Horses and native american culture

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horses and native american culture

Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures by National Museum of the American Indian

If you havent been to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., you should go. The museum is currently the youngest Smithsonian. While the Museum does not yet have the massive amount of stuff as the Natural History, National Gallery, or National History museum, this works to the benefit of the vistor because you actually learn something. Additionally, the building itself is stunning, it has the best food of any of the museum, and the gift shop actually presents intelligent things not just kiddie stuff and t-shirts.

This book is a companion book to the museums collection of horse related items. It should be noted that the book is not a history of the horse in various Native American cultures; however, as an introduction to the museums collection and to the place of horse in general, the book is well worth the price. The book is not busy, transmits infromation well, and relates some exciting stories/histories, including a story of counting coup in World War II. In addition to the essays and stories, there are traditional horse related songs and original poetry, including a work by Sherman Alexie as well as a beautiful poem written upon the birth of a daugther.
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Published 21.12.2018

The People of the Horse - National Geographic

When most people picture Native American tribes from years ago, they often envision tribal members in leather-fringed clothing riding horses bareback.
National Museum of the American Indian

Wild Horses

The acquisition of horses by the plains Indians in the early 18th century transformed the lives of most tribes between the Rockies and the Mississippi. Almost overnight they found a much more effective way of hunting the buffalo, the main staple of life in this huge area. They embraced the horseback riding culture enthusiastically. With a good horse under him, a hunter could go faster than a buffalo which gave him an enormous advantage. Since the buffalo herds moved seasonally great distances from place to place those who depended on them for their living must move also. The horse made this far easier and quicker.

The history of the American Indian Horse is a long and colorful one. It is generally agreed by historians that the Spanish brought the horse to the new world in the s. These horses were a mixture of Barb, Arabian and Andalusian blood and were considered the best horses in the world at that time. The horse was indispensable to the conquest of Mexico by Cortez. Indians of that era had never seen horses and to them the horse and rider team were a godlike being. To try and keep this belief, it was illegal for some years for an Indian to ride a horse much less own one.

The American Indian Horse Registry

While horses were indigenous to North America thousands of years ago, some found their way to what is now Europe and Asia before they died out. That is why when explorers from Spain like Cortez brought horses to North America, the Native Americans were enchanted by them. They saw them as spiritual or mythical figures.

All rights reserved. In September , in the panhandle of Texas, the great Comanche equestrian empire came to an ugly and sorrowful end. This event boded deep changes on the Great Plains, because the Comanche had been among the first tribes, and the most successful, to adopt the horse after its arrival with Spanish conquistadores. They had become proficient, expert, ferocious, and even lordly as horseback warriors, terrorizing their Indian neighbors, making wrathful assaults to stem the trend of white settlement and buffalo slaughter, and eventually bedeviling the U. And then, on September 28, , the largest remaining body of Comanche fighters along with a number of Kiowa and Cheyenne allies was caught, amid their tepees, with their families, in an undefended bivouac at a place called Palo Duro Canyon.

The horse was not indigenous to North America. Horses were brought to the country by the Europeans, a major part of their strategy to conquer the 'New World'. Native American Indians had never seen an animal like the horse, nor had they imagined that such an animal could be tamed and used as a means of transport and hunting. The horse was introduced to the North American continent in the - 's. To the Native American Indians, who lived the life of a Stone Age man, the horse and its use by men, was a wonder to behold.

One of the most compelling images in American history is that of the mounted warrior in full regalia with eagle feather headdress holding spear and shield. It is evocative of consummate equestrian skill, indomitable courage and a life in open spaces free of civilized constraints. It is easy to forget that this colorful equestrian culture was not an ancient pre-Columbian way of life, but was short lived and lasted barely two centuries. In fact the Indian acquisition of the horse was one of the most sudden and radical improvements to occur to the culture and prosperity of any society in recent centuries. Perhaps one can compare its importance to our acquisition of the automobile and electricity. Before they had horses, the Great Plains was a difficult place for people to survive with only dogs to help them. The dominant animal was the buffalo, the largest indigenous animal in North America.

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