Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Throughout Indian history, as agriculture became more demanding, the need for additional power from draft animals became essential. 
Indian yokes were designed with specific agricultural and transportation tasks in mind.
Over time yokes were adapted and almost exclusively hand carved to better fit the animal in order to maximize comfort and their willingness to work. Even today, where they are still in use, animal comfort is given priority whilst crafting a new yoke.
Yoke designs continue to vary according to local customs and regions India. This has been influenced by the type of cattle, the resourcefulness of the farmers, their skills in recognizing animal comfort and the culture of the people.
Placement of the holes on a yoke is a skill and almost achieved flawlessly as an art. It decides the comfort as well as the utility of the yoke for the bulls as well as the tiller.
This yoke has been used for over three generations, venerated and loved till a mechanical tractor replaced it. The holes that held the ropes now seem like gapes in an abyss of uncertainty.
My tryst with bull yokes began a decade ago whilst walking and interacting with forest and hinterland communities in Goa and Karnataka. With a small collection of yokes that hold on to memories now, the journey contunies…

1 comment:

Swathi said...

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