The Comanche and the Horse | Native America | Sacred Stories | PBS
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The Comanche and the Horse | Native America | Sacred Stories | PBS

August 24, 2019

♪ ♪ (horse whinnying) (man singing) NARRATOR: Today, the image of
Indians on horseback is iconic. But Native Americans never set
eyes on a horse before the 15th century, when Europeans bring them
to America as a weapon of conquest. The Comanche and other native
peoples adapt the horse as a powerful ally in the fight
to protect their land and way of life. WOMAN
(speaking native language): (horse whinnying) FOWLES: This rock art tells
a story. This is commemorating an event,
a very successful horse raid. ♪ ♪ MYERS: We’re looking at possibly
the beginning of our empire as Comanche people on horseback. It’s just amazing. NARRATOR: The panel is just one
of hundreds found in this gorge created by Jhane’s ancestors. These images
in Comanche oral history are rewriting the story
of Native America in the wake
of European colonialism. ♪ ♪ LINDSAY MONTGOMERY: We’re seeing
the first encounter between the Spanish here,
the Comanche, and the horse. NARRATOR:
The rock art may memorialize a pivotal moment in history, a battle in which the Comanches
seize the horse. (men singing in native language) WOMAN
(speaking native language): NARRATOR: To the Comanche, the horse is a gift
from the creator. ♪ ♪ (woman speaking native language) (guns firing, horses neighing) (gun fires, horse whinnies) ♪ ♪ NARRATOR: After U.S. troops
slaughter the Comanche herd, Quanah Parker, the last free
Comanche chief, surrenders. ♪ ♪ WOMAN: I want people to see us
and just think, “Oh, my gosh,
that person is Comanche. “Those people–
they’re not historical, “they’re still alive today. Look, they’re thriving.” NARRATOR:
And the spirit of the horse remains at the heart
of the Comanche nation. When the moon is full,
the Comanche believe those mustangs
massacred in the Texas panhandle still run free. WOMAN
(speaking native language):

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  1. I find it sad that there are so many people today, who know very little of horses, have made it a mission to remove our horses from our lives. Crying about everything being cruel, they do not care how cruel it is to place the horse out of our lives, cruel to us and cruel to the horse. The horse has been by human side to build history, we owe them relevance today.

  2. Will you guys do a video on the Plains before the horse, maybe cities like Etzanoa? Or are those too recent of discoveries?

  3. Nice. My elders have passed and left such a legacy! My paternal great-grandma was born in Comanche, TX in 1897, married a Black man, moved to Austin, TX and prospered. Wow, The Spirit lives and I want to know more! 😘

  4. The β€œstoic,peaceful nature people” picture is always painted (here literally.) But come on, these were people of war. Tribes continuously fought each other. White men were violent and Indians were violent.

  5. Native Americans HAVE SEEN horses way before the European terrorists arrived. There are ancient BONES, pictures, art, etc. all found across the Americas. All backed up as well by ancient american myths and legends.

  6. The story of Native Americans and white Europeans is so deep and complex. You have basically hunter gathers face against such a advanced civilization that in span of 300 years, they struggle against them. In that fight they used everything they had, all the different tribes/people across americas, but their greatest virtues came in the forms of their greatest heroes crazy horse, geromino, tecumseh, and all other. Where whites had technology as their weapon, Natives had their essence.

  7. The Mandinka word for warrior is β€œSOFA”. β€œSo” meaning horse, β€œFa” meaning Father. It literally translates to father of the horse. Mansa Abubakari Keita II of Mali a Mandinka Empire, is said to have sailed the Atlantic almost 2 centuries before Columbus, not to mention the many voyages sent to explore the edge of the Atlantic from Al-Andalus or Andalusia, which was a state of the Maghreb or The Almoravid Empire. Many cultures could’ve brought horses to America before the Europeans.

  8. How sad that the us army, man fight for our country, who bring down the symbol of North America, the indigenous tribes of North America. Still I despise the us army and the govt for what they have done.

  9. I thought they always rode horses, I didnt realize it was because of invaders, I trained in Lawton, ft sill, I never knew I was so close to a historical point.

  10. ❀️🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴❀️

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