Saturday, 28 February 2015

The ox-wagons of South Africa


This history as told by the hosts of De Oude Huize Yard 
In South Africa, the ox-wagon was adopted as an Afrikaner cultural icon. 
 Ox-wagons are typically drawn by teams of oxen, harnessed in pairs. 
The oxen were given names that would give and indication of their character.  

These wagons had a very wide turning circle, the legacy, of which are the broad, 
pleasant streets of Harrismith "wide enough to turn an ox-wagon".

Hard sprung wood for spokes, iron wood for axles, nailable timber for the superstructure. 

The South African oxwagon is a piece of industrial design.  Built with interchanging parts to quickly replace damage parts. It was made for easy disassembly in order to be transported by the oxen when crossing rivers.  

It's separated front and rear axle and wheel components allowed it to take the sharp bends of the mountain passes. 
The ox-wagon's size determined the size of components imported for building infrastructure such as the railways, its bridges and determined the widths and sizes of public roads and squares. 

The wagon builders were very proud and the wagons were decorated with pride 

The oxen that pulled the wagons had names like Ribbok en Somer 
(Ribbok is the name of a buck and Somer means Summer)
Friesland, Rooiland en Wiegeland 
(Rooiland means red soil) (Wiegeland means to be sleepy)
Robbert en Duiker 
Joeman en Vryman
(Vryman means a free man)
Liefhebber, Witbol and Fluit
(Liefhebber means to love, Witbol means there is a white spot on the ox and Fluit means to whistle)
Witsenberg, Tiegerberg and Blouberg
(names of mountains)
Regter en Roman
(Regter means Judge)

Lots of blessing from South Africa 

Thank you for all the wonderful friends whom are sharing this story!!!

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