Horse Nations: The Worldwide Impact of the Horse on Indigenous Societies Post-1492
 019870383X, 9780198703839

Table of contents :
Cover
Horse Nations: The Worldwide Impact of the Horse on Indigenoussocieties Post-1492
Copyright
Acknowledgements
Contents
List of Figures
List of Colour Plates
List of Tables
1:
Introducing Horse Nations
Beginnings
At the borderlands of empires
Why horses?
Of big dogs and complex horses
Courses for horses (or themes for Horse Nations)
Approaching Horse Nations:
structure and organization
A note on nomenclature
Notes
2:
Ancestors
Introduction
Evolution
The horse family today
The biology of the horse
Hunters and horses
After the ice
The taming of the horse
Horse Nations of Eurasia
Notes
3:
A Prodigal Return
Introduction
Humans arrive in horseland
They shoot horses: don’t they?
Extinction: north
Extinction: south
A world without horses
The return of the horse
Flourishing mightily
Notes
4:
North America I
Introduction
Before the horse
The horses of Santiago
Singing for horses
Fighting on horses
Keeping people safe and horses holy
Lords of the Southern Plains
Comanche imperialism
‘A profound material revolution’
Riding into the sunset
The deer hunters
Notes
5: North America II:
The Central and Northern Plains
Introduction
Ecological background
Peopling the Plains
Keeping horses on the Plains
‘Big dogs’ and little dogs: changes in
transportation and settlement
Buffalo runners: the horse as hunter
Of furs and bison robes: trade and gender in
the age of the horse
Horses as instruments of politics and war
Imag(in)ing the horse
Horses of medicine and myth
Equestrian villagers and equestrian nomads
Horse wars
Notes
6: North America III:
West of the Rockies
Introduction
Have horses, will raid: horses and slaves
in the Great Basin
Becoming like the Plains: the horse
on the Columbia Plateau
Horse-raiders of California
‘Do not trust the horse’
Notes
7: South America I:
Caribbean Deserts and Tropical Savannahs
La Guajira: introducing the Wayu´u
Smugglers of the Caribbean
Horses and other livestock
Explaining horses the Wayu´u way
The Llanos: going without the horse?
Jesuits and Horse Nations at the heart of South America
Enter, the horse
The missions and after
The Kadiwe´u, Brazil’s ‘Indios cavaleiros’
Notes
8: South America II:
The Southern Cone
Geography and ethnography of the Southern Cone
The War of Arauco
Making horses Mapuche
Free spirits: horses and cattle on the
Pampas and in Patagonia
Uniting the Cone: a regional pastoral economy
Becoming Araucanian, becoming Tehuelche
Archaeological perspectives on horses
and other livestock
Patagonian horses in life and death
The horse at war and at the chase
Horses and hierarchies
They make a desert and call it peace
Notes
9: The Old World:
Southern Africa and Australasia
Reins of power: horses and colonial
settlement in southern Africa
Horse raiders of the Maloti-Drakensberg
Chasing eland, taking stock
How horses became baboons
Images of horsepower
The end of the ride
Australia: bringing in the brumby
Aborigines meet the horse
The archaeology of Australian pastoralism
Water monsters and people-carrying dogs:
the horse in New Zealand
Notes
10: Putting Horse Nations
in Context
The variety of Horse Nations
The similarities of Horse Nations
Of perilous frontiers and pastoralists
Why were Horse Nations not found everywhere?
Horses as agents of change
Questions for the future
Horse Nations today
Notes
Appendix—Self-Designations of
Native American Peoples
References
Colour Plates Acknowledgements
Index

Citation preview

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HORSE NATIONS

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HORSE NATIONS THE WORLDWIDE IMPACT OF THE HORSE ON INDIGENOUS SOCIETIES POST-1492

PETER MITCHELL

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Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, ox2 6dp, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Peter Mitchell 2015 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2015 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2014949674 ISBN 978–0–19–870383–9 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, cr0 4yy Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

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Acknowledgements

A book as diverse as this one naturally calls for a wide and varied expression of thanks. First of all, then, I should like to express my gratitude to those colleagues who facilitated my access to aspects of the relevant literature, commented on parts of the manuscript, or even bravely did both: Richard Adams, Ramiro Barberena, Robin Bendrey, Britt Bousman, Sam Challis, Luiz Costa, Matthew Davies, Carlos Fausto, Rachel King, David Lewis-Williams, Kat Manning, Jose´ Oliver, Alistair Paterson, Patrick Roberts, Brian Stewart, Solveig Turpin, Diego Villar, David Whitley, and Raymond Wood. Though I may not have always followed their suggestions, I am nevertheless grateful to all those who also pointed out various errors and confusions or identified issues that merited more extensive treatment. Thanks, too, to Lidia Lozano, who helped with some tricky turns of phrase in Spanish, Mark Dickerson of Oxford’s Balfour Library, and all those who helped with obtaining the images that illustrate the text. As well as those who directly contributed images of their own, I should like to single out Ramiro Barberena, Luis Borrero, Ruth Bowler, Ian Cartwright, Danett Crespo, Daniel Kosharek, Rose Krause, Larry Loendorf, Kevin MacDonald, Darcy Marlow, Christina Milliman, Daisy Njoku, Felicia Pickering, Susan Snyder, Richard Sorensen, Deacon Turner, and Felicia Wivchar, and, most importantly, Rachel King, who produced a wonderful set of maps. Generous grants from the School of Archaeology of the University of Oxford, St Hugh’s College, Oxford and the School of Geography, Archaeology, and Environmental Studies of the University of the Witwatersrand covered the costs of reproducing many of the photographs I have used. Books often have long gestations. In this case, the first thoughts for writing Horse Nations were sparked back in 1990 by a visit to Melikane Shelter in highland Lesotho, the paintings from which I discuss in Chapter 9. To Jannie Loubser and Gordon Lourens who facilitated that visit, and to John Speth with whom I then discussed equestrian

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

hunter-gatherers back in Cape Town, I owe another debt. Subsequent conversations with various graduate students, now colleagues, helped confirm that there might be material in this topic for a book: Sam Challis and Mark McGranaghan particularly warrant noting here. Preliminary research for the book and a start on its writing were undertaken in Michaelmas 2012 and Hilary 2013. I am grateful to the University of Oxford and St Hugh’s College, Oxford, for the sabbatical leave granted me then and again in Hilary 2014 when completing the final manuscript. Thanks, too, to the Principal and Fellows of St Hugh’s for additional leave in Trinity 2013 and for the generous research allowances that provided me with the laptop on which the text was written and many of the key resources needed to write it. At the other end of the process, I thank Hilary O’Shea and Annie Rose for their enthusiastic support of the book as it was being written, as well as their many colleagues at OUP for their assistance and efficiency at later stages of its production. Books are also typically family affairs. Long before going to university, my parents and grandmother encouraged an interest in the impact of Europeans on Indigenous peoples in other parts of the world, especially North America, by feeding my addiction to reading. In the course of writing Horse Nations I have also found myself once again immeasurably grateful to Gloria, who put up with considerable discussion of many of its more esoteric aspects but nevertheless read through and commented on the whole manuscript. Any success that the book has is, in large part, due to her, aided by our daughter, Chiara, and new ‘little horse’ (canine) acquisitions, Luna and Falco. Together, they collectively kept me reminded of the truly important things in life while simultaneously allowing me to have the time that the book required. Grazie.

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Contents

List of Figures List of Colour Plates List of Tables 1. Introducing Horse Nations

ix xiii xv 1

2. Ancestors

29

3. A Prodigal Return

59

4. North America I: The Southwest and the Southern Plains

93

5. North America II: The Central and Northern Plains

141

6. North America III: West of the Rockies

191

7. South America I: Caribbean Deserts and Tropical Savannahs

219

8. South America II: The Southern Cone

253

9. The Old World: Southern Africa and Australasia

303

10. Putting Horse Nations in Context

343

Appendix—Self-Designations of Native American Peoples References Colour Plates Acknowledgements Index

371 375 425 427

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List of Figures

front cove r Mbaya´ raiders (originally termed ‘Guaykuru´ cavalry charge’) painted by JeanBaptiste Debret in the early nineteenth century and published in his Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Bre´sil, consultable online at http://www.brasiliana.usp .br/bbd/handle/1918/00624510#page/1/mode/1up. Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (M91.A.00119, vol. 1, E20, Pl. 18 (Facsimile)). 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 4.1 4.2 4.3

The worldwide distribution of Horse Nations. The archetypal Native American. A Bushman stock raid. Cladogram of the evolutionary relationships of the genus Equus. Key features of horse biology. Feral horses in New Zealand. The Rock of Solutre´. The Vogelherd horse statuette. Upper Palaeolithic carving of a horse’s head. Map of sites mentioned in Chapter 2. Milking horses in Kazakhstan. Early evidence of riding: tooth wear. Rock engraving of a horned horse with rider. The expansion of Indo-European languages in Eurasia. A Mongolian herdsman with his horses. Map of early sites in the Americas. Horse B, Wally’s Beach, Alberta. A cut-marked bone of Hippidion saldiasi. Piedra Museo rockshelter, Argentina. An early Native American view of the horse. The expansion of the horse in western North America post-1492. Rock painting of mounted hunters pursuing bison. Map of the Southwest and the Southern Plains. A Southern Plains landscape. Taos Pueblo.

2 10 17 30 34 36 38 39 40 41 44 45 47 48 52 61 64 73 73 78 80 82 94 96 100

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LIST OF FIGURES

4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10

The Catholic church at Santo Domingo Pueblo. 100 The arrival of Santiago. 101 Dine´tah, the Navajo homeland. 104 A Navajo man herding sheep and goats. 105 A Navajo saddle blanket. 106 Drawing of a horse wearing rawhide body armour, Meyers Spring. 108 The Comanche National Grassland, Colorado. 112 Engraving of a Comanche warrior riding a horse. 118 The Comanche-centred Plains/Southwest/Southeast trading system. 119 A Kiowa man’s saddle. 122 The Lance of the Cibolero. 125 Horse equipment from the Cogdell burial. 128/9 Choctaw men playing lacrosse. 131 Map of the Great Plains. 142 Horses in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 144 Map of tribal distributions on the Great Plains in 1700 and 1870. 145 A Cheyenne parfleche. 155 Hidatsa hunters surrounding a herd of bison. 156 The Segesser I painted hide. 163 An example of rawhide horse armour. 164 Rock engravings at Turner Shelter. 167 Rock engravings from the Hoofprint Tradition. 169 Ledger drawing of two men stealing a horse. 170 Writing-on-Stone, Alberta. 172 Aerial view of the Cluny site. 176 Lakota encamped on the Upper Missouri River. 180 Me´tis Red River carts. 182 Map of North America west of the Rockies. 192 Utes on horseback. 194 A Shoshone Indian and his pet horse. 198 A Shoshone woman’s saddle. 199 Mounted Nez Perce´ warriors. 201 The Dalles. 202 California, showing the location of Tulare Lake. 204 Rock engraving of a horse and rider from the Coso Range. 209 Map of the ‘interior world’ of western North America. 211 A Ute horse figurine. 214

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LIST OF FIGURES

7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 10.1 10.2 10.3

Map of Colombia and Venezuela. A Wayu´u rancherı´a. Cattle on the Venezuelan Llanos. Map of the Gran Chaco. The Gran Chaco landscape. A Pampas warrior on horseback. The mission station of San Xavier. The wetlands of the Pantanal. Map of the Southern Cone of South America. The Mapuche homeland. Horsemen at a Mapuche nguillatun ceremony. An Indigenous warrior confronts a mounted Spaniard. Map of eighteenth/nineteenth-century trade in the Southern Cone. Pampas Indians visiting Buenos Aires. Poncho-wearing Araucanians. Tehuelches and Araucanians encounter each other. Stone corrals in the Sierra de Tandilia. Helmet and armour from Caepe Malal. Tehuelche arms and implements. ‘A Tehuelche squaw’. A Tehuelche toldo. Tehuelche hunting guanaco and rhea from horseback. A Tehuelche man wearing a quillango. Map of southern Africa. Rock art panels attributed to the Korana. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Mountains. The Beersheba rock art panel, South Africa. Rock painting of an eland hunt on horseback. Twentieth-century Bushmen hunting gemsbok from horseback. Rock painting of a horseman riding alongside a baboon. Basotho riders, northern Lesotho, 1990. Map of Australasia. A horse and rider, Laura, Queensland. Aboriginal rock engravings from Western Australia. Aboriginal stockman from the nineteenth century. Aerial photograph of Strangways sheep station. The Qing army’s victory over the Zunghars. A group of four gauchos at rest. A Gosiute camp in Nevada.

xi 221 225 229 232 233 237 243 245 254 256 261 262 265 266 268 271 273 276 279 280 281 286 293 305 308 310 314 316 317 321 326 327 331 332 333 334 350 354 358

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List of Colour Plates

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Horseskin armour from Chile. The horses from the Grotte de Chauvet. A Piegan encampment. A Southwestern landscape. The Jinetes sin Cabezas rock art panel, Mexico. The Navajo received horses from their gods. Comanche feats of horsemanship. The Northern Plains landscape. A Hidatsa village at Knife River. A Nez Perce´ horse mask. ‘The Indian mode of travelling’. Hunting bison from horseback. Engravings of horses and riders, Joliet Shelter, Montana. Horses on a painted bison robe. The Great Basin. The Columbia Plateau. Mounted warfare in rock art. A Crow/Plateau-style bridle. An Appaloosa horse wearing recreated Nez Perce´ horse gear. A Native Californian on horseback. A La Guajira landscape. A mid-nineteenth-century Colombian llanero. A Charru´a chief. The Humid Pampa, Argentina. Rock painting of a guanaco transformed into a horse. The Patagonian steppes. Lake Nahuel Huapi. Lesotho’s Maloti Mountains.

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LIST OF COLOUR PLATES

Rock paintings of part-eland/part-horse figures. Horses as rain-animals. Ma¯ori going to market on horseback. The women’s parade at the Crow Fair, Montana.

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List of Tables

3.1 Direct dates for late Pleistocene/early Holocene horses in the Southern Cone of South America.

71

5.1 Hidatsa horse names.

148

5.2 Medicinal plants applied to horses.

174

6.1 Terms for horses and horsemanship in Native Californian languages.

209

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1.  Horse Nations flourished on the edges of Europe’s colonial empires. Made from seven horse skins, this armour suit, donated to the British Museum in 1831, was taken from the body of an Indigenous warrior shot and killed by Chilean soldiers.

2.  The horses from the Grotte de Chauvet, France, one of the earliest examples of Upper Palaeolithic rock art.

3.  View of a Piegan encampment painted by Karl Bodmer from a sketch made in 1833. Piegan territory was exceptionally favourable for horse-raising on the Northern Plains.

4.  A classic Southwest landscape, Monument Valley (Navajo Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii, meaning ‘Valley of the Rocks’) lies near the Arizona/Utah border.

5.  One of the headless horsemen from the Jinetes sin Cabezas rock art panel, Bolsón de Mapimí, northern Mexico. The rider has lost his sword.

6.  The Navajo received horses from their gods and in this watercolour (Night Chant Ceremonial Hunt) by Harrison Begay three riders are shown chasing deer as part of a ceremonial hunt.

7.  The Comanche were renowned for the excellence of their horsemanship, as depicted here by George Catlin, who visited Comanchería in 1834.

8.  The Northern Plains seen from the bison jump site of Head-Smashed-In (Blackfoot, Estipah-skikikini-koti), Alberta.

9.  A Hidatsa village at Knife River, North Dakota, as painted by George Catlin in 1832.

10.  A Nez Percé horse mask dating to the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

11.  ‘The Indian mode of travelling’ with horse and travois as depicted by Seth Eastman in 1869.

12.  This second painting by Seth Eastman (made in 1868) shows how Plains hunters hunted bison as individuals, using bow and arrow or lance.

13. Lightly incised and partially superimposed horses and riders at Joliet Shelter, Montana, belong to the Biographic tradition of Plains rock art and postdate 1870.

14.  A painted bison hide from the British Museum made before 1868 depicts the war exploits of an unknown (Blackfoot, or perhaps Lakota) warrior (Carocci 2012: 97).

15.  The Tule Valley and House Range in west-central Utah’s portion of the Great Basin about to be drenched by a storm.

16.  The Columbia Plateau with Mt Hood in the distance, about 80 km southwest of The Dalles and on the western edge of the Plateau cultural region.

A

17. Rock engravings of probable Blackfoot origin from Verdigris Coulee, Alberta, depict encounters between mounted and pedestrian warriors soon after the horse arrived on the Northern Plains. One horse (Plate 17a) wears leather armour.

