DOG TRAVOIS. Travois were hauled by dogs before horses started appearing on the Northern Plains by the late 1600s. Horses, named “elk dogs” or “big dogs” by some tribes, could carry more weight, thus allowing larger tipis for nomadic tribes. Horses also revolutionized hunting and warfare techniques.
The elderly woman, perhaps a Lakota Sioux named Red Thunder, reportedly held the staff of her husband, Little Bull, and posed in her best regalia. A finely-crafted miniature buffalo was on the dog’s back. What appeared to be a dead skunk was in the travois. Dating from about 1910-20 or so, the photo by Frank Fiske of Fort Yates (ND) was found at the Buffalo Bill Museum.