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Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures Paperback – April 27, 2006

12 customer reviews

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Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures + Native American Saddlery and Trappings: A History in Paper Dolls
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This slender, informative volume gathers poems, photographs and brief contemporary essays alongside pieces from the National Museum of the American Indian to memorialize the relationship between Native Americans and their horses. In a somewhat disjointed introduction, historian Herman J. Viola observes that Native Americans had "little for which to thank Christopher Columbus except the horse" and that while "the marriage of horse and Indian" was brief (it lasted little more than a century), it was "a thing of beauty." Said marriage certainly produced beautiful artifacts: images of horses were painted onto wooden qeros (cups made for the ritual consumption of maize beer), drawn on muslin, woven into bags and blankets and beaded onto coats and leggings. Horses were given away at naming celebrations and memorial ceremonies ("Generosity is more important than possession," writes Her Many Horses); they were stolen from enemy tribes as proof of a warrior's bravery; they were ridden in battles both real and staged (one 1906 photograph shows the Assiniboine and A'aninin tribes, who were once enemies, sitting down to feast after a mock battle to "relive the old days"). With its numerous photographs and succinct, workmanlike text, this small work is like a minimuseum exhibit between two covers—it intrigues, but it also leaves readers wishing for more. (Apr.)
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Review

"This nifty little gift book celebrates the treasured relationship between horses and Native Americans..." -- Georgia Jones-Davis, New Mexico Magazine, November, 2006

...gives powerful and passionate voice to the emotional dimension of the relationship between horse and mankind. -- Winds of Change, Summer 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (April 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555911129
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555911126
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Co-authored by George Horse Capture and Emil Her Many Horses, A Song For The Horse Nation: Horses In Native American Cultures is an engaging celebration of the horse and its profound influence upon the Native American culture. Deftly guiding readers through a profusely illustrated compilation of beadwork, textiles, paintings, drums, tools, pottery, and photographs of the horse in Native American history, art, and culture, A Song For The Horse Nation includes a text enriched with poems, shorts, details, translations and more. A welcome addition to personal, academic, and community library Native American Studies collections, A Song For The Horse Nation is very highly recommended as an insightful compendium of the horse as an iconic figure in the Native American experience.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Galen J. Rankin on May 19, 2007
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I'm a student of the lifestyle of the plains indian tribes and participant in Indian reenactments so I'm always looking for more documentation of dress, horse tack, and the discription of their daily life. This book is a great addition to my library. The articles are unique and the illustrations a fantastic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julie A. Dudley on December 16, 2012
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I love this book. I use it as a reference guide when I'm painting a model horse to look like a certain Indian tribe's horse. Great information and illustrations and photos.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By book lover on June 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is short on reading but contains a lot of good examples of horse related items of various tribes (including horse effigies, horse figures on shirts and animal hides, and masks made for horses, usually worn in parades). One of my favorites is Spotted Tails shirt on page 52 and another great shirt on page 51. My reason for four stars is because it's so brief (you can read it in a couple of hours) and I didn't agree with some statements in one or more essays (no need to elaborate).
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Beautiful illustrations (photographs) and informative text, just right in length, highlight not just the importance of the horse to Native Americans, but also the importance of the Native American art related to the horse. Although many of the color illustrations of saddle pads, blankets, and bridles are utilitarian they are also beautiful art. It is a short book written by Native Americans and not a treatise; easy to read and appreciate.
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Lots of good information about the history of the horses in our country when they were being ridden by the Natives
for hunting, traveling and sometimes tribal interactions.... Since the horses came with the Spanish and Mexican
explorers and soldiers they became a large part of our Native history and now even a large part of our country's
appeal for horses for riding, working and racing....
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