Horses In Native American Cultures, The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
All through history horses have been an integral part of American Indian cultures. The NMAI has a wonderful exhibition entitled A Song For the Horse Nation which describes the relationships between various tribes and their horses, through stories, paintings and photographs. Excerpt from the introduction:
“The story of the relationship of Native peoples and horses is one of the great sagas of human contact with the animal world. Native peoples have traditionally regarded the animals in our lives as fellow creatures with which a common destiny is shared. When American Indians encountered horses—which some tribes call the Horse Nation—they found an ally, inspiring and useful in times of peace, and intrepid in times of war. Horses transformed Native life and became a central part of many tribal cultures…Native peoples paid homage to horses by incorporating them into their cultural and spiritual lives, and by creating art that honored the bravery and grace of the horse. The glory days of the horse culture were brilliant but brief, lasting just over a century. The bond between American Indians and the Horse Nation, however, has remained strong through the generations.”
This exhibit will be on view: October 29, 2011–January 7, 2013
NMAI on the National Mall, Washington, DC
You Tube Video: Wild Horses and North American Indians…
A great You Tube video of wild horses with the following message:
“Mostly wild horses and old native Indian photos in the United States. The REAL wild west. The audio track has not been modified or enhanced. Just great lively music and photos worth a thousand memories. Best viewed at my channel because of the background. Enjoy!”
Uploaded by OMisTerManon Jun 10, 2010.
A Sky Full of Horses
I looked over there and I saw twelve black horses toward the west, where the sun goes down… Then they showed me twelve white horses [in the north]… Then I turned around toward the east… I saw twelve head of horses, all sorrels.
Then I turned to the south… and saw twelve head of buckskin horses. These horses had horns… As they stood, the bay horse looked to the west and neighed. I looked over there and saw great clouds of horses in all colors and they all neighed back to this horse and it sounded like thunder…The bay horse said to me, ‘Behold them, your horses come dancing.’ I looked around and saw millions of horses circling around me—a sky full of horses… ~Black Elk ~(Oglala Lakota) 1932-1950