domingo, 9 de julho de 2017
Travelling by Oxcarts
Oxcarts in Madeira? Yep. Until the end of the 1970s the traditional oxcarts toured along Avenida do Mar, to the delight of residents and visitors.
This cart without wheels, built with wicker and wood, with seats showing bright colored fabrics, glided like a sled and was pulled by two oxen led by a “boieiro” (a herdsman dressed in white, with flat boots and straw hat). The herdsman carried a lamp with him to light the way in the absence of street lighting. The story goes that the first oxcart built in Madeira, in 1477, belonged to the English captain C. Balkey.
Until the first quarter of the twentieth century this was the most popular form of transport in Funchal and it was classified into two categories: luxury carts and modest carts. The first was aimed at tourism services, weddings and funerals, and the other was used in all other situations.
The oxcarts, however, fell into disuse for hygienic reasons and due to the circumstances inherent to regional development.