B

18. A Crow/Plateau style bridle made by Angela Swedberg. The keyhole design on the forehead symbolizes a bear’s eye, the design down the nose the back of a horned lizard. Their Crow name axxíabaaloope, meaning ‘forehead crescent’, likely refers to the silver najas of colonial Spanish bridles (Tim McCleary, pers. comm.).

19.  An Appaloosa horse (‘Cappy’) wearing Nez Percé horse gear recreated by Angela Swedberg using traditional methods and materials, including a horse collar, a bandoleer bag, a rump drape, a mountain lion skin saddle throw, and two parfleche cases, as well as flat bags.

20.  A Native American riding a horse in the San Joaquin/King River area of central California around 1854 as painted by Charles Koppel.

21. A La Guajira landscape, looking west/southwest at Cosi, near Cojoro, on the southern (Venezuelan) side of the peninsula.

22.  A mid-nineteenth-century llanero by an unknown Colombian artist.

23.  A Charrúa chief, as depicted by Jean-Baptiste Debret, holding a spear while riding through a river. His horse’s saddle blanket may be of jaguar skin. Living in Uruguay and Brazil’s southernmost state Rio Grande do Sul, Charrúa acquired horses from the late 1500s.

24.  The Humid Pampa, Río Quequen Grande, Buenos Aires province, Argentina.

25.  Painting of a camelid (probably a guanaco) transformed into a horse, Parédon Lanfré, Río Negro province, Argentina.

26.  Patagonia’s extensive steppes offer little water outside major river valleys. The Potrok Aike Lake region of southern Santa Cruz province, Argentina.

27.  Lake Nahuel Huapi, Río Negro province, Argentina, centre of Pehuenche territory and an early focus for the take-up of European crops and livestock.

28.  Lesotho’s Maloti Mountains showing the gorge of the Senqu River near Mashai.

29.  The part eland/part horse figures from Melikane Shelter, Lesotho. The one at furthest right has an extra rear leg, further indicating the images’ links to the spirit world. One of several black images below clearly shows a person riding a baboon.

30.  Spear-wielding men, some probably dismounted from the nearby horses, ‘hunt’ a hippopotamus. The head of the red horse at bottom centre resembles that of the smaller hippopotamus over which it has been painted (Challis 2008: 277). Both hippopotami likely represent rain-animals. Traced by Patricia Vinnicombe, the painting is in the East Griqualand area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

31.  Māori use of horses mirrored that of British settlers around them. In this 1861 painting by J.S. Harland several Māori are going to market on horseback. © The National Library of New Zealand.

32.  The women’s parade at the Crow Fair, Montana.

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1 Introducing Horse Nations ‘Prancing they are coming, All over the universe they come’ (Black Elk, 2000: 32)

‘If you have horses, everything will be changed for you forever’ (Isenberg 2000: 41, quoting the Cheyenne deity, Maheo)

Beginnings Hidden by rocks near a waterhole in Australia’s desert interior an Aboriginal woman and her children catch their first sight of the shockingly large animal of which they have previously only heard: the newcomer’s kangaroo. Thousands of kilometres to the west and high in southern Africa’s mountains a shaman completes the painting of an animal that does not exist, horned at the front, bushy tail at the rear, a composite of two species, one long familiar, the other new. Across the Atlantic Ocean on the grasslands of Patagonia the burial of an Ao´nik’enk leader is in its final stages, four of his favourite possessions killed above the grave to ensure his swift passage to the afterlife. To the north in what Americans of European descent call New Mexico, Dine´ warriors chant the sacred songs that ensure their pursuers will not catch them and that they will return safely home. And on the wintry plains of what is not yet Alberta, Siksika´wa hunters charge into one of the last bison herds they will harvest before the snows bring this year’s hunting to an end. Two things unite these very different scenes. First, though we cannot be sure, the historical, ethnographic, and archaeological sources on which they are based allow for them all happening on precisely the

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horse nations

same day, sometime in the 1860s.1 Second, all concern people’s relationship with one and the same animal—pindi nanto, karkan, kawoi, łı´ı´’, ponoka´o´mita·wa—the animal that English speakers know as ‘horse’.2 And that simple fact provides the basis for this book. For, before 1492, horses were confined to the Old World—Europe, Asia, and Africa north of the tropical rainforests and a line reaching east through South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia to the sea. They were wholly unknown in Australasia, the Americas, or southern Africa. As a result, the relationships implied by the vignettes I have just sketched, as well as those involving Indigenous populations in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and New Zealand, evolved quickly (Figure 1.1). And they were still

Figure 1.1. The worldwide distribution of the Horse Nations discussed in the text (with Australia and New Zealand inset). 1 Southwest; 2 Southern Plains; 3 Northern Plains; 4 Great Basin; 5 Plateau; 6 Puget Sound; 7 California; 8 Colorado Valley; 9 La Guajira; 10 Llanos; 11 Gran Chaco; 12 Araucanı´a; 13 Pampas; 14 Patagonia; 15 Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains. Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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introducing horse nations

3

evolving when these societies were finally overwhelmed by European colonization. That people in so many parts of the world could previously move or transport loads overland only by foot or with the aid of dogs, but were now enabled to do so much more easily, provides an excellent opportunity for examining the diverse ways in which horses helped transform older ways of life, creating and building new modes of existence and new ways of understanding. Horses were not alone in expanding far beyond their previous range as Europe reached across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. What Alfred Crosby aptly termed the ‘Columbian Exchange’ involved the transport and dispersal of hundreds of species of animals, plants, and microbes, the wholesale modification of ecosystems, and the movement (often involuntary) of literally millions of people.3 The consequences this entailed have stimulated a wealth of studies, from the broad sweep of Crosby’s own book, or Eric Wolf ’s classic Europe and the People without History,4 to those emphasizing single commodities such as sugar or coffee, or particular social, economic, and political institutions like plantation slavery.5 Strangely, however, the adoption of the horse has largely escaped such enquiries. This is not to say that the ways in which Indigenous societies took to the horse and it to them have gone unexplored. In many areas a considerable literature already exists. In particular, how far the horse can be singled out as a ‘prime mover’ in cultural change, and how far its adoption was responsible for the development of a distinctive ‘horse complex’ on the part of its users, have been hotly contested for a century in both North and South America. Yet while some scholars have emphasized the opportunities for comparison between different regions of the planet, few have engaged in them. Fewer still have done so using the combined resources of history, anthropology, and archaeology. The desire to take some small step along the path of accomplishing these twin ambitions underpins this book. That horses have played an important role in human history is selfevident: the use of cavalry in battle and of other horses in the more peaceful pursuits of ploughing the land, transporting goods as pack animals, and pulling carts and wagons is something that, even now, is within living memory in many parts of the world, or at least carries echoes of a very recent past. Interest in how horses—and other animals and plants—have made our shared history also forms a growing shift towards foregrounding environmental and ecological concerns in

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horse nations

historical research.6 This is not, however, a general survey of the history of the horse. Its focus is necessarily more selective, its emphasis directed at what I have chosen to call, in the words of the Lakota traditional healer Black Elk,7 ‘horse nations’. Who those nations were and how they fit into the broader picture of Europe’s overseas expansion I now explain.

At the borderlands of empires In the earliest stages of the Columbian Exchange horses were instrumental in Spain’s overthrow of the Mexica (Aztec) and Inka Empires.8 The fear they and their riders engendered continued to terrify the conquered populations decades later. Nevertheless, Native Americans also quickly came to be employed in caring for or working with horses, while wealthier individuals were even able to acquire their own, thereby raising (literally!) their status within colonial society.9 One history of the horse and its impact on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the other regions that Europeans settled post-1492 might thus encompass, even privilege, such reactions and developments, but this would be a history of the horse within a Europeanruled realm. ‘Horse Nations’ were something else. The reason lies in their position—geographical, political, and symbolic—at and beyond the margins of European control. Since such lands were mostly conquered and settled only in the mid-, or even late, nineteenth century, their inhabitants could sustain interaction with Europeans on something like their own terms for some considerable time, profiting from introductions of European origin without falling victim to full-scale colonization. That the areas concerned were, for the most part, ecologically and climatically poorly suited to intensive agriculture with then-current technologies had another important consequence: their Indigenous inhabitants were mostly hunter-gatherers or peoples who combined hunting with small-scale horticulture. Most of the societies discussed in this book were of this kind, the Araucanians of Chile and the Ma¯ori of New Zealand being the most prominent exceptions. In one understanding of things, the lands where these peoples lived thus lay on the frontiers of colonial empires. The concept of ‘frontier’ has a long and venerable history of use, especially in the United States,

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but also in comparing processes of expansion and transformation there with, for example, those in southern Africa.10 It is, however, an inherently confrontational term, one that too readily implies the inevitability of the Euro-American juggernaut that eventually ended Indigenous independence. Yet Native peoples did not simply vanish and those who effected their replacement did not settle empty wildernesses, American claims of Manifest Destiny,11 or past Argentine celebration of the ‘Conquest of the Desert’,12 notwithstanding. Frontiers were always contested facts, never simply givens of existence. For similar reasons thinking of the interactions between Europeans or Euro-Americans and Indigenous populations in terms of ‘contact’ is unhelpful on several counts. First, if by ‘contact’ we mean the very first encounter between one society and another then we are directed to initial, short-lived events, rather than the longer, more drawn-out, mutually entangling processes that they set in motion. Second, ‘contact’ downplays the effects of interaction and loses sight of the creative power of Indigenous social actors.13 And finally, it wrongly implies that those ‘contacted’ had previously lived in an isolated cocoon, unchanging until given a kick-start from the outside. More helpful are terms that capture the dynamism and diverse opportunities that came with European attempts at expansion and control, terms that focus on frontiers not as barriers but as spaces for interaction between different societies. For Richard White, writing of Native American/European contacts in eastern North America, these spaces formed a ‘Middle Ground’ within which Indigenous populations exercised autonomy, agency, and choice in how they shaped their destinies.14 Guillaume Boccara makes the same point when using ‘limits’ to refer to the termini of European imperial control, but ‘frontier’ for the processes by which those limits were challenged and subverted by those living either side of them.15 Increasing appreciation of this perspective has brought with it growing awareness of how Indigenous peoples were able to resist, change, and adapt to the new situations in which they found themselves.16 By focusing on these processes historians have not only learned about Indigenous populations. They have also gained new insights into how colonial politics and polities functioned, or failed to function, in the pursuit of imperial expansion.17 Moreover, while both Indigenous and European societies changed, often the result was also the emergence of wholly new communities. Their investigation is therefore an important theme of

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much recent ‘frontier’ research as existing groups fissioned and fused and people sought to create enduring new identities for themselves in contexts of radical change.18 They did this on the ‘borderlands’ of colonial expansion (Plate 1), a word that implies both encounters and the contestation of boundaries between colonial and extra-colonial domains, that draws attention to space but simultaneously hints at the permeability of political divides to flows of people, goods, knowledge, and information, as well as at the flexible configurations that those relationships could take.19 Within these borderlands the interactions taking place and the power relations involved were not only between ethnic groups, but also within them.20 Neither European nor Indigenous societies, in other words, were homogeneous, any more than either held total knowledge of the other or of the consequences of its own actions or those of others: ambiguity, creativity, improvisation, and unpredictability are thus the hallmarks of the histories with which this book is concerned. Understanding this point carries with it an important implication for how we work with the source materials available to us, something to which I return later in this introduction.

Why horses? If we are interested in the Native inhabitants of these borderlands, why focus on the horse? One reason is that, once acquired, horses, unlike firearms or other European manufactures, could reproduce themselves.21 In that sense, they were a ‘democratic resource’,22 ‘a complete and self-sufficient tool’,23 one potentially open to all, provided only that the basics of food and water could be obtained and the advantages perceived in their adoption outweighed any negative considerations.24 Horses, partnered in some instances by livestock and crops of European introduction, thus held out possibilities for autonomous development and resistance, however much they came to be employed (for example, in hunting bison or guanaco to make robes for trade, or in collecting livestock with the same goal) in ways that (increasingly) tied their owners to wider political economies ultimately dominated by Europeans. Secondly, as Sandra Swart has discussed in detail for South Africa, horses too have agency, that is to say they actively contribute to the

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construction of the world in which they live. Not, of course, as much as humans, but more so than purely material goods. This is perhaps most apparent if we consider their ecological impact, that is, dispersing seeds—often themselves of exotic origin—eroding soils, and otherwise altering existing plant and animal communities.25 But horses’ agency was also expressed in how keeping and feeding them required people to alter their own patterns of movement and settlement organization, as well as in the new sensory environments that their presence created and facilitated: in smell, sight (seeing from horseback rather than afoot), sound, and the many ways in which their owners decorated and adorned them. A final rationale is the one with which I began, namely that the horse was so very widely introduced to populations across the world after 1492. It can thus provide a constant against which to evaluate the many changes that those populations experienced after European contact, while highlighting the ‘radically different meanings and impacts in distinctive cultures’ that its arrival heralded, something obscured by too narrow a biological view of Crosby’s Columbian Exchange.26 For those impacts were not simply the result of horses themselves expanding across a virgin landscape, independent of human intervention, nor did riding horses merely entail consequences for how people moved, fought, and secured food. Like other plants and animals with which people have strong bonds, horses came to structure and reproduce patterns of social relations, especially at times of transition such as birth, marriage, illness, and death. Their control and (re)production also offered novel ways of gaining power over others, or subverting power relations that were already in place, including those between men and women. Finally, horses provided new vehicles through which societies could think about themselves and their place in the world, a world that horses’ very presence helped to change.27

Of big dogs and complex horses Many North American Indigenous peoples termed horses ‘big dogs’, a larger-than-life version of an already familiar and much-used animal.28 But were they only that? In other words, did horses truly transform the societies to which they came, or did they only allow those societies to do the same things as before, albeit on a faster or larger scale? And, if

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the former, then was the horse’s role really so much greater than that of other European introductions? How far, indeed, did the societies thus transformed now constitute themselves in near-identical ways, whether on the North American Plains, the Argentine Pampas, or in the mountains of Lesotho? And would we be right to think of the new and distinctive cultures, the ‘horse complexes’, thus created as being similar to the horse-riding nomads of central Eurasia? Such issues have not escaped the attention of those working on Indigenous equestrian societies, particularly in the Americas, where studies of the horse’s impact are over a century old. Crucial in the early development of this tradition was the work of Clark Wissler, who, throughout a long and distinguished anthropological career, maintained that acquiring the horse merely intensified, but did not radically change, trends and practices already present in Plains societies.29 Reiterated over the next half-century, this rather negative assessment dominated North American research into the 1950s.30 John Ewers’ monumental study of horses among the Blackfeet—in reality much more far-reaching than that emphasis might suggest— struck a significantly different note,31 but without following Alfred Kroeber in suggesting that there had been next to no permanent hunter-gatherer settlement on the Plains before the horse.32 Synthesizing an enormous body of ethnographic and historic data on the horse’s presence in virtually all aspects of Blackfoot life, Ewers provides a landmark against which all subsequent work, at least on the Plains, has had to be measured. By arguing for considerable similarities in the treatment and cultural significance of horses across the Plains, the Southwest, and the Plateau regions of North America he further encouraged anthropologists to think in terms of a fairly uniform, if widespread, ‘horse complex’. Equally influential, and working at almost exactly the same time, Frank Secoy assessed the separate and combined impacts of the horse and the gun on military organization and warfare on the Plains.33 Almost twenty years later, Preston Holder explored another pattern of variability when looking at the relations between those groups that used the horse to become mobile equestrian hunters (‘equestrian nomads’ in Andrew Isenberg’s helpful phrase34) and those who strove to integrate it into a more settled, horticulturally dependent lifeway, a course analysed in detail by Jeffery Hanson for the Hidatsa of the Upper Missouri Valley.35 Works by Richard White (on the Pawnee) and Frederick Hoxie (on the Crow) have subsequently

