Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/108

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100
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

history of the carrier's art; and woman "was primarily the only creature that transformed Nature to produce an apparatus for the carrying of burdens.... Many other industries were created, stimulated, and modified by this carrying trade. The member of pristine society who went to the fields to gather nuts and seeds and fruit must necessarily have brought them home. Hence the burden-bearer must be a basket-maker, and the pack-woman is a patron of husbandry and of the textile art. Clay and fuel must be brought to make pottery, and pottery, in turn, has to be shaped to carry water and food; so the potter and the carrier are sisters. It can not fail to be interesting to know how ingeniously these

PSM V47 D108 The knapsack of a german peasant woman.jpg
Fig. 10.—The Knapsack in Woman's Work—German Peasant Woman.

early passenger cars were constructed." The builders were strictly scientific in their methods, in that they ingeniously adapted structure to function and environment. To the Eskimo mother the great consideration is to protect the child from the cold. "So she makes a baby carriage of her hood, and her offspring, when she takes it abroad or when she is on a journey, is safely ensconced between the soft fur and the mother's warm neck. All the American tribes used a papoose frame of some sort." The distinguishing marks of this apparatus were the back, the sides, the lashing, the bed, the pillow, the covering, the awning, the decoration. All these were present in some form, but in each stock, and especially in each natural-history region, there were just such variations as were necessary and proper. In Canada the cradle was made of birch bark and the bed was of the finest fur. In the coast region of British Columbia and southward little arklike troughs were excavated as the boats were, and beds and pillows and wrappings of the finest shredded cedar bark took the place of furs. Farther south still, as the climate became milder, the ark gave place to a little rack or gridiron of osier, sumac, or reed, and the face of the child was shaded from the sun by a delicate awning. Across the Rocky Mountains, in the land of the buffalo, the papoose frame looks like a great shoe lashed to an inverted trellis or ladder, and nowadays the whole surface is covered with embroidered beadwork. It matters not where we travel within the limits assigned