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OK,  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand a thing about farming…so can anyone tell me what the contraption this gentleman is riding on is for?  I mean, the wheel’s been invented, right?  There are easier ways to get around.

It’s one of those things that I forgot to ask about at the time, since I was so busy taking pictures…and now I’m looking at this image and thinking “Darn, people are going to want to know what that ‘sleigh’ thingee is for, and I don’t have the slightest idea!”

So I’ll throw the question back at you, dear readers.  I know at least a couple of you have been to Cuba.  And for all I know, these gizmos are used elsewhere on earth as well.  So please, fill in the blank:

“It’s a __________!”



  1. I didn’t come across a sled like this when I was in Vinales, so have no first hand knowledge. I wonder vwhether they might have been used as an alternative to carts for bringing the tobacco (or other) crops in. Knowing how the Cubans improvise when their mechanical gear breaks, and they can’t get spares, the simplicity of a sled, with the absence of squeaky wheels would probably appeal. I think there is a historic precedent for sleds in Cuba, but maybe in this case it was just because the wheel fell off his wagon!

    When we were there, we did hear oxen described as the replacement for tractors, as spares from China progressively become less available.

    It looks like this farmer is using his upturned kitchen table. Dual purpose, what more could you want.

    After scouring my archive, I can’t find a photo of this gentleman, though he does still look familiar. I do have a few similar moustaches though.

    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks for weighing in. I’m stymied. I get the simplicity factor, but it just seems like so much more work for the poor bulls compared to pulling a wagon. I can’t help feeling like there’s a logical explanation that I’m not guessing…

      I imagine that oxen are “greener” than tractors, and much easier to “manufacture!”

      Take that, China! 😉

      RPRT Photo

      • Bad roads were apparently another reason in olden days, see

        Things haven’t changed much!

      • Good work, Dave!

        An “ox sled” it is! Evidently also known as a “stone boat,” as Keith pointed out. The road I saw this used on actually looked very smooth, but perhaps it isn’t always, or perhaps it’s also used on other roads that are not as well-maintained.

        Thanks for the link. 🙂

        RPRT Photo

  2. I’ve asked some of the local Ag Engineers (emeritus) here at WSU. The closest guess I have is a derivative of a “stone boat” used in the snow covered midwest – a century ago.

    • Thanks, Keith.

      I just googled “stone boat images” and some of those do look incredibly similar. I never would’ve guessed the name of the contraption, however.

      100 year old “technology” sounds just about right for the Cuban countryside! 🙂

      Thanks again,

      RPRT Photo

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