WSP-12 Incapacitated Warrior on Travois


SKU: WSP-12 Category:


A Travois is a frame structure that was used by the plains Indians of North America, to drag loads over land. There is evidence to support that travois were used in other parts of the world before the invention of the wheel.
Initially the travois was pulled by dogs. The basic dog travois consisted of two aspen or cottonwood poles, notched and lashed together at one end with buffalo sinew, with the other ends splayed apart. Cross bars are lashed between the poles near the splayed ends, and the finished frame looks like a large letter A with extra cross bars. The apex of the A, wrapped in buffalo skin to prevent friction burns, rests on the dog’s shoulders, whilst the splayed ends drag over the ground.
Women both built the travois and managed the dogs. Buffalo meat and firewood were typical travois loads.
Women of the tribe were responsible for painting the Parfleche storage and carrying cases. As a rule these cases were rounded or folded twice, stitched up the sides and closed by a round triangular flap over one end. Cases intended to hold sacred medicine objects and bonnets could usually be identified by the long fringes at their sides or bottom. Others without fringes were used to common household articles. Usually cases were painted only on the front side and with a geometric design.

Incapacitated or wounded men could also be transported on a travois. The dead during a raid were retrieved if possible, but were often buried on the field in shallow graves or under rocks, the other warriors leaving whatever gifts they could to aid them in their journey to the faraway land.
Blackfoot warriors had an unique custom of covering their battlefield dead with the bodies of their enemies. This was said to pay for those who were lost.