China, c1880. Wood, silk, cane, wire.
Please contact the Bendigo Chinese AssociationCopyright
Bendigo Chinese Association
This object is from the Golden Dragon Museum’s collection of processional regalia used in the Bendigo Easter Fair processions.
It is a teaser and was carried in the procession in front of a dragon, who sees it as a game and tries to play with it. It is decorated in red and gold, with streamers on the pole and a red wooden handle. Teasers came in many different designs.
This teaser was used for Loong (Dragon), the oldest imperial dragon in the world and also in the Golden Dragon Museum’s collection. He was probably first used in 1892, and took part in the procession in Melbourne to celebrate Federation in 1901; he retired in 1970.
The Chinese arrived in Bendigo, Victoria, during the 1850s gold rush. In 1854, it was estimated that over 4,000 Chinese were on the gold fields. In 1871, the Chinese community joined the Bendigo Easter Fair and Procession (which began in 1869) to assist fundraising for charity. Providing music, theatre and acrobatic displays, the Chinese section of the Procession soon became the main attraction. This remarkable collection of 19th Century processional regalia has been preserved by the Chinese community in Bendigo and is held in the Golden Dragon Museum. It is not only a collection of world significance but, importantly, it contextualises and preserves the living heritage of both Victoria and China through the objects and through the ceremonies that continue to be practised today.
(Text courtesy Bendigo Chinese Association Inc, and The 1880s Processional Regalia of the Bendigo Chinese Association, Golden Dragon Museum, 2010 ).