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Dragon boat model

Date: 1995-2000
Overall: 100 x 695 x 60 mm, 0.16 kg
Display dimensions: 100 x 695 x 150 mm
Medium: Fibreglass, wood, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Model
Object No: 00033514
Place Manufactured:Australia
Related Place:Zhonghua,

User Terms

    This small fibreglass model of a dragon boat was built by Rocky SS Wong in Australia. This model is based on the lines of the boats that are paddled in Australia - long and narrow, like a dragon, with its head and tail as decorative and symbolic features.
    SignificanceThis small dragon boat model is important in highlighting the increasing popularity of dragon boat racing in Australia from the 1980s onwards.
    HistoryIn the ancient Chinese sport of dragon boat racing, teams of 20 paddlers competed against each other, keeping time to the beat of a drum. The sport was promoted outside China in the 1980s to foster cultural awareness and friendship. It has since crossed cultural and age boundaries to become one of the fastest growing team sports in the world.

    Dragon boat racing teams were formed around Australia after Western Australia competed in the Penang Dragon Boat Festival in 1980, and in 1991 Australia was a founding member of the International Dragon Boat Federation. Australians participated in the first World Championships in Yueyang, China in 1995.

    Large traditional dragon boats are made of wood. In 1976, the Hong Kong Tourist Board developed moulds for fibreglass dragon boats and exported them and their equipment to encourage the development of dragon boat racing as a sport overseas.

    Rocky S S Wong was a painter and art tutor in China before coming to Australia in 1979. Finding it difficult to live off his art, he diversified his skills to work in events, mainly in the Chinese community. He has been part of the Australian Chinese dragon boat racing scene since it started, helping to organise the races, make decorations for the boats and repair damage to the boats.
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