the Pirates. The series creator Milton Caniff later claimed to have been inspired by reading a story about her. The character would heavily influence the stock character whose persona is usually portrayed as a beautiful yet cold-hearted villainess as seen in later popular culture. [4][5][6]


  1. ^ Murray, Dian, "Cheng I Sao in fact and fiction" in Pennell, C.R. (editor) Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader. New York and London: New York University Press, 2001. (pg. 257) ISBN 0-8147-6678-1
  2. ^ Levy, Daniel S.Two-Gun Cohen. New York: Macmillan, 2002. (pg. 165) ISBN 0-312-30931-7
  3. ^ Pons, Philippe. Macao. London: Reaktion Books, 2002. (pg. 26) ISBN 1-86189-136-9
  4. ^ Becker, Stephen D. Comic Art in America: A Social History of the Funnies, the Political Cartoons, Magazine Humor, Sporting Cartoons, and Animated Cartoons. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959. (pg. 255)
  5. ^ Waugh, Coulton. The Comics. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991. (pg. 47) ISBN 0-87805-499-5
  6. ^ Kamalipour, Yahya R. and Theresa Carilli. Cultural Diversity and the U.S. Media. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1998. (pg. 26) ISBN 0-7914-3930-5

Further reading

  • Blackham, Robert James. Woman: In Honour and Dishonour. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd., 1936.
  • Lintner, Bertil. Blood Brothers: Crime, Business and Politics in Asia. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2002. ISBN 1-86508-419-0
  • Lorimer, Sara. Booty: Girl Pirates on the High Seas. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2001. ISBN 0-8118-3237-6
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.