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examined the choice to eschew, or to follow, equestrian nomadism,36 while recent regional overviews emphasize the new options that came to many—though not all—Indigenous groups with the horse.37 Ecological constraints on keeping horses have also received attention,38 not least in the wider contexts of hunting bison, the subsistence mainstay of Plains hunter-gatherers,39 and of raiding for horses where climatic conditions made maintaining large herds difficult.40 Departing sharply from earlier work that stressed the positive aspects of the adoption of the horse, James Sherow, Andrew Isenberg, and Pekka Ha¨ma¨la¨inen, among others, have drawn on these studies to argue that, by imperilling bison stocks, acquiring horses ultimately undermined the very adaptations that they had made possible.41 The whole of the preceding two paragraphs—just like most general discussions of the impact of the horse in North America—is, of course, Plains-focused. The equestrian nomads beloved by Hollywood and their horticultural neighbours/trade partners/allies/enemies have—in matters of the horse—captured not just the popular imagination, but also that of historians and anthropologists (Figure 1.2). And yet, as perusal of the Smithsonian Institution’s epic Handbook of North American Indians series shows, the horse went far beyond the Plains: taken up by virtually all groups of the Plateau area (Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, and the mountainous southern parts of inland British Columbia and Alberta), it also found a home among the Coast Salish peoples of Puget Sound on the Pacific Northwest Coast, was widely adopted across the Great Basin of the western United States, and thrived among many of the societies of Arizona and New Mexico, where it entered profoundly into the beliefs and rituals of Apaches and Navajos alike.42 Less widely appreciated, perhaps, is the considerable impact that horses had on central Californian groups like the Yokuts and Miwok,43 or the degree to which they and others to their east, like the Mojave and Ute, came to constitute an interlinked raiding-focused ‘interior world’ either side of the Sierra Nevada and the Colorado River.44 Still less well known are the horse’s effects on some of the peoples living in the southeastern United States, particularly the Choctaw, for whom they were, first, crucial aids in supplying deerskins to colonial markets and then an integral part of the development of a Euro-American-like farming tradition.45 Across all these areas, however, most recent historical research makes little reference to the rich material culture that was associated

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Figure 1.2. The archetypal Native American: Hector Crawler, chief of the Oghana´tiya-tibidn band of the Stoney (Nakoda) Assiniboin people of Alberta, Canada, photographed by Edward S. Curtis in 1927. Copyright: National Anthropological Archives (NAA INV 03029700).

with horses. Nor does it consider how studying, or even just visually appreciating such artefacts, can help us understand more of the lived experience of Native Americans as they acquired and kept horses. On the other hand, beautifully illustrated syntheses of the horse-related

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objects of nineteenth/early twentieth-century vintage that now enrich so many museum collections often engage relatively little with the broader historical literature,46 the recent success of the Smithsonian’s A Song For the Horse Nation exhibition notwithstanding.47 Importantly, this dissonance also extends to archaeology. Archaeologists have certainly engaged in large-scale studies, notably in modelling the ecological parameters affecting horse-keeping and bison-hunting.48 They have also excavated sites that help document processes of interaction between Indigenous groups and Europeans or Euro-Americans, and many of these sites have yielded, if not horse remains, then certainly elements of horse gear, such as bridle parts, or items likely to have been moved by horse. Rock art, in particular, provides important insights into how people used horses and what they thought of them. Specifically archaeological studies that deliberately target the horse’s impact, on, for example, patterns of settlement and subsistence exploitation, are, nevertheless, few.49 Exercises in drawing together historical, ethnographic, and archaeological resources in a synergistic and large-scale comparative fashion seem correspondingly scarce. Several of these points find echoes in other parts of the world and the debate between those, like Wissler, who subscribed to a ‘big dog’ position and those who opted for some version of a ‘horse complex’ interpretation of events is by no means confined to the North American Plains. It resonates particularly strongly in Argentina, for example. There, mid-twentieth-century scholars subsumed Patagonian and Pampas groups into a single, poorly defined ‘equestrian complex’, only partly attenuated in the far south where access to horses was more limited. At the same time they argued that Araucanians moving across the Andes into what is now Argentina underwent a process of cultural ‘devolution’, abandoning food production in favour of a nomadic existence.50 Since the mid-1980s, however, these views have received sustained critique. Led by Miguel Palermo and Rau´l Mandrini, historians have argued that the critical innovation was not the horse per se, but rather the development of a regional economy tying together colonial and post-independence Chile with Buenos Aires and what is now northwestern Argentina via—and this is crucial—the intermediaries of Araucanian, Pampas, and Patagonian Indigenes.51 At the same time, these authors emphasize the diversity of Indigenous societies, the significance of domestic livestock, and—in

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several areas—of farming, often using crops of European origin, and the importance of new prestige goods (metal, clothes, glass beads, liquor), the display and consumption of which created and reinforced status and power.52 Over-descriptive ethnic labelling of Indigenous groups in ways that suggested they were fundamentally discrete and unchanging, except by wholesale imposition of a new ‘Araucanian’ identity, are also now rejected.53 Though largely conducted, to date, in ways that emphasize questions of subsistence, environment, and diet rather than social agency (and thus open to the charge of being overly disconnected from the work of historians),54 archaeology has nevertheless made significant contributions to understanding the impact of the horse and the emergence of new regional economic networks. Indeed, the breadth of this research is arguably greater and more focused in Argentina than in any other of the countries I consider, encompassing datasets as diverse as stone artefacts, hunting weaponry, settlement patterns, diet, burial, rock art, and the corrals used to enclose livestock kept either for consumption or eventual onward trade.55 Beyond the Americas the horse’s impact on Indigenous huntergatherer and farming societies is much less widely known. In southern Africa pioneering studies by John Wright, Patricia Vinnicombe, and Colin Campbell examined what Wright termed the ‘Bushman raiders of the Drakensberg’, hunter-gatherers who adopted the horse and put up spirited resistance to colonial advance through the middle of the nineteenth century. After a considerable lapse, Sam Challis and others are now productively revisiting the issues these earlier scholars raised.56 Across yet another ocean, still less work has been done, though historical sources undoubtedly preserve a rich, if far from fully tapped, body of evidence in both Australia and New Zealand.57 Comparisons between (as opposed to within) culture areas are nevertheless unusual, often brief, and more common among South Americanists than in the writings of their counterparts north of the Rı´o Grande.58 Two examples are Lidia Nacuzzi and colleagues’ recent book on the ‘nomad peoples’ of Patagonia, the Pampas, and the Gran Chaco of southern South America, and Ronald Gregson’s early study of ‘the influence of the horse on Indian cultures of lowland South America’.59 Wide-ranging comparison of equestrian societies also features prominently in Colin Calloway’s overview of how Indigenous societies related to expanding European empires and trading

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networks across North America, while specifically for the Plains, but with an eye on adjacent regions as well, two key works of synthesis are those of Pekka Ha¨ma¨la¨inen, building outward from his work on the Comanche, and Andrew Isenberg, analysing the destruction of the bison.60 Intercontinental comparisons are even fewer, perhaps partly deterred by the linguistic challenges of dealing with groups for whom primary and secondary sources exist in multiple languages. One of the most ambitious is that of French anthropologist Franc¸oisRene´ Picon, whose paper on the cultural history of the horse in the New World compared Wayu´u pastoralists in Colombia (his own research area) with Blackfeet and Navajo in North America, and various Guaykuru´-speaking groups from the Gran Chaco.61 Emphasizing historical rather than ethnographic evidence, Guy Hall has stimulatingly compared Spanish/Indigenous relations in the Viceroyalty of Rı´o de la Plata (governed from Buenos Aires) with those in the Greater Southwest of North America. More recently, David Weber has provided an excellent—if brief—discussion of some of the key impacts of the horse in his wide-ranging discussion of Indigenous peoples on the margins of Spain’s eighteenth-century American empire. But, as he admits, the sources he employs are ‘largely those of the record-keeping observers’ of Spanish, Portuguese, or other European origin for whom Indigenous peoples were enemies, trading partners, missionary targets, or simply exotic ‘Others’.62 The material record (ethnographic and archaeological) that might help repair this imbalance is conspicuous more by its absence than its presence. To sum up, an extensive body of literature does exist on many of the Indigenous groups who adopted the horse, but comparative studies that explore similarities and differences between different cultural or geographical areas, let alone continents, are rare. Moreover, where they exist they typically only address some parts of the Americas, neglecting potentially informative evidence from others or from southern Africa and Australasia. Above all, existing comparisons tend to employ only some, but not all, of the three main lines of available evidence: historical, ethnographic, and archaeological. To construct a stool with just one or two, rather than three, legs inevitably produces an unstable seat. This book tries to tackle these omissions.

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Courses for horses (or themes for Horse Nations) What topics should such a study stress and what criteria should it employ? Two basic elements have already been identified, both requiring a transcendence of the boundaries (disciplinary and linguistic) that often constrain academic research: first, the need to draw on material as well as textual sources, on the insights of anthropologists and archaeologists as well as those of historians; and second, the importance of using sources in as many idioms as possible. In my own case, this has meant consulting literature written not just in English, but also Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Afrikaans, and, while making no pretence of having consulted original archival sources (and thus remaining dependent on the works of those who have), I have included much primary ethnographic and archaeological writing in the works that I use and cite. Why bother, though, with the material record, rather than emphasize only the textual? Fundamentally, this is because of the disparity in information to which David Weber refers: if we stick with what literate observers wrote then, by definition, we can know only what they thought, or thought they knew, of Indigenous peoples. Even with the greatest possible attention to analysing carefully the prejudices that may have affected them and the conditions in which they observed or wrote,63 and to reading between the lines to elicit insights that may not have consciously been intended, the result is necessarily a partial one: writers may want historical awareness, conflate observations from different times and places, or lack fluency in Native languages and patterns of thought. Examining the material remains—artefacts, rock paintings and engravings, settlement distributions, and so on—produced by Indigenous populations goes some way to re-inscribing their voice and actions into a past otherwise dominated by Europeans and those of European descent. In so doing it may reveal subtleties of cultural change and continuity otherwise lost to view, a point well made by Alistair Paterson when comparing the rock arts of northwestern Australia, southern Africa, and North America’s Plains.64 To control horses for purposes of hunting, moving, fighting, curing, or trading, people used objects of leather, metal, wood, and bone: objects that they often decorated in complex and beautiful ways. These

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facts provide another compelling justification for drawing upon the twin disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, as well as giving us a more tangible appreciation of the lives that people and horses shared. But with regard to archaeological evidence there is one further justification to advance. This is because, in many regions, we have no written records or historical archives before the European arrival, yet if we wish to gauge the difference that horses made we need a datum point from which to assess what happened after their adoption. That baseline can only be provided by archaeology, which is uniquely able to investigate patterns of human settlement and adaptation over not just decades, but centuries or millennia.65 Moreover, while the accounts of some eighteenthand nineteenth-century travellers, colonial officials, and rescued captives may be rich in detail about the horse-using societies beyond the margins of empire, virtually no professionally trained anthropologists were able to observe them directly before their incorporation into modern states. As a result, our ethnographic monographs either reflect life under conditions that were far from autonomous or ‘memory culture’ on the part of individuals recalling events often many decades after they had happened. While such memories can be very detailed and extraordinarily helpful (I think, for example, of the Hidatsa bison hunt carried out on foot in which Buffalo Bird Woman participated in 1873),66 they are not the participant observation that is the core methodology of most anthropological research. Compared to ethnography, archaeology finds it difficult to recognize individuals (except generally when dead—and even then they are nameless) and must work with a much coarser degree of temporal resolution, but it delivers insights into the lives of the Horse Nations that are more contemporary than those recalled long after the event. To do this successfully, though, it must be anthropologically, as well as historically, informed and oriented; the perception that North American Plains archaeology of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries either focuses on Euro-Americans or on artefact descriptions and ethnic identities has created an unhelpful divide between it and research into prehistoric periods,67 a divide rather less obvious in Argentina or southern Africa (see Chapters 8 and 9). Since no one discipline can provide a complete picture, we need to weave between them, drawing on one here, another there, to develop as clear an image as possible of the impact of the horse, constantly

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checking one observation against another through a process of triangulation. ‘Cabling’, as it has been described by David LewisWilliams in his analysis of Bushman rock art, describes this process well.68 As we engage in it, however, two dangers stand out. On the one hand, we must avoid ethnographic upstreaming, where we project present-day groups and identities uncritically back in time, not least because of the profound changes wrought (for example, by epidemic disease) before any literate observers were around and the evident confusions on the part of many of them.69 On the other, we need to eschew ethnographic downstreaming, where we assume that historically attested practices stayed the same in the absence of direct evidence for this.70 In both cases, it is vital to avoid assuming that ethnic identities were fixed and immutable, rather than dynamic, malleable, and even situationally contingent.71 What courses should we then pursue? What themes merit particular emphasis as we embark on this cross-continental comparative study of post-Columbian Horse Nations? One critical element to consider was identified by Wissler a hundred years ago, namely what patterns in ethnographically or historically attested equestrian cultures pre-date the introduction of the horse? This is important because we are interested in identifying not just the commonalities between peoples on horseback, but also the differences. Their past, as much as the ways in which they interacted with their neighbours—Indigenous and European—is thus of considerable importance,72 and I therefore give background information on the situation before the horse in each of the regional chapters that follows. Some of the most obvious changes that acquiring horses produced concern the ways in which people secured food (Figure 1.3). How did having horses change how people hunted? How were they now better enabled to move people and foodstuffs from one place to another? How and why in some situations did horses facilitate the acquisition of other livestock, such as cattle and sheep? To what extent can we also speak of groups who kept only horses as pastoralists? And in all this what effects did owning horses have on how people structured their use of the landscape and the location of their settlements within it? A third topic concerns the effects that horses had in the fields of social organization and politics. How far did their presence contribute to, or disrupt, the development of more hierarchical, more centralized institutions? In what ways did their availability alter the balance of

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Figure 1.3. Mounted Bushmen make off with the proceeds of a stock raid. Note the reins and saddles of the two horses on the far right. Such raids were a frequent occurrence in the mid-nineteenth century along South Africa’s uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment. This painting, traced by Patricia Vinnicombe in the Mpongweni Valley of KwaZulu-Natal, comes from just south of Sani Pass, one of the routes used by Bushman raiders to retreat into the highlands of Lesotho. Copyright: The KwaZulu-Natal Museum. Courtesy: The Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.

gender relations between men and women? Would we be right in assuming that the greater range of action that they gave and the very need or desire to acquire them were instrumental in intensifying the scale and frequency of military conflict? How far did they delay or forestall conquest and colonization by Europeans? And how did access to horses assist the genesis of new communities, some of mixed European and Indigenous descent? Moving into the realm of symbolism and ideology, how were horses incorporated into the belief systems and ritual life of the communities that adopted them? To what extent did previous experience of other animals affect the ways in which they were perceived and understood? Can we, indeed, identify instances where their acquisition had passed completely out of historical recollection and into myth? Another general theme again finds its early formulation in the seminal work of Wissler, who asked how environmental variables

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affected the distribution of ‘horse culture’. A major concern on the Plains, the relationship of ecological variables to keeping horses merits consideration in other parts of the world. Also of widespread relevance is the ecological impact that horses had and the consequences this entailed for those who depended on them, including the potential competition between horses on the one hand and critical subsistence or commercial resources (such as bison) on the other. Finally, we need to ask if focusing on the horse is too reductionist. Are we in danger of overemphasizing the consequences that it had over those of other introductions of European origin such as domestic livestock, firearms, metal, epidemic diseases, and the trade in furs? Does examining how Indigenous populations beyond the limits of European control acquired and used horses necessarily exclude or marginalize other forms of entanglement with Spaniard, Portuguese, American, or Briton, for example through trade in bison robes, captives, or guanaco hides?73 As the proverb says, the proof of the pudding is in its eating and readers can best judge how successfully I handle this problem for themselves. Suffice it to say here that my view echoes that of the Chilean scholar Luis Ca´rcamo-Huechante, who writes: the history of the horse and its Mapuche use constitutes not only the history of an animal, but also of the colonial advent and the subsequent arrival of a new technology and medium. Indeed, this is not just a story about the colonial invasion: more importantly, it is about a practice of Indigenous appropriation of a medium, on multiple levels and in unexpected ways.74

In other words, the horse gives us an entry point into a much broader and more complex historical landscape where its adoption necessarily interacted with many other innovations and novelties. It is by comparing the regions where it was adopted that we may best be able to capture the effects for which it, in particular, may have been responsible.

