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Australian swagmen

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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Australian swagmen
    Posted: 01-Jun-2011 at 20:53

In addition to bushrangers the Aussies have their own hobo: the swagman made famous in Banjo Patterson's song Waltzing Matilda. The swagman, usually accompanied by his dog, traveled from farm to farm with a pack on his back containing his bedroll, billycan and sometimes a tent. Some had a mule or packhorse to carry their tools for shoeing horses, gold panning or repairing bores. Like the hobo the swagman did seasonal work to support himself, often shearing sheep or rounding up cattle, but was not above stealing the odd jumbuck to fill his tuckerbag
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2011 at 19:18
"Matilda" was the swagman's backpack: often his only companion. To go a-waltzing Matilda meant living the nomadic life of the hobo.
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  Quote unclefred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2011 at 00:37
Our future, perhaps.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2011 at 21:06
Possibly. The number of swagmen did increase during the Depression as farm workers hopped on freight trains in search of work
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2011 at 20:32
When foraging for food the swagman would take a sack with him known as a "tucker-bag." Nuts, fruit, roots, leaves, mushrooms, insects, Witchetty grubs, and the odd jumbuck, lizard, emu or boomer could be stuffed into this sack and eaten later on.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2011 at 21:22

The Aborigines have long considered these grubs a delicacy. They have a rich almond flavor and are usually fried until crispy
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Aug-2011 at 20:06

Australia's national dress, the cork hat, was invented by these swagmen. The corks, suspended from strings, kept biting insects away from the face
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2011 at 20:45

The swagman's billycan was originally a tin can with a wire handle. This was easy to make and could be used as a cup, kettle or saucepan
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2011 at 21:13
A swagman could also be a gold prospector. In the 1850s many left their hometown for the outback. Like the Westerners, they lived in vast "tent cities" and panned for gold in the nearby river. Although some found gold, most were unsuccessful and instead settled the vast tracts of land and became farmers
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2012 at 19:10
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2012 at 19:07
The tin can stove was used by these intrepid hobos when wood for an open fire was scarce. By making holes in the bottom of the can and turning it to face the wind, you can save a lot of fuel and boil the billycan or skillet much faster
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2012 at 19:45
The farmer's magazine:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5XePJmT0I2cC&dq=swagman&pg=PA490#v=onepage&q&f=false


Edited by Nick1986 - 27-Apr-2012 at 19:45
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 19:31
This website has many books and images of swagmen
http://trove.nla.gov.au/result?q=subject%3A%22Swagmen+-+Australia.%22
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  Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2014 at 12:57
Originally posted by Nick1986

When foraging for food the swagman would take a sack with him known as a "tucker-bag." Nuts, fruit, roots, leaves, mushrooms, insects, Witchetty grubs, and the odd jumbuck, lizard, emu or boomer could be stuffed into this sack and eaten later on.

Give us a break! Swagmen weren't Aboriginals, his tuckerbag would more likely contain his billy, tobacco and whatever food, like Damper for instance, he might have. They weren't much into "Bush Tucker".
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