Toboggan Selection...Part II

Before the Europeans came to Northern Canada, living on the land was difficult or at least more difficult than today. Many of the people where nomadic in that they followed the game to feed themselves. People of the deer. Caribou mostly but small game populations where important as well.

The fur trade brought goods to the country that where never available before. Goods that made life easier and more productive. It’s been said that before the fur trade the nomadic people of this region employed dogs on a limited basis. The dogs were useful for work and hunting but also supplied the food when times were hard when food was not available…as in they were the food.

One rendition I’ve read was that the fur trade and the prosperity it brought resulted in the dogs lasting longer within their communities, and this was because the hunters could now keep and feed more of them. With more dogs to pull the toboggan the smaller Hand Toboggan was replaced with the larger “Dog Toboggan” or “Yellowknife Toboggan” or what we are now calling the “Traditional Toboggan”.

The hunters could now trap larger areas due to their larger toboggans and dog teams to pull them. Instead of walking on snowshoes, the trapper could ride the back of the toboggan, making travel much easier and faster.

Now –a-days the previously nomadic people of the North tend to live in well-established communities and travel with a snowmobile, pulling the toboggan. They are still highly skilled to live in this harsh land but can now travel for hundreds of miles in a single day!

Traditional Toboggans are often used as a:

  • Towing sleigh on the trap line and in sustenance hunting
  • "Camp sled” behind a snow mobile:
    • Hauling supplies to a cabin
    • Hauling Firewood
    • Pulling someone standing at the backboard touring the land
    • Pulling Kids
  • Dog sled for traditional mushers who prefer a toboggan
      • Hauling supplies to a cabin
      • Hauling Firewood
      • Pulling someone standing at the backboard touring the land
      • Pulling Kids
    • Dog sled for traditional mushers who prefer a toboggan

     

    0 comments

    Write a comment

    Comments are moderated