I was thinking that a certain significant other could have put her shoulder to that particular wheel
Here's a quote from Lucas Bridges, who grew up with one of the Patagonian tribes in the late 19th century, which should give you the general idea. It relates specifically to the Yamana, but the customs
were similar in many tribes in this region
[I should explain that in general the women, blessed with a natural layer of subcutaneous fat, traditionally dived for tucker, while the kids tended the fires (in many tribes although apparently not this one, canoes had a central fireplace: the canoes were the nearest thing they had to a home, and consequently were the female domain) and the men did ... manly things, presumably hunched in the bow and looking into the middle distance.]
"Being in charge of the canoes - (for it was only on long journeys, or when in a hurry, that the men
helped with the paddles) - the women
were also good swimmers, but it was a rare thing to find a male Yamana who could swim.
The women were by no means slaves, for what they caught was their own. The husband used only what the wife gave him, and she did not ask his permission before making gifts to her friends.
Members of this tribe often lived in places where for many miles there were no beaches on which it was possible to haul up their canoes. They were compelled, therefore, to anchor
them off the rocks in the best shelter to be found.
was done by the women. After the canoe was unloaded and the husband had gone up into the forest to collect fuel
for the fire, the wife would paddle off in the canoe a few fathoms into the thick kelp (a large species of seaweed), which makes a splendid breakwater.
She would grasp a handful of the kelp's rope-like branches and secure them to the canoe, which was thus safely anchored by their roots, then slip into the water
, swim ashore and hasten to the fire to dry and warm herself.
(AT NOTE: The general practice in the whole region was to do without clothing, presumably because of the rainfall combined with the cold. The missionaries were horrified by this and forced them to wear clothing, usually with very poor health outcomes.)
The Yamana women swam like a dog and had no difficulty getting through the kelp....They learnt to swim in infancy, and were taken out by their mothers in order to get them used to it. In winter
, when the kelp was coated with a film of frost, a baby girl out with her mother would sometimes make pick-a-back swimming difficult by climbing onto her parent's head
to escape the cold water
and frozen kelp."
Naughty baby ! Bad baby !