Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A strap slung across the forehead or the chest to support a load carried on the back.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A strap used to carry objects tied to its ends by placing the broadened or cushioned middle of the strap over the head just behind the forehead.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A strap placed across a man's forehead to assist him in carrying a pack on his back.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A strap by which a pack is carried across a portage or through the woods.

Etymologies

tump (alteration of mattump, of Southern New England Algonquian origin) + line1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Tump is a shortening of mattump, metump, from a Penobscot word. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A thick tumpline ran down from her forehead to the bulky pack resting on her hips.

    Fire The Sky

  • I had shot a caribou and we were on our way back to the boat, him carrying a tumpline pack that probably weighed 150 pounds.

    Uncategorized Blog Posts

  • DeJong is a big, burly, bearded Canadian, the kind of guy who wears wool plaid when it's 90 degrees and still uses a tumpline.

    T.

  • You can rig them on canoes – especially useful if you are paddling an old wood and canvas canoe which may not have perfectly placed thwarts the builder assuming tumpline use anyway – wannigans, pack baskets, barrels, you name it.

    “Got a Match?”

  • It is the little old men, dressed in rubber-tire sandals, wearing white cotton pants and guayabera, stooped over and plodding down the road with an enormous load on his back, secured by a tumpline across his forehead.

    San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

  • While mending my tumpline I hear the geese calling.

    Wild Goose

  • There were dozens of coils of wine-red beads around her neck, and her head and black hair hung forward, burdened by an enormous load of firewood that she carried in a basket with a tumpline that ran across her forehead.

    One River

  • A length of rawhide was hitched around the stick bundle and the slack center of the rawhide rope served as a tumpline across her forehead.

    The Pride of Hannah Wade

  • When Mamut turned from the entrance, Nezzie hoisted a carrying basket to her back and adjusted the tumpline across her forehead, picked up Rydag and settled him on her ample hip to carry him up the slope, then, herding Rugie, Tusie, and Brinan ahead of her, started up to the steppes.

    The Mammoth Hunters

  • Ayla had added tumplines, which could be worn across the forehead for added support, if they chose, though she usually dispensed with the tumpline in favor of wearing her sling wrapped around her head.

    The Mammoth Hunters

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