'Hlai-Yi', Burmese pleasure cart
Photographer: Watts and Skeen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a Burmese pleasure cart, taken by Watts and Skeen in the 1890s, from the Curzon Collection. The cart is drawn by bullocks and has upswept, curved wooden sides and modern spoke wheels. These began to appear in the late 19th century and replaced solid wooden disc wheels, formerly used because they performed well on muddy ground during the wet season. Although carts were a common mode of road transport, water transport by boat on Burma’s rivers, creeks and coastline was the most important and widely used form of transport, followed in some states by the railways.