Native Americans and the horse

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Native Americans before and after their conquest of the Horse[edit | edit source]

There seems to be a lot of the 'urban legend' quality about this topic. While it doesn't rank with crocodiles in the sewers of New York or the Torn Off Hand of the Hitchiker chained to the Doorhandle of the the Chevvy, the account(s) of SHIPWRECK(S) of Spanish supply convoys in the early 1520s (1522 and 1524) in the Gulf of Mexico in which the Spanish bred horses escape and swim ashore to become the ancestors of the Mustang have a credibility (50%, maybe) that the aforementioned do not. The problem is ; how to verify? ( I do not read 16th C Spanish, nor even modern Spanish)We know that Native Americans rustled these "large dogs" as they are called in some of their languages, from settlers, garrisons and missionaries but at the time in question, the Spanish were still busy with Central and South America. New Spain ( Northern Mexico, California and the future Texas) had hardly been 'touched' -so to speak. There is one authenticated shipwreck in 1523 but that was off the coast of modern-day Florida.They were carrying horses (as all the Spanish convoys did) but did they get ashore? Nothing I've yet come across in Seminole folk-tales-memories-histories-oral tradition culture make reference to what would have been an unforgettable meeting.

Second point: For the Plains Indians (first in Texas we may assume) to get their hands on rustled horses assumes a very long contact-migration down into the southern States of present day Mexico. There is and would have been the desert and the Pueblo to circumnagate; ( or bargain wirh, maybe. But nothing suggests the Pueblo were great horse-traders). The probabilities point to a meeting;- now feral Spanish horses roaming free up the western Crescent of the Mississippi Basin bounded only by the Rockies and the Great Lakes;( If the first of them got there in the 1520s they would have easily been up to the Canadian border by, say 1560/70) meet the Shoshoni just before these divide into Cheyenne, Kiowa, Sioux, Blackfeet and their brothers.

Romantic, isn't it? But could it really be the case?

(And the women-folk of the newly-mounted men? Anthropology tells us that after the crossing of the Bering Strait (20,000 years ago?) the tribes remained Matriarchial, static, short-distance (relatively )migrators subsisting on gathering, fishing and small-game trapping. The guys get the Horse and in one or two generations they are transformed into warrior and buffalo hunting Patriarchies. Their physical resistance improves. (almost exclusively red meat protein rich diet). They grow up to 2,5cms taller on average and live longer. They can follow the buffalo south and escape the worst deprivations of the winter in the North)

Seriously though, what I have to ask is; what hard evidence is there for the Culture-Shattering Meeting theory? I must admit it is something I'd Italic textlikeItalic textto believe; but I need help with refences, sources, booklists to carry out research as objectively as possible. I'm frankly surprised nobody seems to have done it before. (There are any number of books about the Indians with their horses -in fact it's difficult to imagine them apart - but what was life like for them before they subdued the Mustang?)

Any ideas, comments, suggestions,source references etc; would be most welcome

lauren imbierski