Welcome to another Tuesday and another free give-away. Today I’ll be giving away a free e-book copy of BLACK EAGLE. Please do review the Give-away Guidelines on the front page. They’re pretty simple, but please remember that unlike some other sites, we don’t necessarily contact you when you are a winner. We hope that you’ll come back in a few days to see if you won, and if you did, that you contact us (or me as the case may be) personally. So please do check back.
The above is a painting by George Catlin of an Indian encampment on the move. Because my family has been in the act of moving (my children as well as my husband and me), I thought I might point out some differences — some are pretty obvious — and some likenesses.
We’ve all done it or will do it in the future — moving from one place to another. To my mind it is never fun and it includes boxing up everything, and then unboxing it as soon as one is “settled.” So let’s compare:
1) Boxing things up: Today (me and husband) — about one month — perhaps a little longer.
1a) Boxing things up, American Indian Style: getting one’s possessions ready to go: Approximately 3-4 hours.
2) Mode of transportation: Today (me and husband as well as my daughters), trucks — in addition to hiring a moving company, which cost can be a little outrageous.
2a) Mode of transportation, American Indian Style: the travois, as pictured above. The cost? A horse — usually the family owned at least one horse, and if not a horse, then a trusted dog (hopefully a rather large dog).
3) Time to unpack: Today — gee whiz, we’re still unpacking boxes after six (6) months. Goodness!
3a) Time to unpack, American Indian Style: In addition to unpacking one’s possessions, one also needed to raise the tepee. Time requirement to do all the above: a few hours.
Before we go too much farther, let’s define a travois. According to Dictionary.com, travois is defined as:
noun, plural travois (truh-voiz)
“A transport device, formerly used by the Plains Indians, consisting of two poles joined by a frame and drawn by an animal.”
So that bring me to my next comparison,
4) Duties: Who does what? Today — moving furniture (either the man of the family or the moving company, composed usually of men. Yes, it’s true that I helped move some of the furniture, but my help was minimal, I’m afraid. My husband may not weigh more than 20-30 pounds more than I do, but he is very much stronger that I am. So what were my contributions? Unpacking those boxes and determining where everything went (of course my husband helped with this, too). Time involved: Days –sometimes weeks. In fact, much to my dismay, I’m still involved in this.
4a) Duties: Who does what? American Indian — the men cut the poles for the travois and helped to attach them to the horses. The men then gathered up any of their means of protecting the camp (guns, bows and arrows, knives, etc.), and prepared to guard the entire camp on the march. Some men would go in front, leading the way, some would take up the rear, protecting the camp from that direction, and others would directly flank the camp as it moved, protecting it from that position.
The women? The women were responsible for taking down the tepee and setting it up again, gathering up all the family’s possessions and getting them ready to go. They were also responsible fore erecting the tepee once their new camping place was established and setting up the tepee for living. Time involved: A few hours at the most.
I once read an account from George Catlin of an Indian encampment on the move. He was utterly amazed at the quickness by which it could be done. Word that the camp was on the move was made in the morning, and by noon, the entire camp was taken down, all the women, children, dogs and horses were on the move. Scouts and others would erase all traces of the camp so that one couldn’t detect easily that there had once been an encampment there. But he was even more amazed at how quickly the camp was set up — within a matter of hours. He said even the best drilled army couldn’t have done it in as organized a fashion, let alone within hours.
As another comparison, once, at a rodeo in Blackfeet Country, I saw a contest between contestants to set up and take down a camp in as little time as possible. I watched as each of the contestants set up the tepees and other articles and took it all down — within minutes. Of course, this was a contest and a rodeo and so it doesn’t compare with moving an entire camp, but nevertheless, I was impressed.
Oh, moving woes. I am in the midst of them and moving is NOT my favorite thing to do. So, if you feel so inclined, please come on in and tell me about your own moving stories — I bet we each one have at least one. I’d love to hear them.