"Shoshoni Travois"

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas

"Travois" is a word from North-American French derived from the original "Travaille," suggesting a sled or means of conveyance.  It consists of two long poles, most times of Lodgepole pine crossed at the tips and tied with rawhide.  A platform was lashed across the diverging poles behind the horse upon which lodges, meat, or all manner of life's necessities could be carried.  Children or the elderly often rode on the platform or the load during long trips or over rough country.  Before horses became common, smaller travois were used with camp dogs.  A dog or horse could haul three to four times as much weight compared to packing on their backs.   It is just one of many accouterments shared with the horse-using tribes of the Great Plains.  The Shoshone were among the first of the Native American peoples to acquire horses as herds migrated and were introduced from the original Spanish stock south into Mexico.

 

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