The Washington International Horse Show and the National Museum of the American Indian are putting on an exhibit called A Song for the Horse Nation, opening the last weekend in October. There will be pony rides, war paint demonstrations and displays by the local mounted police. There’s more detail of the museum show here, including (with links added for images):
a 19th-century, 16-foot-tall, 38-foot-circumference Lakota tipi, in which 110 hand-painted horses, some with riders, all at a full gallop, cover the entire surface in rich reds, turquoise blues and golds as vivid and fresh as the day they were created. These battle and horse-raiding scenes proclaim the heroic deeds of the warrior who once lived in the tipi.
Life-size model horses, one pulling a 19th-century Cheyenne travois (a frame used to drag heavy loads over land), and another tacked in a dazzling display of fully beaded traditional Apsáalooke (Crow) regalia used in parades today, will also be on display. Other highlights include rifles belonging to celebrated mounted warriors Geronimo (Chiricahua Apache), Chief Joseph (Nez Perce) and Chief Rain-in-the-Face (Hunkpapa Lakota) and the famous ceremonial dance stick (ca. 1890) of No Two Horns (Hunkpapa Lakota), which he created to honor his well-loved horse that died at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
Visitors will discover daring feats of bravery such as “counting coup,” in which a warrior would gallop astride an enemy and touch him with his hand. They will learn that raiding an enemy’s horses is a proud tradition that survived even into 20th-century warfare—during World War II, Joseph Medicine Crow, Apsáalooke (Crow), now in his 90s, liberated horses from the Nazi SS in the finest tradition of a Plains Indian warrior. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama Aug. 12, 2009.
The main exhibition website can be found at this address, where I advise browsing to your heart’s content. I’m going to try and find out a little more about Joseph Medicine Crow – that story is too tempting to pass up.
Dang. Thought it might be in MY Washington (state), but it’s the ‘other’ WA 3,000 miles away…sigh. This sounds marvelous.
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