The Painted Oxcarts in Costa Rica

Painted Oxcart Wheel and Wagon in Costa Rica

Painted Oxcart Wheel and Wagon in Costa Rica

  • The painted oxcart has become a Costa Rican symbol throughout the world.
  • The oxcart is a rustic sturdy vehicle with two compact spokeless wheels moved by two oxen.
  • During the 19th century, for transporting coffee to market, it was necessary to have a vehicle that could pass through muddy terrains, along beaches, over steep mountains and across small rivers.
  • In the early 20th century, the tradition of painting and decorating oxcarts began.
Oxcart Wheels in Costa Rica

Oxcart Wheels in Costa Rica

  • No two oxcarts are painted exactly the same.
  • Today, oxcarts play an important symbolic role in parades and festivals representing Costa Rican former country life, folklore and traditions.
  • Now trains and trucks have replaced oxcarts as the main means of transport.
  • The colorful oxcart was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2005.
  • The town of Sarchi, where the largest and oldest oxcart factory is located, has become the traditional center for manufacturing and decorating oxcarts.
  • Painted Oxcart Wheel in Costa Rica
    Painted Oxcart Wheel in Costa Rica
  • Painted Oxcart Wheel in Costa Rica
    Painted Oxcart Wheel in Costa Rica
  • Painted Oxcart Wagon in Costa Rica
    Painted Oxcart Wagon in Costa Rica

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