Horses and native american culture
Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures by National Museum of the American IndianIf 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.
How Horses Took Over North America (Twice)
When most people picture Native American tribes from years ago, they often envision tribal members in leather-fringed clothing riding horses bareback. However, horses were not always a part of Native American culture. Due to climate changes, North American horses died out nearly 10, years ago , becoming a species only remembered in petroglyphs and pictographs on this continent.
National Museum of the American Indian
The Horse Transforms Plains Indian Culture and Life
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 attack was executed by the Fourth Cavalry under Col.
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. The horse and rider team were seen as a godlike being.
One innovation profoundly changed—and prolonged—the culture of the Plains Indians. Army, stationed at Fort Walla Walla in what is now Washington, made this entry in his diary:. It was our first specimen of this Prairie chivalry, and it certainly realized all our conceptions of these wild warriors of the plains. They were almost entirely naked, gaudily painted and decorated with their wild trappings. Their plumes fluttered about them, while below, skins and trinkets of all kinds of fantastic embellishments flaunted in the sunshine.
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.