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Native American travois for dog
Native American travois for horse
A travois, also known as a drag sled, was a traditional Native American tool for carrying loads
overland. It consisted of two wooden poles with a platform, basket, or netting suspended between them, attached to the
back of a dog (or occasionally to a team of dogs) so that the dog could pull it along the ground. A burden was then attached
to the carrying platform. This type of travois was far less efficient than a dog-sled with runners, but had the advantage of being
usable when there was no snow on the ground. Travois were often used to pack meat back to a village from a hunt or to help
migratory tribes move their campsites. Dogs are extremely good at pulling and each dog could drag 20-30 pounds on a travois.
After horses were introduced to North America, many Plains Indian tribes began to make larger horse-drawn travois. Instead of making specially constructed travois sleds, they would simply cross a pair of tepee poles across the horse's back and attach a burden platform between the poles behind the horse. This served two purposes at once, as the horses could then simultaneously carry the tepee poles and some additional baggage. Horses, of course, could pull much greater weight than dogs. Children often rode in the back of horse travois.
Plains Indian travois with platform
Cheyenne dog travois with basket
Dog travois with net
Indian travois with crossed poles
Child on Sioux horse travois
Basket-style horse travois
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