Nearly completely disappeared, the ox-cart was once very much used in Mauritius for the transport of sugar cane from the fields to the factories during the cane harvest seasons. Whilst motorised vehicles wasn’t yet available, the few alternatives remained the ox-cart and the railways back in the days. Farmers raised oxes and the animals were attached to these wooden carts which were then driven near the fields to carry the harvest. Though somewhat slow, this method of transport was quite common then. If the main activity was to carry sugar cane, the ox-cart was also used to carry anything the owners needed, amongst, dried wood and grass. Little by little, with modernisation and development, lorries replaced ox-carts and at a certain time it was believed that the ox-cart method of transport was no more viable.
Today (2014) as we write, one of these traditional transport can still be seen in the village of Triolet. The proud owner’s reason is to keep the culture alive. Hope this stays, even though just for history sake. The last ox-carts still in operation could still be seen back in 2012 at the Mon Loisir Sugar Estate. A little glimpse below:
This certainly is a very hard ‘job’ and we should be thankful for those people still trying to make our culture and history stay. Additionally, the carts themselves have become very rare and even categorized as a collector item. A few people have managed to preserve what they had and one can even be seen at the Musée de la Petite Collection in Rose Belle. Let’s also hope that the animals are well-treated!
Below a Gallery of Ox-Carts once in Mauritius
Additionally, you can click here to view our online facebook gallery about the Mauritian Culture.