Men at Work Signs found in Mauritius
Cluny, 04.xii.2022; pict. B. Hoeyberghs
pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (1)
Black River Gorge NP, 03.xii.2022;
pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (2)
Grand Port, 05.iv.2011;
pict. A. Klaver – (3)
Although many different Road Work signs can be found, the majority
is based on the design from Great Britain
. Not a surprise because Mauritius was under British rule from the early
19th century until 1968, a period that also included the emergence of motorized trafic.
There are small differences in the implementation: the physique of the man, the shape of the heap, and the height at which the spade goes into the heap.
Sometimes a message is included within the frame where the man is working:
Man at work
(see above) which is singular
Men at work
(see Cluny) in the plural.
I wonder if workers always manage to choose the right board according to the number of people on site.
Also note that the text below a sign can be a message (
road works ahead), an order (
reduce speed), or a combination of both.
pict. Baeten & De Dier – (4)
Black River Gorge NP, 03.xii.2022;
pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (5)
Port Louis, xi.2001;
pict. Baeten & De Dier – (6)
In addition to the dominant influence of the UK group, we also see influences from various other countries, sometimes
even from other continents.
Sample (5) is very close to signs from Qatar and many countries influenced by the former Soviet Union (see Russia). Only the top of his body is different: here his head balances on a pointy torso
and not on broad shoulders like elsewhere (e.g. Qatar.
Sample (6) is almost identical to the worker of South-Africa
: he is mirrored though.
The drawing is improved: the head is now connected to the body by a slender neck. The designer must be a good observer.
Some readers might think that sample (6) is the modern worker from Germany.
There are several details which make this unlikely: check the heap and the spade.
Grand Sable, 05.xii.2022;
pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (7)
pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (8)
pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (9)
Sample (7) is a sign from the Mediterranean group with its center of gravity around the sea with the same name.
Read more about this workforce in our page about Slovenia
Roadsigns on Mauritius show influences from all over the world: from the Americas in example (8).
We recognize the heap with its improbable shape which can be found from the U.S. of A. (and Canada)
With our next example (9), we finally see a design native to Mauritius; we have not found it anywhere else until now.
The shape of the heap stands out and the most remarkable detail is that he wears a cap.
At least I think so, because it could also be a helmet. You can't tell from the photo.
But a cap corresponds well with reality: the workers in the opening photo also wear a cap.
They should read Bartolomeo's Best Practices
sheet and wear a hard hat.
pict. Baeten & De Dier – (10)
Black River Gorge NP, 01.xii.2022;
pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (11)
Triolet, xi.2001; pict. Baeten & De Dier – (10)
The Triolet-man (10) looks like anything but human. They probably hired another kind of primate
from the continent. My first thought was that this was a warning about people moving road signs. The drawing is so bad that I didn't realize that the triangle represents the pile of earth. It is a gorilla version of the British sign. Still: it is local produce (and recycled!) and therefore a good thing.
Black River Gorge NP, 01.xii.2022; pict. B. Hoeyberghs – (11)
We close with a man coming straight from China
Gradually more and more Chinese designs can be found on the continent: see Uganda