Approaching Horse Nations: structure and organization Having set out the rationale for writing Horse Nations, it is time to describe the structure of what is to come. Horses have certain biological and ecological requirements that impose constraints and create

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opportunities when they are kept by people. Chapter 2 therefore sketches the evolutionary history of the horse and what some of these requirements are. It then looks at evidence for equine–human interaction down to the advent of food production, and ends by discussing the domestication of the horse on the steppes of central Eurasia 5–6,000 years ago and their use and expansion thereafter. While Chapter 2 largely centres on the Old World, horses were still present in America when people first crossed the Bering Straits. Chapter 3 therefore surveys the evidence concerning how people interacted with them during the initial human settlement of the New World, asks whether they were involved in their subsequent extinction there as the Last Ice Age came to an end, and then tracks their reintroduction to North America after 1492. Three chapters explore different parts of North America in detail. Chapter 4 discusses the transformations wrought by the horse in the Southwest, that is, northern Mexico, Arizona, and New Mexico. Here, as well as being taken up by settled agricultural peoples as part of official efforts to ‘reduce’ them to obedience to the Spanish Crown, horses played a central role in the history of more mobile groups— Apache raiders and Navajo sheep-keeping pastoralists. Linked to the Southwest by trade and history were the Southern Plains, where the Comanches were among the first to effect a rapid shift to an equestrian lifestyle dedicated to bison-hunting. Following in the trail of much recent scholarship, I outline and assess the importance of Plains ecology for sustaining Comanche horse ownership, as well as their pivotal commercial and strategic position between rival European powers. Since Southern Plains connections extended eastward into Louisiana and Mississippi I also touch on the horse’s adoption in the southern United States, particularly among the Choctaw. With Chapter 5 the focus shifts to the Central and Northern Plains. Among the well-known groups discussed are the Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Lakota. However, attention is given not just to those who became equestrian nomads, but also to those who remained settled farmers (such as the Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan) and to the relationships between the two, relationships that were pivotal for the diffusion of the horse. The region’s rich rock art provides particularly valuable information on how Indigenous peoples perceived and thought about the horse and what it made possible.

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Chapter 6 looks at areas west of the Rocky Mountains: California, the Great Basin, the Columbia Plateau, and the Pacific Northwest. While some Indigenous peoples opted not to adopt horses, many did do so, using them to hunt, but often also to raid, for captives—human and equine—that could then be traded to other parts of Spain’s (and later Mexico’s) dominions, or (in the case of horses taken in California) eaten, a choice driven more by resistance to colonization than nutritional need. With Chapter 7 we move to a quite different part of the New World, the savannahs of South America. In the semi-arid La Guajira Peninsula of Colombia and Venezuela Wayu´u acquired horses and livestock to become pastoralists as well as highly effective traders and smugglers who maintained their independence long after Spain’s South American empire collapsed. In the Llanos to their south Indigenous peoples did much less with the horse, making them an important counterpoint to other areas of South America, a zone where Horse Nations are more conspicuous by their absence. And finally, in the Gran Chaco we see perhaps as great a variety of responses to the horse as anywhere in North America: some (mostly agricultural groups) disdained it, others took to it with alacrity, becoming feared raiders and successful traders, but also, in some cases, herders of cattle and sheep. Chapter 8 then takes us to South America’s Southern Cone, the Pampas grasslands of north-central Argentina and Uruguay, the Patagonian steppes to their south, and the adjacent half of Chile west of the Andes. Across these enormous landscapes Indigenous peoples resisted European settlement far into the nineteenth century. In Chile Araucanians rapidly adopted many European crops and animals, while on the Pampas and in Patagonia feral herds of horses and cattle increased rapidly after their initial introduction in the late sixteenth century. Tying the whole region together, a complex trans-Andean and horsemediated economy developed, focused on the production and export of cattle and ponchos (woven from the wool of newly acquired sheep). Southern Africa contrasts markedly with the Americas in offering one of the shortest-lived examples of the impact of the horse on an Indigenous population, namely the Bushman hunter-gatherers of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains. Paradoxically, however, it also boasts one of the richest instances of relevant archaeological information in the form of hundreds of exquisite rock paintings that contribute greatly to understanding the development of horse-borne raiding networks,

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the incorporation of the horse into Bushman belief systems, and the emergence of new, creolized ethnic groups of diverse origin for whom horses were both symbolically and economically vital. Rounding out coverage of the horse’s expansion in the post-Columbian Old World, Chapter 9 also looks at its reception by Australian Aborigines and New Zealand’s Ma¯ori. Having looked at all four continents to which Europeans introduced horses post-1492, Chapter 10 draws out commonalities and differences in how they were adopted by Indigenous populations, considers their importance in promoting resistance to European colonization, and asks how far their adoption constituted the basis of a radically new socio-economic formation, one of pastoralism rather than hunting and gathering? This provides an exciting opportunity to consider the similarities between the Horse Nations of this book and the pastoral nomads who, for millennia, dominated so much of the Eurasian landmass.75 The chapter ends by setting out some questions for future research and briefly ascertaining the current status of the Horse Nations we are about to encounter.

A note on nomenclature How those of European descent refer to individuals and communities of Indigenous ancestry is a vexed question. At least in English, it seems to me both more respectful and historically more accurate to write now of ‘Native Americans’ rather than Indians, even if the latter retains currency in some activist circles and popular usage.76 To ease comprehension and because some groups lived on both sides of the 49th parallel, I also apply it to Canada’s ‘First Nations’. For Australia the collective term Aborigines attests to their millennia-long presence on that continent, while I use community-approved names for individual groups. For southern Africa, though, I find no reason to prefer the Nama-derived ‘San’ over the straightforward English ‘Bushmen’. South America presents its own difficulties and I address these at the relevant places in the text, though noting that in Brazil ı´ndio is a perfectly acceptable term, often used by Indigenous people themselves. To distinguish humans from plants or animals I capitalize Indigenous and Native whenever they are employed for the former, while recognizing the difficulties that their use entails.77

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All these terms nevertheless remain very general, necessarily so since they lack parallels in the Indigenous languages spoken before European settlement. Each individual community or group of communities had, of course, its own name for itself, along with names for its neighbours. However, where familiar English names exist I have chosen to employ them, rather than communities’ self-designations (which in some cases certainly cannot be projected back into the nineteenth century or beyond). I thus write of Blackfeet, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Navajo, rather than Niitsı´tapi, Nimini, Tsitsistas, and Dine´. Since it differentiates them from their more easterly woodland relatives, I nevertheless use ‘Lakota’ instead of ‘Sioux’. Where no name is likely to be recognized by English readers, I try to follow common practice among historians and anthropologists. I apologize in advance for any inadvertent offence and recommend to those interested Appendix 1, which gives the self-appellations of most of the Native American peoples named in the book.

Notes 1. Pindi nanto, a term innovated around Adelaide, South Australia, and meaning ‘the newcomer’s kangaroo’, spread north as far as the Warlpiri northwest of Alice Springs (Reynolds 2006). Melikane rockshelter in highland Lesotho preserves paintings of two half-eland/half-horse creatures and riders hunting hartebeest, painted between the late 1830s and the early 1870s (Vinnicombe 1976; Campbell 1987). The Ao´nik’enk burial draws on several eighteenth- and nineteenth-century accounts, most specifically that of the recently deceased son of a leader called Lipitchoum near Trelew, midway down Argentina’s Atlantic coast, ‘excavated’ by Henri de La Vaulx (1901) in 1896. Laverne Clark (2001) discusses Dine´ (Navajo) horse chants on raids in her wonderful book They Sang for Horses, while Ewers (1955) describes Siksika´wa (Blackfoot) bison hunts. 2. The Indigenous names derive from published sources (respectively Reynolds 2006; Ferna´ndez Garay 2004; Neundorf 2005; Ewers 1955), but with karkan I engage in a sleight of hand: the Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen were killed off, or assimilated by their Bantu-speaking neighbours, before any serious ethnographic study of them could be undertaken. However, we know that their language was similar to the Seroa spoken in the southern part of South Africa’s Free State province, for which Bleek (1956) records this term and another, ngaŋngaŋ. 3. Crosby (1986).

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4. Wolf (1982). 5. For sugar see Mintz (1986) and for coffee Pendergrast (2010). Plantation slavery has, not surprisingly, received enormous attention from historians and archaeologists alike. Curtin (1998) provides one classic survey, Haviser and MacDonald (2006) a more recent archaeologically focused study. 6. Specifically for the horse see Chamberlin (2007) and Kelekna (2009). Works with a narrower geographic remit include Raber and Tucker (2005) for early modern Europe, Edwards (2007) for Britain, Bankoff and Swart (2007) for the Indian Ocean, and Swart (2010) for southern Africa. Olsen (1996) and Clutton-Brock (1992) provide more archaeologically focused studies, the latter encompassing donkeys as well as horses. 7. Black Elk was not yet twenty when the United States Army forced the Lakota onto reservations following the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He began curing people with the power obtained from his visions of horses in 1881 and recounted his life in the 1930s to American poet John Neidhardt (Black Elk 2000). 8. For Mexico, Thomas (1993) provides a comprehensive account of the Spanish conquest. Hemming (1983) does the same for the Inka realm. 9. Wachtel (1977: 149). 10. Lamar and Thompson (1981). 11. Heidler and Heidler (2003). 12. There are numerous discussions of how asserting this claim contributed to the firming-up of Argentine national identity and a decades-long concealment of an Indigenous presence in the country (e.g. Martı´nezSarasola 1992). 13. Silliman (2005: 55). 14. White (1991). 15. Boccara (2002: 53). For an English-language version of some of the arguments in this paper see Boccara (2003). 16. In a wide range of books and edited volumes, among them Guy and Sheridan (1988); Hurst Thomas (1989); Calloway (2003); and Weber (2005), as well as White (1991) himself. 17. Boccara (1999). 18. Hill (1996) and Boccara (1999, 2002), though these processes were not unique to the post-Columbian era (e.g. Heckenberger 2004). 19. Conceiving of borderlands as contested boundaries follows Adelman and Aron (1999). The term itself was coined by American historian Herbert Bolton (Bannon 1974). 20. Luiz (2005). 21. They did not, in Swart’s (2010: 204) pithy phrase, ‘stay solely in elite hands’.

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22. Archaeologist Martin Hall (1987: 89) employed the term ‘democratic resource’ when writing of cattle among southern African Farming Communities of the first/second millennia ad, an open-to-all source of wealth that he contrasted with imported goods like glass beads, textiles, and porcelain that could typically only be obtained via chiefs who maintained the relevant trading links with foreign merchants. 23. Holder (1974: 114). 24. As one example, note how, although horses were sometimes used to surround bison in winter on the Northwest Plains of North America, they were not as effective in this as hunters on foot (Binnema 2001: 49). The relative merits of dogs versus horses are discussed in Chapter 5, this volume. 25. Equine ecological impacts have been widely discussed, for example by Beever (2003), Nimmo and Miller (2007), and de Villalobos and Zalba (2010). 26. A point made by Warren (2002: 295), from whom the quotation is taken, and several decades previously by Brazilian anthropologist, Eduardo Galva˜o (1963: 222): ‘the fact of having taken place in regions at a considerable distance from each other and without historical or cultural connections furnishes excellent material for understanding processes of cultural development and change’. 27. Frank Roe (1955: 188) put this well in his study of the horse and the Native peoples of North America: ‘We have not only to inquire—What did they do with it, once they had it? We must also ask ourselves—What did the horse do to them?’ 28. Brown (1999) summarizes the relevant evidence on terms for horses and other items of European introduction to the Americas. Of 105 languages surveyed, 45 (43%) use the term ‘dog’ in some form or another, all of them, interestingly, in the United States and Canada. ‘Deer’ and ‘tapir’ are most common in Latin America, in part perhaps because dogs were little used or known in many South American societies. Many languages simply borrowed from Spanish. 29. Wissler (1914: 16), though see Wissler (1926) for a more nuanced view. 30. Webb (1931); Dobie (1939); Lowie (1954); and Wilson (1963), although perhaps Roe (1955: 378) put it most strongly, writing that, ‘the horse merely widened the stage on which the Indian had always moved, and enabled him to do more easily the things he had always done’. 31. Ewers (1955). Mishkin (1940) had already argued that the horse had had a revolutionary impact on Native American life on the Plains, a conclusion echoed by Downs (1964). 32. Kroeber (1939). 33. Secoy (1953). 34. This designation is preferred when discussing mobile hunters of bison on the Plains because it ‘captures the centrality of the relationship among

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35. 36. 37.

38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55.

56. 57. 58.

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people, animals and land in the 18th and 19th centuries’ (Isenberg 2000: 9). As Nacuzzi et al. (2008) point out when discussing their own South American ‘nomad peoples’, the terms ‘nomad’ and ‘nomadism’ stress mobility as opposed to a sedentary village way of life; they emphatically do not imply any kind of random or unstructured movement. The ethnographic and historical records make this plain for all the groups considered here. Hanson (1986). White (1988) and Hoxie (1997); and see also the discussion of the ‘ecological dilemma’ facing village horticulturalists by Isenberg (2000). For example, Anderson (1999) for the Southwest, Binnema (2001) for the Northwestern Plains, and Blackhawk (2006) for the Great Basin. Calloway (2003) gives an outstanding overview of the continent as a whole. Osborn (1983); Albers and James (1986); Sherow (1992); Betty (1997). Bamforth (1988); Flores (1991); Sherow (1992); Betty (1997); Isenberg (2000); Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2010). Osborn (1983). Sherow (1992); Isenberg (2000); Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008, 2010). Clark (2001). Hurtado (1990); Philips (1993). The phrase is that of Natale Zappia (2008, 2012). Carson (1995). For example, Cowdrey et al. (2006), Hansen (2007), Sage (2012). Horse Capture and Her Many Horses (2006). Notably Osborn (1983), Bamforth (1988). An important exception is Landals’ (2004) study of settlement/subsistence change in southern Alberta, but she herself remarks on the novelty of her work, as does the editor of the book in which it was published. Escalada (1949), and later also Casamiquela (1988). Palermo (1986, 1988, 1999); Mandrini (1999). Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008, 2010) provides a comparable discussion of the importance of such goods in power relations in Comanche society. Lucaioli (2005); Nacuzzi (2008); Nacuzzi et al. (2008). Arias (2008: 8). A far from complete list includes Hajduk et al. (2000); Moreno and Videla (2005); Podesta´ et al. (2005); Velasquez et al. (2005); Oliva and Lisboa (2006, 2009); Orquera and Go´mez Otero (2008); Bognanni (2010); Mazzanti and Quintana (2010); Cirigliano (2011); Pedrotta (2011, 2013); and Charlin (2012). Wright (1971); Vinnicombe (1976); Campbell (1987); Challis (2012). Reynolds (2006); Mincham (2008). For example, Zavala Cepeda’s (2008) study of the eighteenth-century Mapuche of southern Chile and adjacent areas of the Andes briefly draws

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59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65.

66. 67. 68. 69.

70. 71. 72. 73.

horse nations parallels with the North American Plains, as well as with the Wayu´u of the La Guajira Peninsula of Colombia/Venezuela. Other examples include Galva˜o (1963), Braunstein (1983: 21), and Saeger (2000: 7), all of whom compare the Gran Chaco with the Plains. Gregson (1969); Nacuzzi et al. (2008). Calloway (2003). Picon (1999). Hall (1998); Weber (2005: 17). As discussed, for example, by Nacuzzi (1998), Rodriguez and Delrio (2000), and Pen˜aloza (2004) for the Tehuelche of Patagonia; and Paterson (2008: 13–15) for Australia. Paterson (2010, 2012); cf. Keyser (1979); Silliman (2005). By way of example consider how Tom Dillehay’s (2007) fieldwork in central Chile suggests a significantly greater degree of political centralization than is apparent in early Spanish accounts or those of most historians (e.g. Boccara 1999). Alternatively, note how Arkush (1993) and Zappia (2012) make clear the importance of long-standing exchange ties to the formation of the late eighteenth/nineteenth-century horse-enabled trading and raiding networks that tied inland California to adjacent parts of the Great Basin and the Southwest. Paterson (2008: 223) makes the same point regarding the need for understanding life before European arrival in Australia. Brink (2004). Scott (1998). The term is borrowed from the work of a philosopher of science, Alison Wylie (Lewis-Williams 2002). Hanson (1998) discusses at length the difficulty of equating historically known groups and archaeological evidence on the North American Plains, a difficulty compounded where some groups may be represented archaeologically almost entirely by isolated burials. Nacuzzi (1998) and Nacuzzi et al. (2008) attempt a ‘housecleaning’ of the ethnic appellations used in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century documents for Patagonia, the Pampas, and the Gran Chaco, but not without criticism (e.g. Mandrini and Ortelli 2002). Hall (1998). See Barcelo´ et al. (2011) for an excellent discussion of this in the Patagonian case. Boccara (2002) usefully summarizes relevant evidence for a much-discussed group in the North American Southwest, the Jumanos. Weber (2005: 81) duly emphasizes this point. Palermo (1986: 160), in particular, has made this point in a South American context, emphasizing the necessity of disentangling what is really due to the presence of horses and what to other factors, or to continuities from the past.

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74. Ca´rcamo-Huechante (2011); see also Wilson and Rogers (1993) for North America and Patterson (2008: 46–7) with reference to the archaeology of pastoralism in colonial Australia. 75. Ewers (1955: 340) was one of the first to draw attention to this and the point has been reiterated by others since, notably Ponomarenko and Dyck (2007). 76. 77. There is, as one might expect, an extensive anthropological literature on this topic, for which Kuper (2003) is a major source.

