The handmade traditional oxcart, or carreta, is the country's most famous type of craft. Ordinarily admired for its decorative qualities, the oxcart plays a very important part in the cultural history of Costa Rica. In the middle of the 19th century, when coffee was first being cultivated in the surrounding countryside, oxcarts provided the only method in which to transport the hand picked beans over the mountains and to the coast. Arduous and timely were these trips, a good, reliable, well-built oxcart could mean the difference between a successful transit and financial ruin. In many cases, oxcarts were a family's only means of transportation, and at times even served as a status symbol. Thus, the tradition of painting and decorating the carts commenced in the early part of this century. Originally each region of Costa Rica had its own particular design, enabling one to identify from which part of the country the driver lived simply by observing the pattern on the wheels.
As highways, trucks and trains have displaced the carreta as the main means of transporting goods, its significance has changed and it is now a symbol of Costa Rican country life. Featured prominently in parades as well as in both religious and secular celebrations, the brightly painted and painstakingly detailed designs now cover every inch of the cart.
We spent considerable time at an oxcart factory at Sarchi near San Jose. We saw them being constructed and painted. The latter is very beautiful to see.
Critiques | Translate
agulberk (3794) 2011-11-15 18:29
Very nice interesting handmade traditional oxcart with colorful pattern, embroidery and painting.Very succesful light management ,good contrast and sharpness. wel done.
snunney (79973) 2011-11-16 1:18
A good capture of this magnificently decorated cart. The colours and intricate patterns are very well rendered under a fine light.
ikeharel (53145) 2011-11-16 1:19
Fabulous hand-maid cart, Roger, reminded me of those in Sicilia.
POV taken show the fine painting on.
Pink and red contrast to the surrounding's.
A nice shot,
pierrefonds (55290) 2011-11-16 4:50
The houses are framing well the oxcart. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the oxcart. The morning light is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.
rodgerg (55767) 2011-11-16 6:00
Diffrenet of your precedent but very well coloured too! A framing very efficience for the presentation of this astonishing vehicle. Details and colors of the car very well collected.
baddori (19157) 2011-11-16 9:57
Ruota piena ..tipica di vecchie generazioni o trasporti pesanti .
Il contrasto con i colori accesi e i disegni significativi di antiche civiltà.
marcan44 (6223) 2011-11-16 12:20
molto interessante la storia di questi carretti legata al trasporto del caffè.
La decorazione è fantastica e ricca di colori.
Ottima nitidezza, eccellente presentazione!
macjake (53036) 2011-11-16 12:44
when i look at this i cant get the words from the song out of my head 'big wheel keep on turnin'
wow, thats one large piece of equipment!
love the colors and detailing. it shows their pride and culture.
enjoy your day
PaulVDV (20753) 2011-11-16 13:05
WOW ! This is a large piece of craftsmanship!
I really like it that people spent so much time and energy in decorating something for everyday use. The colours and patterns remind me at pictures I've seen of trucks and busses in Pakistan.
Best regards, Paul
vasilpro (40861) 2011-11-16 14:46
Wonderful composition, interesting handmade traditional oxcart with beautiful and colorful decoration, lovely light and contrast, bright colors, excellent POV, very good clarity and sharpness, TFS!
fritzi007 (3113) 2011-11-17 9:42
wunderschöner Ochsenkarren und sehr gute Information, gratuliere!
Cricri (101873) 2011-11-17 10:48
Quelle jolie oeuvre d'art, magnifique décorations et couleurs, netteté et lumière parfaite
adramad (35677) 2011-11-17 11:06
A great composition with this beautiful carriage, an amazing and wonderful decor with this beautiful design, which leaves nothing to paint on the surface, its color is magnificent. Well done.
emka (73877) 2011-11-18 5:43
Hi Roger, Beautiful Costa Rican cart, I saw the photos of them made by my son, who was there several years ago. Fantastic colors. Are they still used? Nice capture.
I enjoy my Myanmar trip very much. I can use a bit of Internet here, but it is to slow to post any photos. And I have already quite many of them.
stevesaba (8135) 2011-11-19 19:05
Wow! This is great. I have never seen anything like this! Thanks for educating us about this Costa Rican craft. Very wonderful, and beautifully captured! Warm regards,
- Copyright: Roger Edgington (edge) (6070)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2011-03-09
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Canon EOS 7 D, Canon 17-55mm 2.8 USM IS, 77mm Hoya Circular Polarizer
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2011-11-15 18:03
- Favorites: 1 [view]