Porter (carrier)

Person who carries objects or cargo for others / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A porter, also called a bearer, is a person who carries objects or cargo for others. The range of services conducted by porters is extensive, from shuttling luggage aboard a train (a railroad porter) to bearing heavy burdens at altitude in inclement weather on multi-month mountaineering expeditions. They can carry items on their backs (backpack) or on their heads. The word "porter" derives from the Latin portare (to carry).[1]

Men_Laden_With_Tea%2C_Sichuan_Sheng%2C_China_1908_Ernest_H._Wilson_RESTORED.jpg
"Men laden with 'Brick Tea' for Thibet" from the personal notations of Ernest Henry Wilson in 1908
Sherpa_carrying_woods.JPG
Sherpa porter carrying wood in the Himalaya, near Mount Everest
Porters_simple_gears_Doko_and_Tokma.jpg
A porter's gear is typically simple but effective. In this example, the load goes into an oversized basket, or doko, which rests against the back. A strap runs underneath the doko and over the crown of the head, which bears most of the weight. Each porter in this region also carries a T-shaped walking stick called a tokma to take some of the strain off the back.

The use of humans to transport cargo dates to the ancient world, prior to domesticating animals and development of the wheel. Historically it remained prevalent in areas where slavery was permitted, and exists today where modern forms of mechanical conveyance are impractical or impossible, such as in mountainous terrain, or thick jungle or forest cover.

Over time slavery diminished and technology advanced, but the role of porter for specialized transporting services remains strong in the 21st century. Examples include bellhops at hotels, redcaps at railway stations, skycaps at airports, and bearers on adventure trips engaged by foreign travelers.

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