The blood and sweat drenched canvas: a social history of the survival of Aboriginal tent fighters during the depression and post war era in Western Victoria

Clarke, E 2010, The blood and sweat drenched canvas: a social history of the survival of Aboriginal tent fighters during the depression and post war era in Western Victoria, Masters by Research, Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The blood and sweat drenched canvas: a social history of the survival of Aboriginal tent fighters during the depression and post war era in Western Victoria
Author(s) Clarke, E
Year 2010
Abstract My Masters in Research topic is The Blood and Sweat Drenched Canvas: A social history of the Aboriginal Tent Fighters of Framlingham in Western Victoria. The story originated by my father, Eric Clarke senior, as he was one of these Tent fighters of this Post war era.

Many fighters before him, being his Uncles, all fought in those tents around the Agricultural shows in country Victoria.

Touring troupes of boxers and wrestlers toured across the state and in Australia, and it became a ‘phenomenon’. The Aboriginal people of Framlingham absolutely loved the idea of the fighting, because it became their ‘survival’. Many families where fed by the monies that the Mission men would bring home after each show.

The Indigenous people fought, not for the entertainment but for survival, even though it was recognised by most people, mainly Non Indigenous Australians, as fun and purely entertainment.

These fights became personal, community recognised and a culturally important activity.

In this research I explore the fighters themselves, their families and friends who knew about the history and facts about this phenomenon. It was gratifying to hear the stories in their own words and their own voices.

I have filmed these conversations and recorded them on DVD, so that people can get an idea about why, when and how these men left the missions to go off and earn money for the Mission’s survival.

In examining the content of the Interviews, I also look at how the interviews themselves become a link in the chain of understanding the past and influencing the future, so that tent fighting does not pass into oblivion with the passing of the last of those who were a part of it.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Aboriginal
mission
tent fighting
Victoria
Note Please note that images of deceased Indigenous people are contained within this thesis.
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Created: Thu, 20 Jan 2011, 15:16:52 EST
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