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2 Ancestors ‘It is a beast for Perseus: he is pure air and fire: and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him: he is indeed a horse’ (Henry V: Act III Scene 7)

‘He will carry us from place to place for always and always and always’ (Kipling 2004: 112)

Introduction In Greek myth the winged horse Pegasus was actually ridden by the hero Bellerophon rather than by Perseus, yet Shakespeare’s words neatly capture the striking combination of supernatural power and tractability that is the horse. This chapter picks up these themes by developing three topics: it describes the evolution of the modern horse, Equus caballus,1 identifies key features of its biology relevant to subsequent discussions, and reviews the history of human–horse interaction in the Old World, emphasizing the horse’s domestication and subsequent spread.

Evolution Horses and their relatives, the wild asses and zebras, were once seen as an almost paradigmatic example of how evolution works, although more recent research has shown that their history is more complex and multi-branched than originally thought (Figure 2.1).2 Along with

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horse nations E. ferus

E. caballus

H. saldiasi H. principale Hippidion H. devillei

E. hydruntinus E. kiang

Mesohippus

Miohippus

Equus E. africanus

E. asinus

E. hemionus Hipparion E. grevyi Anchitherium

E. capensis E. quagga E. zebra

Figure 2.1. Cladogram expressing the evolutionary relationships between those members of the genus Equus and its ancestors mentioned in the text. Note that many more fossil species are known than can be accommodated on this diagram, and that the diagram itself is not to chronological scale. Copyright and courtesy: Mesa Schumacher.

tapirs and rhinoceroses, they belong to the taxonomic order Perissodactyla, the odd-toed division of the ungulates or hoofed mammals. The superficial similarities that they share with even-toed antelopes, which belong to the order Artiodactyla, are thus largely the result of evolution converging on similar body plans. In fact, some genetic studies suggest that perissodactyls are closer to carnivores than to the artiodactyls.3 Like modern tapirs and rhinoceroses, the earliest horses were three-toed, but for the past 40 million years or so all have borne their weight on just the third toe, with ligaments, rather than a fleshy pad, for support. Subsequently, the central metapodial (the bones connecting the digits to the wrist or ankle) was considerably elongated to form a long, slender lower limb and the second and fourth digits were minimized, though still giving support when galloping and

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jumping. Beginning around 10 million years ago, in the late Miocene period, the remaining side toes were reduced to splints and the animal’s weight came to be carried entirely on a single enlarged hoof.4 The first perissodactyls were browsers, not grazers. Some 45–34 million years ago, however, temperatures fell at higher latitudes and climate became more seasonal: successful ungulates evolved new adaptations, including the first appearance of both ruminants (which ferment their food in a specialized foregut) and new kinds of ancestral horses such as Mesohippus and its successor Miohippus. Compared with many other ungulates though, these were still quite small animals (60 cm at the shoulder) and only in the Miocene (23–5 million years ago) did they spread from North America, where they had evolved, into Eurasia. Miocene environments increasingly favoured open grassland habitats and ecological change likely favoured further diversification among the horse family as a whole. Recent research indicates that these radiations, which took place around 17.5–16 million years ago, preceded the emergence of a key, new adaptation: that of hypsodonty.5 In plain English this refers to the evolution of longer and longer-lasting high-crowned cheek teeth with ridges, better able to cope with the highly resistant silica and lignin content of grasses and the grit typically ingested with them. Many Miocene horses, however, were at best mixed feeders, not specialized grazers,6 though subsequent climatic changes saw many browsing taxa—and not just in the horse family—become extinct around 12 million years ago.7 Anchitherium, the first three-toed browsing horse to expand into Eurasia, was followed in the late Miocene by representatives of the genus Hipparion, which also reached Africa. While these three-toed— or tridactyl—species persisted in the Old World until the mid-Pleistocene (some half a million years ago), in North America at least three single-toed (monodactyl) lineages evolved.8 It was from one of these that the modern genus Equus evolved, something that the most recent genetic data suggest took place some 4.5–4 million years ago.9 From its North American home, Equus crossed the Bering Straits into Siberia more than once when glaciations lowered world sea levels, initially taking the ancestors of the zebras and asses into Eurasia and then Africa. Molecular genetics suggests that African wild asses were the first group to diverge within the genus Equus (2.1 million years ago), followed by the Asian wild asses and zebras (1.9 million years ago). Zebras split off from this grouping about 300,000 years later, with the Asian wild asses

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differentiating within the last 500,000 years.10 The palaeontological record does not yet match these estimates, though older representatives of Equus were present in East Africa at least 2.3 million years ago.11 Within Equus the modern horse belongs to what is known as the caballine lineage. The oldest fossil specimens of this subgroup appeared in North America around 1.2 million years ago, though earlier equids—traditionally assigned to the genus Hippidion—had already moved through Panama into South America some 2.5 million years ago (see Chapter 3). Equus ferus, the wild form of the domestic horse, arrived in the Old World much later, perhaps as little as 200,000 years ago, broadly when genetic data suggest it underwent a diversification of its own.12

The horse family today All surviving members of the horse family belong to the genus Equus.13 They constitute three groups: horses, zebras, and asses. The former comprise the domesticated horse E. caballus and its wild ancestor, E. ferus. One of the latter’s two subspecies, Przewalski’s horse (E. ferus przewalski), survived on the steppes and in the deserts of Mongolia into the mid-twentieth century, but now exists only in captivity.14 At Eurasia’s opposite end, in Poland, the last wild horses, which belonged to a different subspecies known as the tarpan (E. ferus ferus), became extinct in the wild in the early 1800s. Horses were first introduced to northern Africa in the Bronze Age, but their spread south of the Sahara was handicapped by disease and they never penetrated as far as Kenya or the equatorial rainforests. Instead, eastern and southern Africa was home to the zebras, of which three species survive. By far the most widespread and numerous, the plains zebra (E. quagga) occurs from the Cape of Good Hope to Kenya, while in northern Kenya and a few areas in Ethiopia we find its larger Endangered relative,15 Gre´vy’s zebra (E. grevyi ). The third taxon, the mountain zebra (E. zebra), occurs only in montane grassland areas of southwestern Angola, Namibia, and South Africa’s Cape; its conservation status is described as Vulnerable. A fourth animal, the now extinct and only partially striped quagga of southernmost Africa, was a subspecies of the plains zebra.16 It disappeared in the late nineteenth century, while a significantly larger animal, the so-called

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Cape horse (E. capensis), became extinct in South Africa and Lesotho across the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, about 12–10,000 years ago.17 Three species of wild ass survive, a fourth, E. hydruntinus, having become extinct in southern Europe after the advent of farming.18 Today’s larger and more widely distributed Asiatic species (E. hemionus) once reached from the Holy Land, Armenia, and Saudi Arabia across Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia to Tibet and northern China. Its westernmost, Syrian subspecies has been extinct since 1927 and both the Middle Eastern onager and the Turkmen kulan are now Critically Endangered, with the Endangered Indian khur and Mongolian khulan in only slightly better shape. Happily, the remaining Asian species, the kiang (E. kiang),19 with a distribution focused on the Tibetan Plateau, has fared better; its conservation status is one of ‘Least Concern’. The African wild ass (E. africanus), on the other hand, is Critically Endangered: small numbers of its Somali subspecies survive with certainty only in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, but the Nubian subspecies is extinct in the wild. Previously, however, Equus africanus was significantly more widespread, occurring in Algeria and the Atlas Mountains of North Africa down to Roman times, and eastward to the United Arab Emirates into the Neolithic. Domestic donkeys trace their ancestry to both the Nubian subspecies and another, as yet unknown, ancestor distinct from the Somali wild ass.20 Featuring here only tangentially, proper discussion of how the donkey’s history relates to that of people would readily fill another book.21

The biology of the horse Animals are not blank slates on which people can write whatever they please.22 Some understanding of equine biology and of how that affects the horse’s behaviour and the environments in which it can thrive best is therefore needed (Figure 2.2). Teeth provide a convenient starting point. Like us, horses have incisors, canines (in the male), premolars, and molars. The first are used to grasp grass and draw it into the mouth, the second for fighting and grooming. Between these front teeth and the check teeth, however, is a gap or diastema where the bit (the mouthpiece of the bridle) is placed, by means of which a rider can get his horse to stop or—

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Figure 2.2. Key features of horse biology. Note the following: the diastema between the front and cheek teeth, which provides a gap for the mouthpiece of a bridle; the relatively simple digestive system with its large colon in which fermentation of cellulose takes place; and the elongation of the metapodial and phalanges in the foot, which allows the animal to walk on the tip of its hoof. Combined with highly elastic ligaments, these features produce the characteristically swift equine gait of up to 65 km per hour. Copyright and courtesy: Mesa Schumacher.

through exercising pressure on either the left or right rein and cheek piece—change direction. Grasses being hard and tough and—like other plants—having particles of silica (phytoliths) in their cell walls, it is the cheek teeth behind the diastema that grind down the food that the horse eats. Their crowns grow for several years, with the roots of the permanent teeth only developing around the age of five, after

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which the crowns continue to erupt slowly through the jaws as they are worn down. The result is that they remain available for use throughout a normal (25–30 year) lifespan. Horses mainly eat grasses and sedges, though they will also consume reeds, leaves, buds, fruits, bark, and roots when necessary. They digest their food quite differently from ruminants such as cattle, sheep, or camels, while sharing the same basic strategy of employing resident micro-organisms to break down what would otherwise be unusable cellulose. In horses and other perissodactyls these bacteria and protozoa ferment the cellulose already digested in the animal’s stomach in its caecum and colon (large intestine). This is significantly less efficient than the more complex ruminant digestive system (by a factor of almost 40%), but about twice as fast. A horse must thus eat a greater amount of food per day than a cow of equivalent body mass (about 20–65%), spending 60–80 per cent of its time eating.23 Compensating for this, horses can survive on food that is of more limited quality and/ or higher in fibre, provided only that it is abundant. Like other surviving equids, horses are built for speed, with their long neck and head allowing them to use their ears, eyes, and nose to scan for predators while eating. A leg elongated by the elevation of the metapodials so that the animal walks on the tip of its hoof, combined with elastic ligaments that liberate energy when stretched, as the foot lands, provides a swift, springy gait capable of reaching up to 65 km per hour. Conversely, when standing still, the legs can be locked without contracting the muscles, significantly reducing the energy costs of eating, resting, and looking for predators.24 Like human nails, the hooves that support all these actions are made from the protein keratin, and on hard, dry ground—such as is typical of most grasslands—will remain in good condition. On softer, wetter terrain, however, hooves may grow and be worn down unevenly, rendering the horse lame. Using horseshoes avoids this: metal shoes tied on to the leg were employed before the invention and spread of nailed iron horseshoes, which were common across Eurasia by the late first millennium ad.25 Studies of feral horses provide useful information on horse social behaviour, which shares features with that of plains and mountain zebras and holds true regardless of environment, population density, and adult sex ratios (Figure 2.3).26 Mares live in stable groups of unrelated members with one to five stallions and within overlapping, but undefended, home ranges; bachelor males live alone or in

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Figure 2.3. Feral horses in the Kaimanawa Mountains, North Island, New Zealand. The photograph shows the WFM band of horses at Westlawn. Copyright and courtesy: Wayne Linklater.

changeable groups outside these structures. Both males and females disperse into other groups on reaching maturity. Protection of themselves and their young (from predators and other males) seems to be the major evolutionary advantage that females derive from this harem-like strategy. They can bear their first foals at age two, although they will not foal each year because the gestation period lasts for around eleven months. Foals can stand and move within an hour of birth and graze within a few weeks, but they continue to nurse for up to a year. In the wild, mares can continue to produce foals into their early twenties, but are most productive at five to seventeen years old.27 Estimates from feral horse populations in the western United States suggest that populations can expand by up to 20 per cent per year, but it would be unwise to extrapolate this far as, in virtually all such cases, predation is no longer an issue: where cougars take foals in the Montgomery Pass Wild Horse Territory on the Californian/Nevadan border no more than half of the foals born survive, compared to 70–90 per cent elsewhere.28 One final point: all horses, asses, and zebras appear to be capable of interbreeding, but the offspring of these crosses are almost always

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infertile. For our purposes the only such cross worth noting is that between a female horse and a male donkey, which produces a mule (where the parents’ roles are reversed the offspring is called a hinny). In size and proportions mules are more similar to horses, but their heads and tails resemble those of their fathers. Strong, and with remarkable powers of endurance, mules were kept, and sometimes also bred, by some of the American Horse Nations discussed in Chapters 4 and 5.

Hunters and horses Horses in the most general sense (i.e. zebras and asses) have been a constant feature of the lives of people and their hominin ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years. Only after first hominins and then Equus ferus had entered Eurasia, however, was that relationship extended to include the ancestors of the domesticated horse. And for tens of millennia it was one of predator and prey. Horses were, for example, among the most common large animals hunted by European Neanderthals,29 and dominate faunal assemblages at archaeological sites in the German Rhineland and parts of France.30 In some instances, prime-age adults were particularly targeted, using natural features of the landscape, such as cliffs, to trap them or prevent their escape.31 Indeed, to judge from the association of some twenty individual horses with several wooden throwing spears at the German site of Scho¨ningen the active hunting of horses goes back at least 400,000 years.32 Even more dramatically, the cervical vertebra of an African wild ass (E. africanus) from the Syrian Neanderthal-associated site of Umm el Tlel retains within itself the fragment of a stone spear point.33 The anatomically modern humans (H. sapiens) who replaced the Neanderthals across their range roughly 50–30,000 years ago also hunted horses. In southwestern France, for example, horse and reindeer dominated the diet at and immediately after the peak of the Last Ice Age (roughly between 22,000 and 12,000 years ago). Their importance may have varied seasonally, with horses likely used in summer/ early autumn outside the period of reindeer migration.34 Horses also moved to take advantage of seasonal fluctuations in the availability of food. At Solutre´ in east-central France small bands were repeatedly intercepted—and possibly driven up against (i.e. not over) a steep cliff—as they migrated between winter grazing grounds on the

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floodplain of the River Saˆone and summer pastures in nearby highlands: so successful was this tactic that it was repeated—probably hundreds of times—over the course of 20,000 years, producing an absolutely massive deposit of bones that contains the remains of tens of thousands of horses (Figure 2.4).35 Natural features of the landscape were also used to attack and kill horses elsewhere, for example at the mouth of the Rhine Gates gorge in Germany, where two major openair Magdalenian sites were occupied around 15–16,000 years ago.36 These sites—Andernach and Go¨nnersdorf—are also famous for having produced many thin plaques of slate on which the images of animals (particularly horses) and even people had been engraved.37 Such ‘mobile’ art forms part of the much larger corpus of Upper Palaeolithic art across Europe, and horses were an important part of it from its beginnings, as shown, for example, by an ivory statuette from Vogelherd, Germany (Figure 2.5), and the stunning panel of

Figure 2.4. A view of the Rock of Solutre´, Burgundy, France, taken from the south. The archaeological kill and butchery site from which the Upper Palaeolithic horse remains come is at the foot of the rock. Photographed by Yelkrokoyade and reproduced from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License ().

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Figure 2.5. A statuette of a wild horse made from mammoth ivory found at Vogelherd Cave, southwestern Germany, and dating to approximately 35,000 years ago. Photographed by Mogadir and reproduced from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License ().

horses painted at Chauvet Cave in south-central France (Plate 2), both at least 30,000 years old.38 Also sculpted or engraved in antler, limestone, and bone (Figure 2.6), horses are the most commonly represented animal of all in Upper Palaeolithic cave paintings,39 with Lascaux in France’s Dordogne region another world-famous example. Elsewhere, they were engraved on rock faces and boulders at several locations across Portugal and Spain.40 Anyone who has ever seen these paintings, or reproductions of them, cannot but be aware that their makers had an incredibly accurate and detailed knowledge of how the animals looked and behaved. Whether that knowledge extended to taming and domesticating horses is an idea that has come and gone since the 1870s, when it was first suggested as a consequence of the overwhelming numbers in which they occur at Solutre´.41 More sophisticated arguments were developed in the ensuing decades.42 First, some representations of

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Figure 2.6. Image of a horse’s head carved in bone from St Michel d’Arudy in the French Pyrenees, once interpreted as showing evidence for the use of harnessing and thus domestication in the European Upper Palaeolithic. Courtesy: Antiquity (Bahn 1978).

horses were thought to show elements of harness on their heads akin to the cords and rigid pieces used by traditional Sami reindeer pastoralists in northern Scandinavia; pierced antler staffs (baˆtons de commandement) might have served as bridle cheek pieces. Second, supposedly abnormal wear on the incisors of horses from Upper Palaeolithic sites in the central Pyrenees and—in one instance—a Middle Palaeolithic (i.e. Neanderthal-associated) horse at La Quina was considered to be evidence of crib-biting, a practice linked to boredom or poor diet when horses are kept tethered in a stall. Romantic as the notion of people riding through the glacial snows of Ice Age France may be,43 it lacks sound support. The antler staffs are open to other interpretations and the images show stylized anatomical features, not harness elements, something already apparent in 1906 to E´mile Cartailhac in the case of perhaps the best such instance, the ivory horse head from St Michel d’Arudy in the Pyrenees.44 As for the dental wear, though re-advanced by Paul Bahn in the 1980s,45 it too is implausible: ‘crib-biting’ occurs in some Lower Pleistocene equids in North America, hundreds of thousands of years before people first reached the New World, and biting bark to secure additional food during winter may cause virtually indistinguishable damage.46

After the ice The changes in global climate that marked the end of the Last Glaciation and the staggered and far from straightforward transition to

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conditions similar to those of today had profound impacts on plants, animals, and people alike. One of the most far-reaching was the extinction of many species of large mammals. In Chapter 3 I discuss these issues as they affected horses in the Americas, but changes in the composition and distribution of vegetation communities also impacted horses in the Old World (Figure 2.7).

