Animal power was used by man in his service during early civilization. Like some other animals his bullocks carried his loads. In order to draw better service from the bullocks, man invented the bullock-cart. A bullock cart or ox cart is a two-wheeled or four-wheeled vehicle pulled by oxen (draught cattle). This means of transportation is used since ancient times in many parts of the world. They are still used today where modern vehicles are too expensive or the infrastructure does not favor them.
Used especially for carrying goods, the bullock cart is pulled by one or several oxen (bullocks). The cart (also known as a jinker) is attached to a bullock team by a special chain attached to yokes, but a rope may also be used for one or two animals. The driver and any other passengers sit on the front of the cart, while load is placed in the back. Traditionally the cargo was usually agrarian goods and lumber. Fittings done to the bullocks include placing a wooden platform with a sturdy tongue between the parallel wheels of the cart to create space for passengers or freight. The driver holding a yoke hitched to the two bullocks on one hand and a thin whip on the other was invariably an Indian. The ride on bullock carts was usually bumpy. It was a common sight to see street urchins stealing a ride by holding on to bullock carts from behind, which might cause the driver to flick these intruders off with his whip.
The bullock cart, traditionally one of the strongholds of rural life in India, is on the brink of a revolution. In the last decade or so there have been serious experiments with the design of the cart and its components for increasing efficiency.
Maharashtra has a proud and lustrous cultural heritage. It is located in the western coastline of India and is a melting pot of various cultures. The cultural heritage of any land can be valued by the richness of its arts forms; Maharashtra showcases art in all its forms from beautiful dances, world renowned architecture, music, literature, much more. But the heartbeat of any culture is its craft tradition. Maharashtrian craft tradition tells a story of its own. The culture here has been shaped over time by various factors like the political history, geographic location, richness of raw materials and the instinctive talent of its people.
To understand this diversity and richness of crafts we need to look at numerous dimensions that include all the historical events that transformed the society over time. Situated along the coast line Maharashtra was host to many visitors from far and wide. Many empires have left their footprint on this land. Most importantly it was home to the great Marathas, a class of warriors who ruled out the region from centuries. In the sixteenth century, regional Muslim powers ruled the Deccan region, which basically served the Mughal Empire. Sivaji Bhosle, born in 1627, was the founder of the Maratha Empire and engaged in a lifelong struggle against the Mughals to establish supremacy of the Maratha kingdom. Under the rule of the great Marathas of Maharashtra flourished and so did the art and culture. The Mughal and Muslim rulers in this region have been a strong influence on the crafts of Maharashtra even today. There is Mughal influence is seen in many motifs and designs.
During the pre and post-independence era the state of Maharashtra saw it formation, first as Bombay state which included present day Gujarat then as Maharashtra. Since the state of Bombay includes other parts of the country the crafts of present day Maharashtra have strong influences of legacy.
Indian Wooden Bullock Cart:
Craft traditions of any land communicate important cultural concepts and function beyond their basic role of ornamentation and cultural expression. An author describes craft as an extension of the human mind given life through hands. Traditionally developed as community, crafts have strong social and economic implications as well. Crafts reflect the immense creativity of ordinary people and their quest for self-expression and fulfilment.
Toys and dolls are considered as an integral part of traditional cultures across the globe. Toys replicate both fantasy as well as tangible worlds. A child learns his/her primary lessons when playing with these handcrafted toys. There are several varieties of toys designed throughout the world. However, India is specially known for its wide variety of crafts designed. In India, bullock cart toys are designed and are of great demand in the handicraft market. As bullock cart encapsulates village life and it acts like a symbol of Indian tradition and living. A bullock cart is an Indian traditional two-wheeled rural farmer’s vehicle which is used on his way to the fields. Generally, the cart is pulled by one or two oxen, and is used for carrying goods or to plough the fields in the villages. Today, one can hardly find these bullock carts in villages; they have been substituted with other modern equipments. Bullock carts are designed in the form of toys and are used as decoration items in homes and offices.
As the name suggests wooden cart toys are designed with wood. These wheeled toys roll around and add fun to the kids playing activity. They are environmentally safe and suitable for children. These toys are available in various colours and are decorated with beautiful art work. They increase a child’s running capacity and exercise your baby’s hand-eye coordination. Wooden cart toys are a blend of classic styles and form. They are also used as home and office decors.