"Days of the Travois"

12" x 16" oil on Linen

Native American Indian tribes who hunted the Buffalo and had a vast territory they called home spent a good deal of their time traveling to new encampment sites when they needed water or game or whatever the season or tradition called for.  The discovery, back in the pre-horse days, of the "travois" made the moving so much easier than hauling things on your back.  Taken from the French word "Travaille," the Lodgepole pine tent poles and travois skids had their ends worn off by the constant dragging behind the horses and were replaced often.  A large cavalcade of moving people dragging lodges and travois could be as wide a mile during the drier seasons as people strung out sideways to avoid the choking dust.  The well guarded horse herd was moved apart from the main group for much the same reasons.  It must have been a grand sight to see hundreds of people and their horses dragging everything they owned across the plains.

 

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