Figure 2.7. Map showing sites mentioned in Chapter 2. 1 al-Magar (Saudi Arabia); 2 Andernach (Germany); 3 Arzhan (Russian Siberia); 4 Botai (Kazakhstan); 5 Chauvet (France); 6 Dereivka (Ukraine); 7 Duruthy (France); 8 Enle`ne (France); 9 Go¨nnersdorf (Germany); 10 Lascaux (France); 11 Le Mas-d’Azil (France); 12 Pazyryk (Russian Siberia); 13 St Michel d’Arudy (France); 14 Scho¨ningen (Germany); 15 Solutre´ (France); 16 Umm el Tlel (Syria); 17 Vogelherd (Germany). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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For Europe, where the situation is understood best, evidence comes from two sources: genetics and the frequency with which horses appear in post-glacial faunal assemblages from archaeological sites. Horse remains in archaeological contexts confirm the species’ continued presence in Europe, even though the open steppe-tundra conditions of the Last Glaciation had now disappeared. However, populations experienced considerable fluctuations, with many smaller groups becoming extinct, a process possibly exacerbated by human hunting.47 By 7100–5500 bc horses were virtually absent from a broad swathe of lowland Europe north of the Alps, from Britain to Poland; only perhaps as Neolithic farmers started to clear forests and create a more open ecology did they return.48 The DNA of animals belonging to traditional European horse breeds supports the case for repeated extinction and recolonization events on the local scale, but also identifies two hotspots of genetic diversity that may have served as longlasting refugia.49 One is the Iberian Peninsula, where modern horse lineages show that the region’s wild horses contributed to later domestic stock. The other is the region north of the Black Sea and around the Caspian Sea, on Europe’s eastern margins, where more open vegetation also persisted into the Holocene. It is to this area, the steppe lands of western Eurasia, that we must look for the first domesticated horses.

The taming of the horse Identifying precisely when and where a species was first domesticated is not straightforward since many of the criteria used to claim that status are ambiguous, including changes in the age–sex profile of the animals found at archaeological sites, shifts in distribution, and reductions in size.50 Safer evidence comes from morphological changes in an animal’s skeleton (since soft tissues will typically not preserve) or, in some cases, artefacts (including art) that unambiguously provide evidence of close human control. Both can only provide a minimal age for when that control developed since, by definition, morphological changes are the result of an evolutionary process that is far from instantaneous and the likelihood of archaeologists capturing the earliest moment at which animals were successfully kept and bred in captivity is remote. In the case of the horse two lines of archaeological evidence suggest that the mid-fourth-millennium bc Botai culture of northern

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Kazakhstan fixes (or was at least very close to) the time and place in which domestication first happened.51 Before then, and across the western Eurasian steppes as far as Ukraine’s Dnieper River, early Neolithic communities who combined cultivation and livestockkeeping with hunting, gathering, and fishing included wild horses in their diet. They were the most common prey in both the Dnieper– Donets II (4600–4100 bc) and Sredni Stog (4200–3500 bc) cultures, and some sites, such as Dereivka, show a particularly marked preference for horsemeat and the killing of young adult or juvenile males, perhaps a sign of culling from a managed herd, though this is hotly debated.52 Within the Botai culture itself, horses account for almost all the meat eaten.53 While some individuals were probably hunted,54 several observations point to horses having been kept and herded, including the semi-permanent nature of settlements, which would have been incompatible with focusing solely on mobile wild herds, and concentrations of horse manure, presumably the result of penning the animals up.55 Most convincingly, chemical analysis of organic residues on pottery confirms the presence of horse milk, something that could only have been obtained from domesticated animals (Figure 2.8).56 While not as spatially or chronologically precise, genetic data too point to the steppes of northern Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and southern Russia as the area in which horses were first domesticated, though also demonstrating that wild horses—most of them females—subsequently interbred with domestic stock.57 Given that wild horses persisted into the nineteenth/twentieth centuries, such interbreeding may have continued for a long time, especially where horses were managed extensively.58 Since farmers moving onto the western Eurasian steppes already kept sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs, why should some of them have opted to domesticate another, large, fast, and potentially aggressive animal as well? One reason may be that horses are far better suited for surviving extreme winter weather than cattle or smaller livestock because they can break through ice to reach water and clear away snow to gain access to food; they also need less food and water and can survive on poorer-quality forage than cattle. Additionally, horsemeat is not only easy to digest, but rich in protein and some of the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids crucial to human health, particularly linoleic and Æ-linolenic acids and their products, nutrients that are rare

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Figure 2.8. Milk was a key aspect of early horse domestication. Here, a modern horse is being milked in Kazakhstan. Copyright and courtesy: Alan Outram.

in the meat of ruminants like cattle.59 For people living through long, cold winters on the steppes the meat and milk (drunk in both fermented and unfermented forms) that horses could provide may have offered important new resources, more dependable and nutritious than those of other animals.60 Horses’ hair, bone, hooves, sinews, hide, and dung also found a wide range of uses, from fuel to making tools and medicines.61 At Botai about a quarter of the horses examined show significant abrasion and bevelling of the second premolars that most likely results from them having been ridden using an organic (bone, leather, or rope) bit (Figure 2.9).62 Riding would certainly have allowed herders to control more animals than they could have manipulated on foot, extended their mobility, and made capturing or hunting other horses much easier,63 but how much horses were ridden this early remains a matter of debate.64 Antler cheek pieces and further instances of second premolar bevelling on horse teeth from the slightly later Afanas’evo culture nevertheless suggest that riding had reached south-central Siberia, up to 1,500 km east of Botai, by the mid- to late third

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10 mm

Figure 2.9. Damage from a bit to a horse’s teeth is strongly suggestive that the animal was ridden. This lower second premolar of a stallion from Botai, Kazakhstan, shows a clear parallel-sided band of bit wear penetrating the cementum and enamel of a depth and morphology only found in bridled animals. Copyright and courtesy: Alan Outram.

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millennium bc.65 Even before then it is possible that horses were used as pack animals to transport goods more easily over long distances.66 To the west of the Ural Mountains and as far as the lower Danube, herders of the Yamnaya horizon (about 3500–2400 bc) may have played a key role in dispersing domesticated horses towards Europe, though unambiguous evidence for their widespread use there is rare before 2000 bc.67 Although early yokes would have been extremely uncomfortable and unsuitable for horses, lighter two-wheeled carts were developed before the end of the third millennium bc, the same time as horses first appeared in the urban centres of Syria and Mesopotamia.68 Drawn by two or more animals, their military version, the chariot, became ‘the prestige vehicle, par excellence’69 across Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, employed by Egyptian pharaohs, Bronze Age chieftains, and Homeric heroes alike. For many of these same societies horses were also valued in ways that transcended any utilitarian use: sacrificed at the burials of Hittite kings in second millennium bc Turkey,70 given wings in Greek myth,71 and employed in Bronze Age Denmark as well as the Hindu scriptures to pull the sun’s chariot across the heavens.72 Several hundred years later cavalry replaced chariots in warfare across the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean worlds, beginning with the Assyrians and their northerly competitors in the land of Urartu (centred in Turkey’s extreme east) from the ninth century bc.73 The horse-borne Companions of Alexander the Great, Rome’s mounted auxiliaries and imperial messengers, the cataphracts (heavily armoured cavalry) of her Parthian and Persian enemies, and the knights of the Middle Ages were their inheritors. Horses did not, of course, only go west and south from their initial focus of domestication, even if it was their transmission into Europe that ultimately proved critical for the Indigenous populations of the Americas, southern Africa, and Australasia after 1492. From Botai to Beijing is in the order of 4,000 km and the story of the horse after it was brought under human control thus also leads us east and southeast from Kazakhstan. The makers of the Afanas’evo culture took a first step in that process in the late fourth/early third millennia bc. Thereafter, a series of copper- and bronze-using horse-equipped groups expanded further across the Siberian and central Asian steppes, sharing a broadly similar economy in which pastoralism, and particularly horse-keeping, were prominent. Archaeologically represented by the Andronovo

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Figure 2.10. Rock engraving of a horned horse with rider from Tamgaly, southeastern Kazakhstan. The several thousand engravings at this World Heritage Site mostly date to the Bronze Age (c.1500–500 bc), though some were made as late as the twentieth century. Several Andronovo cemeteries are situated near the main concentration of engravings. The significance of the horns is uncertain, but the motif is widespread through Central Asia and some of the horses buried at Pazyryk wore headdresses adorned with ibex horns. Photographed by Kiwiodysee and reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License ().

culture and its immediate predecessors, they represented horses in their rock art (Figure 2.10) and used chariots like their near-contemporaries in the Middle East and Europe, sometimes burying them and horse skulls or other body parts with their dead. Most likely it was from this Andronovo complex that first bronze metallurgy and then horses (with chariots) were transmitted to China, about 1500–1045 bc.74 A crucial link in their dispersal was the Tarim Basin in modern Xinjiang (East Turkestan), where well-preserved mummies of individuals of European rather than East Asian physical appearance are associated with other innovations derived from the West: wheat, bronze, sheep, and horses.75 Much later texts from this

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region, of the first millennium ad, suggest that these people spoke Tocharian, a now extinct Indo-European language resembling the Celtic and Romance tongues of Europe. The ultimately Indo-European source of the Chinese, Mongolian, Japanese, and Korean terms for ‘horse’ confirms these associations.76 The connection between the horse and the dispersal of IndoEuropean languages across almost all of Europe and much of Asia (from Turkey through Iran to India and western China) has a long history in both archaeological and linguistic research (Figure 2.11). Too complex to discuss in detail here, it nevertheless merits some attention. One starting point is the observation that many comparative

Figure 2.11. The expansion of Indo-European languages in Eurasia (after Bouckaert et al. 2012). 1 Knossos; 2 Mycenae; 3 Pylos. Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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studies of surviving and historically attested (but no longer spoken) Indo-European languages have suggested that their common ancestor, which linguists dub ‘Proto-Indo-European’, included terms for the horse and wheeled vehicles. The implication is that horses, wagons, and carts featured in the societies that spoke Proto-Indo-European. If so, where and when was this? The presence in Proto-Indo-European of terms for a variety of plants, animals, and cultural practices such as bronze and copper metallurgy suggests that its speakers most likely lived somewhere between the River Volga, the Black and Caspian Seas, and the forests of northern Russia. Such a location—along with a widely accepted date of around 3000 bc for Proto-Indo-European’s initial diversification—fits the horse-and-wagon-using, mixed farming societies of the Yamnaya horizon well. That horizon is also conveniently placed spatially for IndoEuropean languages to have dispersed outward in the several directions in which we know they had moved by the early second millennium bc: east as far as the Tarim Basin (assuming the link between that region’s mummies and its later Tocharian texts postulated earlier in this section); south into Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia (where Hittite was being written as early as 1800 bc and the kings of Mitanni bore IndoEuropean names only a little later); southeast towards India (where archaeological evidence suggests the arrival of horse-using groups from Central Asia in the mid-second millennium bc); and west at least as far as Greece (where the Linear B tablets from the Bronze Age palaces of Knossos, Mycenae, and Pylos preserve an archaic form of Greek).77 Reaching back to the work of Marija Gimbutas and, before her, Gordon Childe, this model has long been the mainstream view of Indo-European origins.78 In it, the westward spread of horses and wheeled vehicles and the shift in parts of Europe to an economy marked by greater settlement mobility and a stronger commitment to livestock-keeping signal the dispersal of people speaking IndoEuropean languages from about 2500 bc. It is not, however, the only game in town, since Colin Renfrew has long argued for a much earlier expansion, drawn not from the Russian/Ukrainian steppes but from Anatolia and associated with the very introduction of farming to Europe over 8,000 years ago.79 Doubts on the part of some linguists that words for domesticated horses and wheeled vehicles do reconstruct to Proto-Indo-European, analyses that make Anatolian IndoEuropean languages like Hittite one near-basal branch in the former’s

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differentiation, and others placing that differentiation significantly further back in time, to between 10,000 and 6000 bc, reinforce Renfrew’s arguments.80 In turn, analyses of ancient and modern DNA lend support to a Near Eastern-affiliated input into European populations at broadly the right time, particularly in the male line,81 but also emphasize the complexity of the processes by which farming was adopted. Where both schools of thought agree is in understanding the current geographical distribution of Indo-European languages as a palimpsest to which multiple processes have contributed over time, each replacing or interacting with the consequences of its predecessors. To retain a purely European focus for a moment, key components of that palimpsest include: the migrations of Celtic-speaking peoples in the last four or five centuries bc as far as Italy and the Balkans; the Roman Empire’s subsequent expansion across the Mediterranean world and north of the Alps, which disseminated Latin across its Western European provinces; the substitution in many of those provinces of rule by German-speaking ‘barbarian’ settlers as the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century ad; and the only slightly later movements of Slav-speaking peoples across much of Europe’s eastern half.82 Whether transporting goods, bearing messengers, carrying soldiers into battle, or being ridden by kings, horses were consistently part of this complex history. For our purposes, however, just one fact needs to be borne in mind: that it was with a Latin-derived IndoEuropean language from the Iberian Peninsula (Castilian Spanish) that the horse began its trans-oceanic journeys after 1492 to meet the forebears of the Horse Nations who are the subject of this book.

Horse Nations of Eurasia Before concluding this chapter it may be useful to develop one aspect of the preceding discussion a little further since pastoral nomads for whom the horse was an essential element of herding, transport, warfare, and elite status dominated much of Eurasia’s heartland for the last three to four millennia. These are the Horse Nations of Eurasia. The earliest, known principally from archaeological evidence, were speakers of Indo-European languages, Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians among them. Distant successors of the Yamnaya horizon

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mentioned in the section ‘The taming of the horse’, they come into focus after 1000 bc as skilled herders, artisans, raiders, and warriors, living within structured, increasingly hierarchical societies. Burials of some of their leaders—notably at Arzhan in the Sayan Mountains and Pazyryk in the foothills of the Altai, both in south-central Siberia— attest to this.83 At Arzhan, for instance, over 160 horses were sacrificed to accompany a dead king and his wife, while at Pazyryk extremely cold soil temperatures preserved an extraordinary wealth of finds, including intact saddles, bridles, saddle blankets, masks, and headdresses for the horses present. Other rich grave goods (gold, furs, carpets, and silk) accompanied both sets of tombs. Herodotus describes broadly similar royal burial practices among the Scythians of the midfifth century bc in what is now Ukraine,84 and even today horses remain an indicator and source of wealth, as well as a measure of value used in settling debts, paying compensation, and providing bridewealth payments and dowries among Eurasian nomads like the Yakuts.85 At the eastern end of the Eurasian steppes the Xiongnu nomads emerged as a major force late in the first millennium bc. Their expansion forced Indo-European-speaking groups further west, among them those known to the Chinese as the Yuezhi and the Wusun.86 The speed and evasiveness of Xiongnu cavalry placed China’s Han Empire at a distinct disadvantage that was only partially and episodically addressed by military-cum-commercial expeditions as far as Uzbekistan’s Ferghana Valley in search of new, high-quality horses.87 Though succeeding in pushing some Xiongnu west— where they emerged as the Huns in the fourth century ad—China remained vulnerable to, and was periodically ruled by, a succession of nomad groups from the founders of the fourth-century Western Qin Dynasty to the Manchu, who produced the last (Qing) line of emperors from the mid-seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. Where military resources were inadequate, alternative strategies to cope with nomad threats were needed. With origins in the relationship struck between the Xiongnu and the Western (i.e. earlier) Han Dynasty in the second century bc, key elements of this involved marital alliances (between Chinese princesses and nomad rulers) and annual ‘gifts’ (tributes) of silk, grain, and wine, among other goods. As Rome later found with its own ‘barbarians’, the Huns among them, appeasement only led to yet more outrageous demands, predicated on the

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destruction that nomad raids could cause and the difficulty of effectively pursuing their perpetrators beyond imperial borders.88 Chinese and Roman tribute payments offered crucial additional resources for nomad leaders with ambitions to recruit new followers and strengthen their control over those whom they ruled. At the same time, recognition of political equality—for example through marriage alliances or simply being taken seriously by a great power—played its own part in enhancing their status. Subsequent nomad confederations followed much the same policies, including the Turkic-speaking tribes of the early medieval period and the Mongols, who briefly united Eurasia from Hungary to China after a whirlwind military expansion in the thirteenth century (Figure 2.12). Only gradually—and with the significant advantages conferred by firearms—did Russia, expanding from the west, and Qing Dynasty China, moving into the steppes from the south and east, succeed in subordinating Eurasia’s nomads through processes of imperial expansion and equestrian resistance that merit comparison with the Horse Nations of the Americas and other regions considered here (see Chapter 10).89

Figure 2.12. A Mongolian herdsman with his horses in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, Mongolia, 2009. Photographed by Bru¨cke-Osteuropa and reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons as being released into the public domain ().

