Donkey Carts in Barbados

Ownership of a donkey cart in Barbados was mainly suitable to those who had no other means of transportation and used these carts as a means to transport for produce and whatever else needed to be transported. In some instances, the donkey cart also catered to those who just couldn't be bothered to learn how to drive. Not quite a regular scene on the streets of Barbados these days, donkey carts are running extinct and making their appearances mainly at fairs for the sake of rides for children or to simply help us tap into a piece of our past.


The driver of these carts carried a whip which is called a cow-skin that enabled him to control the pace at which the donkey travelled.


Construction of a Donkey Cart

Construction of donkey carts in Barbados involved the proficiencies of three different craftsmen to make the cart come alive. The carpenter, the blacksmith and the wheel-wright.


Not much variation is seen between donkey carts of years gone by and what is seen today. The only slight variation is that the wheels are now made of tyres as it is quite difficult to find the craftsmanship today that caters to this level of expertise  associated with this kind of wheel assembly.


The durable wooden sections of the box cart were constructed by the carpenter along with the hubs, spokes and rims of the wheels which were also made of wood.


The blacksmith made the axles, hooks, pins, braces and other metal parts.


The wheel-wright, along with the blacksmith's assistance, constructed the wheels.




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