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

[tump (alteration of mattump, of Southern New England Algonquian origin) + line.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(in the US and Canada, esp formerly) a leather or cloth band strung across the forehead or chest and attached to a pack or load in order to support it. Also called: tump
[C19: from tump, of Algonquian origin + line1; compare Abnaki mádǔmbi pack strap]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



a strap or sling passed around the forehead to help support a pack carried on a person's back.
[1790–1800, Amer.; tump, earlier mattump, metomp < Southern New England Algonquian (< proto-Eastern Algonquian *mat- empty root appearing in names of crafted objects + *-a·pəy string)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take the little Savage apart, roll it up in my old GI wool blanket and rig up a tumpline to carry it.
With tumpline straps across their foreheads, the Indian women carried the flume boards on their backs up the side of the mountain to the men.
In the pre-Columbian world, tamemes, or merchants, hauled their goods on their backs, supporting it all by a tumpline around the forehead.
The next morning the village was up at dawn, roasting plantains and packing all of the household possessions in large utility baskets the women carry with a tumpline across their foreheads.
The strap is called a tumpline in English; the Spanish word is metapal, but either way it's painful to see a woman turned into a beast of burden.
Such studies have generally interpreted observed differences in the distribution of degenerative joint disease as the result of particular activities: the use of tumplines (Bridges 1994), atlatls (Angel 1966), and grinding stones (Miller 1985), for example, have been suggested as "causes" of joint degeneration.