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Mobility over long distances was crucial to all these societies. For Eurasia’s nomads, riding and pulling loads provided twin means of delivering this and it is therefore not surprising that they invented, adopted, and spread several crucial innovations that made both practices easier: metal stirrups (known from a burial mound in the Crimea in the fourth century bc, but only becoming widespread after the adoption of iron stirrups from the Chinese almost a millennium later); trace harness (in which a strap replaced a hard yoke across the horse’s chest, shifting the weight of the load from the neck onto the sternum and collarbones, thereby allowing it to pull heavier, more robust vehicles); and collar harnesses (which reduced pressure on the horse’s respiratory pathways, again allowing it to pull heavier loads with greater ease).90 A nomadic lifestyle required being able to move house and household with ease, though keeping at least some livestock away from the main settlement for part of the year was also an option. On the Eurasian steppes covered wagons and collapsible, round, wood-framed tents of felt that could be easily erected and taken down provided ways of achieving this, though large, permanent tents moved on ox-drawn carts are also known, from the Scythians of the first millennium bc to the Tatars of the seventeenth century.91 Weaponry was also modified to suit a mobile lifestyle: into the early modern period recurved composite bows made from a combination of wood, horn, and animal sinews were stronger than simple wooden bows and offered a weapon of exceptional accuracy, firepower, and range that was also small and light enough for easy use on horseback.92 Lassoes and lances were among the other weapons employed, while armour was sometimes used for horses as well as their riders. A final element widely repeated across the pastoral nomad societies of Eurasia was the use of the horse in ritual, especially at death. This is already apparent at Botai, where horse heads were buried beneath some houses, and skulls and other bones encircled human remains.93 In the following millennium Andronovo sites in southern Siberia preserve burials accompanied by sacrificed horses that show remarkable similarities to the religious practices recorded in the Indian Rigveda, the origins of which lie in the mid/late second millennium bc. Horses are still sacrificed to accompany the dead among the Yakuts and feature prominently as vehicles of sacrifice and bearers of spirits across Central Asia, Mongolia, and southern Siberia.94 As we shall see,

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resonances can be found with all these practices—and with aspects of the economic and political organization of Eurasian equestrian nomads—in the new worlds that the horse encountered post-1492.

Notes 1. The Linnaean, or Latin, name Equus caballus refers specifically to the domestic horse. Though they are the same biological species, the latter’s ancestor, the wild horse of Eurasia (which was also present in the Americas when people first arrived there during the Last Glaciation), is referred to as Equus ferus. 2. Orlando et al. (2009); Franzen (2010). 3. Graur et al. (1997) initially proposed the carnivore/perissodactyl relationship, but Zhou et al. (2011) regroup perissodactyls and artiodactyls within a single ‘true ungulate’ clade (i.e. an evolutionary group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants). 4. Janis and du Toit (2009). 5. Damuth and Janis (2011). 6. As studies of dental microwear establish, for example, for Merychippus, around 17.5 million years ago (Solounias and Semprebon 2002). 7. Janis et al. (2002). 8. The other lineages comprised a very late Miocene/early Pliocene form Astrohippus and the predominantly Miocene genus Pliohippus, some members of which retained three toes (Azzaroli 1992). A fourth, consisting of the South American taxa Hippidion and Onohippidium, is now subsumed within Equus (see Chapter 3). 9. Orlando et al. (2013). Weinstock et al. (2005) previously produced an older mean estimate of 5.6 million years ago. 10. Steiner and Ryder (2011). 11. Bernor et al. (2010). 12. Prothero and Schoch (2002); Steiner and Ryder (2011). 13. I follow the taxonomy used by Rubenstein (2009). 14. Boyd and Houpt (1994). 15. The conservation statuses mentioned here and in the following paragraph are those of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List . Details of conservation threats, population numbers, and basic ecology can be found at . 16. Leonard et al. (2005). 17. Churcher (2006). DNA analyses now suggest that it was conspecific with the plains zebra, formerly known as E. burchelli (Orlando et al. 2009).

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18. Orlando et al. (2006). Note, however, that its DNA is so close to that of the Asiatic ass that the former may not merit separate specific status (Orlando et al. 2009). 19. I follow Groves (1986) in identifying the kiang as a separate species, a conclusion supported by recent mitochondrial DNA analyses (Vilstrup et al. 2013). 20. Kimura et al. (2013). 21. Clutton-Brock (1992) is an older source. More recent works include Merrifield (2009) and Bough (2011). 22. A point forcefully made by Peter Rowley-Conwy (1986) when navigating between those models of agricultural origins that stress only climate change or population pressure on the one hand, and those emphasizing cultural choice and production for social ends (such as feasting) on the other. Jared Diamond (1999) develops the same argument on a more global scale. 23. Menard et al. (2002). 24. Rubenstein (2009: 692). 25. Clutton-Brock (1992: 73). 26. Linklater (2000). 27. Berger (1986). 28. Levy (2011: 144). 29. Patou-Mathis (2000); Stewart (2004). 30. Conard and Prindiville (2000). 31. Fernandez and Legendre (2003). 32. Thieme (1999). 33. Boe¨da et al. (1999). 34. Burke (1993). 35. Olsen (1989); Turner (2006). 36. Stevens et al. (2009). 37. Bosinski and Fischer (1980); Bahn and Vertut (1997). 38. Clottes (2003); Sadier et al. (2012). 39. Pigeaud (2007). 40. Bahn and Vertut (1997: 128–33). 41. Toussaint (1873). 42. Bahn (1978) reviewed the evidence and subsequently reasserted the possibility himself (Bahn and Vertut 1997: 142). 43. As popularized by fiction writer Jean M. Auel in several of her Earth’s Children novels, beginning with The Valley of Horses (Auel 1982). 44. Cartailhac (1905); Olsen (2003: 69). 45. Bahn (1980); cf. White (1989). 46. Rowley-Conwy (1990); Olsen (2003: 69). 47. Bendrey (2012). 48. Sommer et al. (2011). 49. Warmuth et al. (2011).

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50. Levine (2005); Olsen (2006). 51. Recently reported small stone figurines of horses from al-Magar in western Saudi Arabia may be of equids, but their location suggests that either the African wild ass or the Syrian or Mesopotamian (onager) subspecies of its Asiatic relative is the animal represented. Recalling the spurious claims made for European Upper Palaeolithic art discussed earlier in this chapter, it is uncertain if harness elements are shown. Bones identifiable as those of horse have not been found (Harrigan 2012; ). 52. Bibikova (1986). 53. Olsen (1996). 54. Levine (1999). 55. Brown and Anthony (1998); Olsen (2003, 2006). 56. Outram et al. (2009). 57. Warmuth et al. (2012). Alternatively, the considerable diversity in the mitochondrial DNA of domestic horses (which is inherited maternally) compared to variation in the Y-chromosomes (which are only inherited paternally) could reflect a very large number of mares in the initial founding population (Cieslak et al. 2010). 58. Robin Bendrey (pers. comm. 26 November 2013). 59. Levine (1998). Ironically, these lines were written following the scandal provoked by the discovery of horsemeat in many processed foods of supposedly different make-up in Europe in early 2013. Personal experience of straccetti di cavallo in Verona, Italy, confirms its tenderness and attractive flavour. 60. Olsen (2003). 61. Levine (1999); Ferret (2010); Bendrey (2011). Ponomarenko and Dyck (2007: 43–4) also note that the grazing action of horses stimulates the growth of the more nutritious grasses consumed by cattle and sheep. 62. Brown and Anthony (1998). 63. Levine (1999); Anthony and Brown (2000). 64. Kelekna (2009: 41–9). 65. Anthony and Brown (2000). 66. Drews (2004). 67. Bendrey (2012). 68. Anthony (1995: 561). 69. Kelekna (2009: 75). 70. Kuzmina (2007: 333). 71. Brink and Hornbostel (1993). 72. Glob (1974: 102); Waghorne (1999). 73. Drews (2004). 74. Bagley (1999: 202, 208); Mair (2003: 163). 75. Mallory and Mair (2000). 76. Mair (2003: 179).

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77. Mallory (1996). 78. Childe (1926); Gimbutas (1985). 79. Renfrew (1987). His model retains a key role for Indo-European-speaking early pastoralists on the western Eurasian steppes as ancestors of those who brought Indo-Aryan languages south into Iran and the Indian subcontinent. Bellwood (2004: 210–16) suggests a much more complex scenario that also includes a significantly earlier dispersal into these areas by Neolithic Indo-European-speaking farmers. 80. Bellwood (2004: 203–6); Bouckaert et al. (2012). 81. Balaresque et al. (2010); Fu et al. (2012). 82. Renfrew (1987). 83. Rudenko (1970); Chugunov et al. (2004). 84. Herodotus (2003). 85. Ferret (2010). 86. Some of the Wusun transformed themselves into the Ossetians, now found in Georgia and the Russian Caucasus, and the Alans, who reached Spain as the Roman Empire collapsed in the West in the fifth century (Kelekna 2009: 148). The Yuezhi, on the other hand, turned south, destroying the last Greek-speaking kingdom in Afghanistan—a legacy of Alexander the Great—and later creating the Kushan Empire there and across Pakistan and northern India (Liu 2001). 87. Perdue (2010: 35). 88. Heather (2006); Honeychurch and Amartuvshin (2006). 89. Khodarkosvsky (2004); Perdue (2010). 90. Kelekna (2009: 161–4): both harness innovations also likely had Chinese origins towards the end of the first millennium bc. 91. Kelekna (2009: 68–73). 92. Kelekna (2009: 77). 93. Olsen (2003: 94, 98–9). 94. Ferret (2010); Baldick (2012).

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3 A Prodigal Return ‘They should wait there unmoving for the return of their master’ (The Iliad 13.35)

‘Restored to America the wild race lost there some thousands of years ago’ (Mark van Doren (1963), The Distant Runners)

Introduction It is one of the great ironies of history—equine and human—that the continent on which the horse was born was also the continent on which it died out. For after more than 40 million years, sometime between 12,000 and 7,600 years ago, the last truly wild horse in North America was no more. And yet, as it turned out, that animal’s last breath marked not an end, but only a hiatus, one that ended when Columbus—on his second trans-Atlantic voyage—brought horses to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. This chapter therefore looks at four interrelated questions: the initial arrival of people in the Americas over 13,000 years ago; the variety of horses that they encountered there; how far their interactions with those horses contributed to the latter’s extinction; and how the horse returned to North America following Columbus’s voyage.

Humans arrive in horseland When, where, and how people first arrived in the Americas remain some of archaeology’s most hotly contested topics, but we do know

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that horses were there to welcome them. Before considering how these two different mammals—the bipedal newcomer and the quadrupedal native—interacted, we need to answer the questions with which this paragraph began. Almost certainly humans entered the Americas from Siberia: early settlers in the western Pacific reached no further east than the Solomon Islands,1 while arguments that eastern North America was reached from Europe by Upper Palaeolithic hunters moving by boat and across ice around the North Atlantic fly in the face of both technology and chronology.2 But if the ancestors of Native Americans did indeed arrive in the New World from Asia (something that all genetic analyses of both modern and ancient populations confirm),3 when and how did they do so? Until recently the archaeological consensus—especially among Anglophone scholars in North America—was that this occurred around 13,000 years ago and was effected by people taking advantage of the globally depressed sea levels of the Last Ice Age to cross the Bering Straits when they formed part of a much broader landmass, Beringia. Fuel and food would have been the chief constraints on their survival, but we know that people were living north of the Arctic Circle as much as 27,000 years ago,4 and palaeoenvironmental evidence confirms that Beringia’s tundra-like ‘mammoth steppe’ likely sustained a high animal biomass.5 But Beringia was a dead end, moving into Alaska insufficient to colonize the Americas as a whole (Figure 3.1). This is because, for much of the late Pleistocene, the continental ice centred on the Rocky Mountains coalesced with the much larger body of ice centred on Hudson Bay. Only when these two ice sheets—the Cordilleran and the Laurentide—demerged, and sufficient vegetation—and thus animal prey—recolonized the 1,200-km-long corridor that then opened up between them, could people travel south.6 From their discovery in the 1930s the skilfully worked stone projectile points known as Clovis were long regarded as the signature of the first people to do this. Found across most of the continental United States, southernmost Canada, and northern Mexico, Clovis points date to a narrow window around 13,200–12,800 years ago.7 Associated faunal remains mostly comprise extinct bison and sometimes mammoth or mastodon. Spears tipped with Clovis points could certainly kill these enormous animals, but their makers were not solely specialized hunters or eaters of big game.8 This is important because the

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Figure 3.1. Map of early sites in the Americas mentioned in the text. The maximum extents of continental glaciation and continental shelf exposure are also shown. 1 Arroyo Seco 2 (Argentina); 2 Blackwater Draw (United States); 3 Chinchihuapi (Chile); 4 Cueva del Lago Sofı´a (Chile); 5 Debra L. Friedkin (United States); 6 Grand Canyon; 7 Lubbock Lake (United States); 8 Meadowcroft Shelter ˜ uagapua (Bolivia); 11 Paisley Cave (United States); 9 Monte Verde (Chile); 10 N (United States); 12 Paso Otero 5 (Argentina); 13 Piedra Museo (Argentina); 14 Taima-Taima (Venezuela); 15 Tibito´ (Colombia); 16 Tres Arroyos (Chile); 17 Wally’s Beach (Canada). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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subsistence strategy followed by Clovis hunters has been directly implicated in the extinction of many large mammals at the end of the Pleistocene. For most of the twentieth century claims for an older human presence in the western hemisphere were discounted as being poorly or wrongly dated, or because the bones and stones on which they were based could not convincingly be shown to have been modified by people. This has now changed and a small—but growing—number of sites demonstrate that people were there before Clovis technology appeared. The best known is probably Monte Verde in southern Chile, which has produced mastodon bones, a wide diversity of edible and medicinal plants, tools of wood, bone, and stone, and the remains of several structures, all sealed below a layer of peat.9 Dating to between 14,600 and 14,200 years ago, more than a millennium before Clovis and several thousand kilometres further south, its implications are clear: older sites must exist further north. Such sites include Paisley Cave, Oregon (14,100 years ago), where stone artefacts have been found along with coprolites (ancient faeces) containing DNA specific to Native American populations;10 Meadowcroft Shelter, Pennsylvania, with a small but non-Clovis-like assemblage of stone blades and points dated to 15,200–13,400 years ago;11 and the Debra L. Friedkin site, Texas, where another assemblage of blades and points, here dated to between 15,500 and 13,200 years ago, lies below one of Clovis affiliation.12 This initial colonizing population may have been small, or the numbers of known sites may be tiny because of a failure to search in the right places and losses to later sedimentation, erosion, and rising seas. But people were definitely there. What remains uncertain is when and how they moved south of the ice: an ecologically viable corridor between the ice sheets may have opened as early as 14,000 years ago, but America’s northwestern Pacific coast—which was never completely buried below glaciers—was substantially ice-free at least a millennium before this and offered rich marine resources and coastal refugia rich enough in food to sustain brown (Ursus arctos) and black (U. americanus) bears, both of which have diets that significantly overlap with those of people.13 An early southward movement by boat, hopping from one landfall to another, could swiftly have brought people south of the continental ice sheets.14 That done, the north–south trend of North America’s Continental Divide and South America’s

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Andes likely encouraged rapid movement down the western side of the New World, with more gradual colonization eastward to settle the continental interiors.

