Reimagining Today’s Horse for Tomorrow’s World
7. Native American Horse Tales
Chapter 7 Native American Horse Tales Horse Myths Horses have special meaning for Native Americans who love to tell stories about the days when their horses were plentiful (Sherman 9). In these stories, horses speak, dance, fly, or dash faster than the wind, often in the service of taking their riders to accomplish great deeds. This chapter presents the deep relationships Native Americans have with their horses and the tales that emerge as a result. Affection, friendship, and the deep bonds between people and their horses come into focus. Native Americans possess immense knowledge about horses. To learn the best ways to approach the steeds, they watch horses relate to each other, for they believe that each species has its own language and mental and emotional life. Traditionally, they believe that ani- mals are not simply peoples, “but families within that peoplehood. It [is] therefore possible to establish intimate relationships with specif- ic…animals and gain the precise knowledge that they [possess] about the world.”1 Imitating horses and other animals is not an option for Native Americans, but is an imperative as it speaks of the intimacy of organic life (60). 58 riding on horses’ wings Native Americans have always marveled at the behaviors of na- ture. For them, stories about horses and other animals can only be told in particular places and seasons out of their respect for the species. The key to understanding Native American knowledge of the world is to appreciate their emphasis on the particular...
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