Wooden yokes, usually hand carved from local materials, have traditionally been easy, effective and economical ways to harness the locomotive energy of the Indian humped bull or ox. Yokes are simple in design compared to the more complicated harnessing systems used for horses.
Cattle have been yoked for thousands of years for one reason. They can be. While I draw parallels to this very fact to instances in human society, that tale will be for another day.
But bulls easily adapt to training without complicated bridles, nose rings, bits, reins and harnesses. Cattle work in pairs because they are herd animals that are calmed and more easily controlled by the presence of another animal.
Yokes are made from traditionally mandated wood and often single piece logs. These are cared for and sustained for years, handing them down one generation after another until they give way. My fascination with yokes and the tales they withhold began a decade ago…whilst I watched two oxen pull this yoke with neck, shoulders and grit. Over time these yokes were cast away and replaced by tractors and power tillers.
But my tryst with this simplistic and yet powerful field tool that shaped our agricultural economy continues…’Bull yokes and Light’ will be the first step in this direction.