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The Indain And The Horse - Essay Example

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The term "Indian" refers to the native inhabitants of the American continent prior to the European discovery and subsequent colonization in the fifteenth century. These people are thought to be descendents of Siberians who embarked on the continent via sea and land routes and gradually diversified into culturally different groups…
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The Indain And The Horse
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Download file to see previous pages The arrival of Europeans greatly impacted the native societies and cultures and brought about a sea change in their lifestyles. Along with slavery, cultural intolerance, fatal diseases and inhuman practices, the Europeans and Spaniards introduced the horse to these Native Americans. Mexico was the primary source of horses' for North America as were the populations of southeastern USA. Although the modern variety of horses had originally evolved in America three million years ago, they had been wiped out during the Ice Age along with many other species when there had been a drastic change in North American habitat. Hunting by paleo-Indians also contributed to their extinction.
Colonial Spanish Horses (as they came to be called), were brought to America by Spanish Conquistadors and hold immense significance in the history of the New World and the cultural revolution that took place following European colonization. "The horse returned to North America when explorers Cortes and DeSoto came mounted on magnificent Barbs from Morocco, Sorraia from Portugal and Andalusians from Spain" (History 1492-1620 The Spanish Colonial Period).To start with, these horses were a source of strength for the Spaniards and facilitated conquer of many a native civilization (D. Phillip Sponenberg). The natives were not accustomed to such large animals and were initially terrified; moreover, the Spanish government policy forbade native Indians to own or use horses. Many natives had their first encounter with these animals as slaves and workers on Spanish ranchos where they eventually got acquainted and learnt how to train, use and control them (History 1620-1800 The Indian Horse Period). Many North American Indians acquired and learnt horse riding and handling from Indians from the southwest through trade relations. In the late seventeenth century, the Pueblo Rebellion caused the Spanish to flee New Mexico and leaving many of their horses behind which turned out to be very advantageous for the Pueblo Indians (History 1620-1800 The Indian Horse Period).
The Ute Indians the Comanche were inter-related and the later probably supplied the former with their horses. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Comanche had earned a notorious reputation among the Spanish in New Mexico because of their horse stealing raids on Spanish rancheros. The Comanche allowed the Spanish stay in Texas to help them raise horses (Eddins, Ned).
"The Comanche became the epitome of the Plains Indian Horse Culture. There was a saying in Texas that "The white man will ride the Mustang until he is played out - the Mexican will take him and ride him another day until he thinks he is tired - the Comanche will get on him and ride him to where he is going" (Frank Dobie). Within a few decades after acquiring horses, many military leaders considered the Comanche as the finest light cavalry in the world" (Eddins, Ned).
Comanche warriors mediated the horse trade between Indian tribes and French settlements east of the Mississippi in a major way. In this way, horse trade eventually spread out of the southwest towards north to the Shoshone and from them to the Nez Perce, Flatheads, and the Crow; north and east to the Kiowa and Pawnee and then to the cousins of the Pawnee, the Arikara (Eddins, Ned). Indians not only acquired horses from the Spanish, the warriors emulated the Spanish in terms of handling, riding, and use of equipment. From the Arikara, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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