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The Yokes of Morvan
The Yokes of Morvan
Painting by Rosa Bonheur, 1849, Ploughing in the Nevers, Musée d’Orsay.

The Yokes of Morvan

by Phillippe Berte-Langereau of Morvan, France

We recently had to move the Miller archive of old books and magazines, and we had to do it in a relative hurry. Fifty years worth of accumulated reference materials, with many, many boxes of items long thought lost. Four of us packing, loading and unpacking – our urgency challenged by the discovery of hundreds of forgotten goodies. Two such items were large format, catalog-type magazines covering a certain region’s ox heritage. These were sent to us decades ago by Philippe Berte-Langereau of France (see his letter below). When we learned we would be able to print Rob Collin’s excellent MODA report in this SFJ, I immediately thought it would be a grand opportunity to share just a little bit from Philippe’s magnificent work. We do not know if these magazines are still generally available anywhere. If any of you know please share that information with us all. I selected the unique head yoking variations as a starting point for oxen discussions. In North America it would seem that the neckyoking systems of Ox hitching are far more common. I have only seen a handful of headyokes and those in New England and the Pacific Maritime provinces. LRM


Chers Amis,

Je m’excuse de ni fas vous ecrire en anglais. Un ami m’a donné votre adresse, il cof abonné a votre journal (J.F. Roubeyrie). Je vous envoie deux publications pus j’ai failes et susceptibles de vous intérester.

Pourriez-vous m’envoyes un epauflaire de votre journal? Je souhaiterais m’y abonnes.

Dans l’attente de votre réponse, veuillez croire eu mes sentiments distingués.

Philippe Berte-Langereau
St. André en Morvan
France


translation:

Dear friends,

I apologize for not writing to you in English. A friend gave me your address, he subscribed to your journal (J.F. Roubeyrie). I send you two publications which I have made and which may be of interest to you.

Could you send me an episode of your journal? I would like to subscribe.

Looking forward to your response, please believe in my distinguished feelings. Philippe Berte-Langereau

The Yokes of Morvan
The Yokes of Morvan
Head yoke viewed from the back. Hole for the draw chain.
The Yokes of Morvan
Template for one style of head yoke.
The Yokes of Morvan
In this design the cart pole is tied up to the bottom of the head yoke. There is likely a locator pin, from yoke to pole, to keep the arrangement from sliding.
The Yokes of Morvan
Big cart yoke from Athee, notice the steel strap to reinforce the hole through which the cart pole passes.
The Yokes of Morvan
The head yoke above, seen from the rear, is designed to take a pole or a draw chain. Also, views from behind yokes showing the hardware for hitching the draw chain.
The Yokes of Morvan
Two different approaches to fasten cart tongues to bottoms of yokes.
The Yokes of Morvan
Showing the wrap pattern for fastening the head yoke with rawhide.
The Yokes of Morvan
Illustrating two different horn wraps for securing head yokes.
The Yokes of Morvan
Tying off the head yoke to the ox.