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About this site:This site is intended to provide information to help people interested in furthering their understanding of 18th century Southeastern Native American history and culture. This information will hopefully be helpful to re-enactors, those interested in living history or history in general. I strive to add things as my interests or research leads me, but if you have corrections or additions you'd like to see, please feel free to email me or comment on posts..
Tag Archives: tumpline
The tumpline, also called a burden strap, was used by natives to carry items and to drag loads. There are a reasonable number of northern tumplines in collections in the US, Canada, and Europe. From written descriptions and a few images, most notably one of von Reck’s images (Hvidt, Kristian, ed. Von Reck’s Voyage; Drawings and Journal of Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck. Savannah, GA: Beehive Press, 1990) – available here, it’s apparent that similar items were being used in the south. The existing tumplines with native provenance seem to have all been twined in … Read More
I have had several people ask me how to find more info about making tumplines lately. If you want to weave a native tumpline there are two or three techniques you need to learn: twining the brow band, fingerweaving the straps, and possibly braiding the ties (you can fingerweave them too). The problem is there’s not a single set of instructions for all of this. I would start with this page I wrote for prisoner ties (in many ways a tumpline of sorts). Then learn to twine straps and fingerweave the ties (oblique weave is … Read More
A prisoner halter is very similar in construction to a tumpline, using box braiding on the ties rather than fingerweaving and flat braiding. I already have a tumpline page up describing the use and history here. However, I don’t discuss making one on that page, and have been asked about them and prisoner ties or halters quite a few times, either online or at events where I’m using one of those I’ve made (see the photo below). There are people much more skilled than I working on books right now, so I’m not going to … Read More