A Compendium of Useful Information for the Practical Man/Travel, Primitive

Dangers of Travel under Primitive Conditions


One can easily imagine the dangers and difficulties of travel under primitive conditions. Land and sea are infested with robbers and murderers. He who goes from settlement to settlement must run the risk of facing outlaws, wild beasts, severity of weather, and starvation. The one taking such chances should be entitled to special consideration in order that intercourse might be promoted. The best classes of men would encourage punishment to outlaws, for the safety of the itinerants. Through travelers, people receive information regarding what is going on in the outside world. There would probably be in such lands no written language. News must be passed from mouth to mouth. Wayfarers must depend upon the clemency and generosity of people along the road, or intercourse must cease. The typical mode of carrying on business in such society is by means of barter. Many classes have no medium of exchange, or, if they have, it is of such a nature that it cannot easily be handled and transported. Stones for hatchet-making, colored clay for paints, skins for clothing, animals, especially oxen and sheep, shells, corn, tobacco, and various other substances have been used extensively, either in primitive America or elsewhere; so to offer these in payment for lodging would be usually inconvenient and often impossible.

The American Indian as a product of environment: with special reference to ... By Arthur John Fynn