Fancy bullock cart featuring Myanmar traditional culture and folk customs

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One of the Myanmar traditional cultures — a decorated fancy bullock cart. Photo : Zeyar Htet (Minbu)

Bullock carts reflect Myanmar’s traditional culture as well as folk customs. The fancy bullock cart is one of seven types of traditional bullock carts namely fancy bullock cart, fencing bullock cart, arched roof cart, short rear cart, water-drum cart, mattress cart and wife-kick cart. Of them, the fancy bullock cart is decorated with fancy works and wooden fashioned objects.
The fancy bullock cart can be divided into three types depending on the posts lining the railings which shape the drooping form of posts on both sides of the cart body, the wings of a seagull, and carved rails. The fancy bullock cart is used in donation ceremonies and festivals as well as bullock cart contests. Moreover, the fancy bullock cart is often donated to members of the Sangha for their convenient travel. The fancy bullock cart can accommodate five passengers only because it is just for a show of riding. In the past, novices-to-be were carried by the fancy bullock cart for procession in the village before arriving at the monastery. Although fancy bullock carts were used in various forms in Bagan, Pinya, Inwa and Konbaung eras, later these carts were decorated in conformity with the nature of society.
Currently, varieties of vehicles and motorbikes invented in modern technologies penetrate human society to win the hearts of users. However, traditional bullock carts are being used in rural areas of Myanmar. Hence, all Myanmar citizens should take pride in their activities of using the fancy bullock carts on a wider scale today as part of conserving Myanmar’s traditions. As such, all Myanmar people should preserve folk customs of using fancy bullock carts to be handed to new generations for its perpetuation. — Zeyar Htet (Minbu)/TTA

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