How Did The Horse Affect The Plains Indian Culture

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Few events in history have impacted a culture as much as the introduction of the horse into plains Indian culture. The positive impact of the horse on North America's indigenous people has been romanticized forever in popular culture. The portrait of plains Indian horse created by the likes of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood is far from complete. While the horse did make nearly every aspect of Native American life more efficient, the spread of horses also contributed to the violence in the southwestern region of the United States in three ways. The trade of horses among the plains Indians created competition for resources, encouraged and contributed to raiding, and allowed the domination of the region by the Apache Indians. Until twenty million years ago, wild horses thrived in North America when they began to migrate across the Bering Strait. Ten Million years ago the wild horse population in North America disappeared. Horses were not seen again on the continent until the Spanish reintroduced them in the 1500s. The Spanish began trading with Native Americans in what would become the southwestern United States in the the 1600s. Some of the earliest tribes to acquire horses were the Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche, and
The horse made all aspects of Native American life easier, including traveling, hunting, raiding, and waging war. The more convenient life did not come without a price, however. The horse created a competition for resources in the region, but the greatest price was allowing a greater level of violence to enter the plains. The horse allowed the Apache to dominate the region prior to the arrival of American settlers. When American settlers arrived, a clash of worldviews occurred. The differing worldviews facilitated violence that was made possible because of the introduction of the

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