Pack animal

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Transporting wine by mule in Spain, ca.1850
Josua Zinsli, the last mule track on the mule track over the Glaspass , with his pack horse

As pack animals are pack animals which have in the mountains on mule tracks are used. The old word Saum ( ahd. And mhd. Soum ) means “load” or “ pack animal”; it goes back to vulgar Latin sauma , which means “pack saddle”.

The terms Säumer or Saumer (in Austrian also Samer ) mostly refer to people who kept, rented or led such pack animals, but they can also refer to the pack animals.

Donkeys , mules and mules , which are considered to be very sure-footed , have proven to be particularly suitable . This property is very important for use in the Alps . In addition, frugality, perseverance, great carrying capacity and firm hooves are important requirements. There are also horses (regional and packhorses, pack horses named) and oxen (Saumochsen) used.

A mule train consisted of one or more animals that walk one behind the other on the mule track. A horse load was called the hem and weighed between 120 and 130 kilograms, depending on the region. Often only the first animal was led by a handler and the other animals either tied up or followed freely.

Individual evidence

  1. Duden online: Saumtier
  2. Duden online: Hem
  3. Duden online: Säumer
  4. ^ Joachim Heinrich Campe: Dictionary of the German language . Part IV: S and T . Braunschweig 1810, p. 47 .
  5. Johann Georg Krünitz (Ed.): Economic-Technological Encyclopedia, or general system of state, town, house and agriculture, and the history of art in alphabetical order . 137th part, Berlin 1824, p. 677 .
  6. Johann Christoph Adelung: Grammatical-critical dictionary of the High German dialect, with constant comparison of the other dialects, but especially the Upper German . Volume III: from M – Scr . Leipzig 1798, p. 1301, right column .
  7. See e.g. BC Kohlrusch: Swiss Book of Legends . Leipzig 1854, p. 41 .