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Song for the Horse Nation

Song for the Horse Nation

A museum exhibition that will make a trip to D.C. even more interesting this fall

war pony This war pony was painted by Kennard Real Bird and is part of the National Museum of the America Indian's collection.

What better way to give thanks to our ancestors, who made our human survival possible, than to pay a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian?

Their new exhibition (opened October 29), “Song for the Horse Nation,” is their biggest yet and will be displayed over Thanksgiving and through January 7.

The exhibition displays more than 115 objects, pieces of art and relays the story of the relationship between Native peoples and horses as one of the great sagas of human contact with the animal world. Although many Native Americans, at first glance, were terrified of their first encounter with horses—as the totally foreign Spanish Conquistador on horseback initially resembled a single ominous creature—horses eventually transformed the way of life for many tribes and, in turn, Native peoples paid homage to horses by incorporating them into their cultural and spiritual lives.

The horse actually became extinct in the Americas millions of years ago, but thrived in Asia and Europe. European explorers re-introduced the horse to the Americas in the late 1400s. From that point on, the bond between American Indian tribes and horses evolved, fluctuated and all the while remained sacred through oral, written and art history and storytelling.

Call the National Museum of the American Indian for more info.