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Art of the Apsaalooka

The horse evolved millions of years ago in North America and migrated across the Bering land bridge (now the Bering Strait) into Asia and beyond. But around 10,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age, horses became extinct in North America. Not until the 16th century did they reappear, brought by Spanish explorers who hoped to conquer the New World.

Horses escaped from the explorers and ran loose, multiplying and spreading across the continent. Native American tribes on the Great Plains, who were using dogs to pull their loads, quickly saw the value of horses and began to tame them. This new animal would change their way of life.

Apsaalooka (Crow)
Horse trappings
19th-21st century
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

A New Era on the Plains
Honoring the Horse
Traditions through Time

History of the Horse: Learn more about the origins and history of the horse at the American Museum of Natural History's site The Horse.  

Life As We Know It: What events or conveniences have changed the way we live our everyday lives? (Cars, grocery stores, telephones, computers) What kinds of inventions or improvements can we expect in the 21st century? How will they change our daily lives? Write about what the future might hold for us.  

The Arts of Native America: Take a closer look at Plains Indian art and compare it with Native American art from other areas of North America. Use the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Web site Surrounded by Beauty to learn more about these cultures.  

Story Time: Pick up The Gift of the Sacred Dog by Paul Gobel, available from the Minneapolis Public Library.  

September 2007