They shoot horses: don’t they? The animals that people saw and hunted in Beringia differed little from those their ancestors had known in Siberia.15 South of the ice, however, they encountered a very different fauna. As well as mastodons and mammoths, North America was populated by camels, giant sloths, and giant armadillos, by predators such as dire wolves, sabre-tooth cats, and short-faced bears, and by condor-like birds called teratorns with wingspans in excess of 3 metres.16 Also part of this strange, new world were horses, of both familiar and unfamiliar kinds. Familiar was Equus ferus, the wild ancestor of today’s domestic horse, which was also present in Beringia, from where it had moved west into Eurasia long before. Analysis of ancient DNA from Pleistocene horse bones shows that all the caballine horses of North America, north and south of the ice sheets, formed one species, despite considerable variations in size and the over-splitting of fossil taxa practised by some palaeontologists.17 Related to them, though with more gracile limbs that resemble those of today’s Asian asses, were the stilt-legged horses (Equus francisci, E. lambei), which were probably endemic to North America.18 Once again, genetic analysis of DNA from fossil specimens confirms that those from Beringia were the same species as those from south of the ice; the youngest Beringian stilt-legged horses date to about 31,000 years ago19—long before any human presence in the region—while the youngest in Nevada died around 13,000 years ago.20 Having met, what did horses and people say to each other? Though not as rich as for bison or the great proboscideans, we now have enough evidence to know that in at least some cases that conversation ended up with horse steak on the human menu. The most compelling pointer comes from Wally’s Beach in southern Alberta where the bones and tracks of a variety of animals are preserved in an eroding landscape episodically exposed within a local reservoir. Horse is the most abundant species, and analysis of organic residues on some of the Clovis points left at the site identified proteins diagnostic of both horse

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and bovids (probably bison); impact damage on them establishes their use in hunting, not just the butchery of scavenged carcasses.21 Stone tools were found closely associated with a total of seven horse skeletons and cut-marks on the hyoid bone of one of these animals confirm this (Figure 3.2). The site’s location at the brow of a river valley would have provided a good ambush location, while the defensive bunching together of horses when confronted by predators—though highly effective against wolves—would have been disastrous against spearwielding humans.22 Another plausible candidate for people having hunted horses is Lubbock Lake, Texas, where equid bones reportedly show cut-marks and signs of possible marrow extraction, again in association with Clovis artefacts.23 There is also Blackwater Draw, New Mexico, where Clovis tools were first recognized in 1932, and three sites in Arizona’s San Pedro Valley, again all with Clovis artefacts. A recent immunological study of residues on probable Clovis stone tools from Colorado adds another site to this list.24 Nevertheless, while horses were certainly hunted, killed, and eaten, this does not seem to have been on a significant scale; instances of Clovis bison-hunting are certainly more common.25

Figure 3.2. Horse B (with a cut-marked hyoid bone) at Wally’s Beach, Alberta, showing a small flake tool and cobble (perhaps an anchor stone for a meat cache?). Copyright and courtesy: Brian Kooyman.

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Extinction: north Many of the animals that people met on settling the Americas are now extinct. For North America, a widely cited statistic is that some thirtyfive genera of large mammals disappeared before the start of the Holocene, some 12,000 years ago.26 An intense debate exists over what might explain this enormous loss. Put crudely, it pits proponents of climate change (expressed through exposure to new, rapidly changing ecological conditions) against adherents of human hunting (in its purest form understood as deliberate targeting of many of the large herbivores, with carnivores then dying out for want of prey).27 Moreover, late Pleistocene extinctions were not restricted to North America: they affected South America and Australia in even greater measure and can also be tracked in Eurasia and Africa.28 I can only summarize these debates here, but a few key points need extracting. First, just sixteen mammalian genera definitely disappeared from the fossil record in the critical period at the end of the Last Glaciation to which most attention has been directed. Recent analysis of available radiocarbon dates, on the other hand, suggests that sampling error could explain this, in which case we are indeed looking at a geologically synchronous event that was both fast and widespread, even if building from an earlier trend.29 Second, while extinctions may have had common causes, we should treat each taxon separately, differentiating animals that disappeared completely from those that survived elsewhere (such as the horse!) and recognizing that even survivors underwent major changes in distribution.30 For example, musk oxen have experienced marked fluctuations in genetic diversity and distribution over the past 60,000 years that appear to have been wholly environmentally driven.31 Recent work suggests the same was true of horses, with the Last Interglacial (when conditions were slightly warmer than today) and the last 25,000 years especially stressful.32 Third, extinction of one species may have negatively affected others: specialized predators are one example, but so are herbivores linked in grazing successions where different species crop grass at different stages of growth, each depending on the work of the one before it. Debate continues, but it seems increasingly clear that attributing late Pleistocene North American extinctions to either human action or climate change alone will not work.33 In particular, the accumulating

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evidence for people having been in the Americas for one, if not two, millennia before the innovation of Clovis tools demolishes the idea that Clovis hunters killed off North America’s megafauna in a prehistoric ‘blitzkrieg’ as they rapidly colonized the continent. Though needing confirmation, changes in the frequency of spores of the Sporormiella fungus, which digests herbivore dung, hint that populations of large plant-eaters were declining from as early as 14,800 years ago, 1,600 years before Clovis began; any human hunting pressure was thus exercised over a much longer time span.34 If we now focus on horses alone, what do we see? A first consideration returns us to the difference between equid and ruminant diets: horses, because they ferment food further along their intestinal tract, can subsist on poorer-quality, tougher, older grasses, a significant advantage in open habitats where grass may have been plentiful but growing seasons short (because of cold and/or aridity). As the climate warmed and rainfall increased—the very generalized though not universal pattern that marked the far-from-smooth transition into the Holocene—the advantage may increasingly have switched, with ruminants better placed to browse trees and shrubs, plants with toxins that might kill a horse.35 Bison, the great survivors of North America’s Pleistocene/Holocene transition, had an added advantage in that they were better suited to the more uniform and less nutritious, warmerloving C4-dominated grasslands that now replaced more mosaic vegetation communities with higher overall nutritional content, making them pre-adapted to the new environment.36 That proboscideans and woolly rhinoceroses also disappeared supports this interpretation as they too digest their food in the caecum, just like horses. Moreover, the loss of mammoths and mastodons may have caused spillover effects for horses and other taxa because of their role as ‘keystone species’ that bound ecosystems together by suppressing tree growth, maintaining open habitats, and dispersing seeds. As the genetic analyses I have already mentioned suggest, horses may have been under pressure for some time before becoming extinct. Analysis of metacarpal bones from Alaska indicates that caballine (i.e. true, not stilt-legged) horses declined in size from the onset of the Last Glacial Maximum about 25,000 years ago until they disappeared from the fossil record around 10,000 years later.37 That this trend significantly pre-dates any likely human presence in Beringia implies that people were, at most, only partly responsible for horses becoming

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extinct there. Instead, as the most specialized grassland-dependent component of Alaska’s late Pleistocene fauna, horses may have been particularly susceptible to the unravelling of its productive ‘mammoth steppe’, through a combination of declining availability of optimal foods and greater competition from other species. On both counts, and also because horses would have found movement through such settings much more difficult, the transition to more water-saturated, peaty landscapes may have been particularly critical.38 Another study, this time of radiocarbon dates, suggests that horses were lost to the local fossil record a full thousand years before the mammoth and just about the same time as the earliest known archaeological sites.39 Of course, with older sites now known in Chile and the continental United States people must already have been present in Beringia too, but this pattern reinforces the case for tackling each species on its own before orchestrating them all into a single, potentially misleading score. South of the ice we have close on a dozen reliable radiocarbon dates for the last appearance of Equus in North America, but only some have been obtained using samples of collagen from actual horse remains. Drawn from localities as widespread as Alabama, Nevada, Alberta, and Wyoming these place the last known horses of the continental United States and southern Canada in the timeframe 13,600–12,800 years ago, broadly coeval with the manufacture of Clovis tools. Dates from Florida, Idaho, Arizona, and California on wood, bone, or charcoal associated with horse remains agree with this.40 But was this indeed the end? The answer, it now seems, may be no, and not because of a new fossil find but thanks to a novel application of molecular genetics identifying ancient DNA attributable to Equus in sediment samples from interior Alaska.41 Though not tightly dated, the relevant sediments are bracketed by their stratigraphic position, and a combination of radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dates, to between 10,500 and 7,600 years ago. Neither the sediments nor the DNA appear to have been recycled within the soil, making this the latest evidence for the horse anywhere in North America, possibly because the local river’s flood regime and windblown deposition of nutrients maintained a mammoth-steppe habitat here long after it had disappeared over most of the former Beringia. Such a long overlap with human presence completely discounts both a rapid blitzkrieg against animals lacking the behaviours needed to avoid human hunters

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and an extraterrestrial impact event. Instead, ecological changes are more likely to have been responsible for the demise of the horse— and perhaps of other species too. One thing nevertheless remains unchanged: horses did eventually disappear completely from the continent on which they had evolved, just as if they had never been. But before seeing how that disappearance was eventually reversed, we need to explore the relationship between people and horses in the New World’s other major landmass, South America.

Extinction: south Only when the Isthmus of Panama joined the Americas together about 2.5 million years ago could terrestrial animals move readily between one continent and the other. Although some South American natives, including the marsupial opossum, did succeed in migrating north in this Great American Biotic Interchange, a much greater variety of species expanded south, horses among them. First on the scene around 2.6–2.4 million years ago was Hippidion, traditionally thought to descend from a primitive Miocene lineage, the pliohippines, which had diverged from the line leading to Equus over 7 million years before. Also present, to credit much of the older literature, was another noncaballine group assigned to the genus Onohippidium. Finally, around 1–0.8 million years ago, came Equus,42 long thought to belong to a distinct subgenus different from that of North America and the Old World, Equus (Amerhippus). This picture has now been drastically revised.43 First, re-examination of the fossil evidence reclassified Onohippidium within Hippidion (H. saldiasi) and reduced the total number of Hippidion species to just three.44 Second, the DNA of fossil equids shows that Hippidion as a whole is much more closely related to Equus than previously thought, possibly warranting inclusion within the same genus. Within these ‘hippidiforms’ a deep split is apparent.45 One group, H. devillei, seems to have been a high altitude specialist. The other comprises H. saldiasi (known only from southern Patagonia and—before the Last Glacial Maximum—northern Chile) and H. principale (more widely distributed and found in southern Bolivia and Brazil, Uruguay, central Chile, and the Argentine Pampas). These may, however, form a single, highly variable species, in which specimens dubbed H. principale (estimated

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mass 460 kg) are almost twice as big as those termed H. saldiasi (estimated mass 266 kg); when found together, H. principale is also significantly bulkier and more robust than the true horse (‘Equus (Amerhippus) neogeus’; estimated mass 379 kg).46 The one fact retained from earlier models is the likely age at which Hippidion separated from the North American caballine and stilt-legged lineages; genetic data put this at less than 3.6–3.2 million years ago, consistent with the age of formation of the Isthmus of Panama. What then of Amerhippus, widely distributed across South America in both the Andes and tropical and subtropical lowland environments from Colombia and Venezuela through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil to Uruguay and Argentina? In fact, none of the many quantitative and qualitative differences previously used to distinguish ‘species’ within it do so reliably.47 Instead, only a single taxon merits recognition and this—though clearly divergent from Hippidion—falls unequivocally within the caballine or true horses. Equus (Amerhippus) of South America thus belongs to the same species as Equus ferus of North America and the Old World.48 Because different groups of plants photosynthesize using subtly different chemical pathways it is possible to investigate differences in the diet of animals that eat them by analysing the carbon isotope composition of their tissues. Such studies show that Hippidion ate mostly what are known as C3 plants, although some individuals (from Bolivia and Argentina) had a more mixed diet combining both C3 and C4 foods. In comparison with Equus, this suggests that Hippidion was better adapted to the browsing end of the feeding spectrum, something that fits its less hypsodontic teeth. Within Equus, individuals from the Buenos Aires area of Argentina show a preference for C3 plants (‘E. neogeus’), those from highland Ecuador and Bolivia a mixed C3/C4 diet (‘E. andium’ and ‘E. insulatus’), and those from Brazil and coastal Ecuador (also ‘E. andium’ and ‘E. insulatus’) a mostly C4 intake. None consumed only C4 grasses.49 Morphological differences also exist: the foot anatomy of H. saldiasi, for example, may indicate that it ran relatively slowly and preferred a more humid and wooded environment (with soft soils) than Equus, though it was still well adapted for travelling long distances between patchy seasonal food sources.50 How did human arrival affect South America’s horses? Though a Chilean site—Monte Verde—provides some of the strongest evidence

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for people having been in the New World long before Clovis points were made in North America, signs of human presence elsewhere south of Panama are scarce before 13,000 years ago.51 As with North America, the southern continent’s complex, diverse ecologies must have presented numerous challenges to incoming settlers, not least in recognizing which plant foods were edible and which not, and in devising effective ways of integrating the resources of previously unknown landscapes at times of rapid ecological change. Patagonia— from which much of our soundest early evidence comes—may have been particularly testing, given its largely tundra- or steppe-like conditions and episodic volcanic activity.52 All this means that the changes associated with the transition to a more modern climate and ecology were already well advanced by the time archaeology documents a significant human presence on the landscape. This bears directly on how far people were involved in the extinction of the many mammals (horses included) that disappeared from South America across the Pleistocene/Holocene transition. Disappointingly, often there is no clear evidence of any behavioural association with the equid remains reported.53 This is the case, for example, at Tibito´ on Colombia’s high central plateau, which features horse, mastodon, and deer in a possible open-air butchery context with a single, rather early, date of around 13,800–13,400 years ago.54 But cutmarks are scarce and the bones are not directly dated, issues that also affect claims that horses were hunted in several other countries.55 It is thus to South America’s Southern Cone that we must look for a clearer picture of how humans and horses interacted (Table 3.1). Reviewing the relevant evidence, Luis Borrero rightly emphasizes the need for both dates and associations with human activity to be as robust as possible.56 Thus, despite claims for butchery having been made,57 at neither Los Vilos (Quebrada Santa Julia) nor Quereo are cut-marks present, although at Taguatagua near Santiago hunting does seem more plausible.58 Much more convincing evidence comes from four sites in Chilean Patagonia: Cueva Fell, Cueva del Lago Sofı´a 1, Cueva del Medio, and Tres Arroyos. All have produced cut-marked bones of H. saldiasi in contexts associated with repeated human occupation between 13,000 and 11,300 years ago (Figure 3.3).59 Across the border in Argentina, Piedra Museo is another high-quality site (Figure 3.4), with cut-marks and helical fractures resulting from a heavy blow confirming butchery of H. saldiasi, at least partly to extract

Table 3.1. Direct dates for late Pleistocene/early Holocene horses in the Southern Cone of South America Site and country

Taxon

Date (BP)

Calibrated date BC

TO-1504

Equus sp.

8890  90

8249-7675

OxA-4590 AA-7905 AA-39365

E. neogeus E. neogeus H. principale

11000  100 11092-10756 11250  105 11330-10861 11320  110 11426-10926

AC-9069(1)

H. devillei

9120  130

7903-7832 (2.2%)

8850  40

8631-7908 (93.2%) 8012-7723 (77.0%)

Argentina

Arroyo Seco 2

Barro Negro

Cerro Bombero

LP-1528

H. saldiasi

8095-8037 (5.0%) 8203-8106 (13.3%) Cueva del Milodo´n

GrA-510

H. saldiasi

11480  60

11476-11186

Cueva Tu´nel de La Marı´a

AA-71148

H. saldiasi

10400  100 10502-9873 (90.1%)

Comments and references Steele and Politis (2009); rejected because it is anomalous with respect to the other dates Steele and Politis (2009) Steele and Politis (2009) Steele and Politis (2009); helically fractured (for marrow extraction?) Ferna´ndez et al. (1991); palaeontological site (non-archaeological) Paunero (2010); palaeontological site (non-archaeological)

Paunero et al. (2008); pre-dates clear human presence in the region Paunero et al. (2007)

10602-10516 (5.3%) Continued

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Laboratory number

Site and country

Laboratory number

Taxon

Date (BP)

Calibrated date BC

Piedra Museo

AA-39362

H. saldiasi

9952  97

9808-9227

OxA-15870

H. saldiasi

10675  55

OxA-8528

H. saldiasi

10925  65

Chile

Martı´nez (2006); same cut-marked distal humerus; rejected as both the date and the stable carbon isotope ratio are anomalous (Steele and Politis 2009) 10541-10486 (9.5%) Steele and Politis (2009); cut-marked distal 10575-10568 (0.7%) humerus; an ultra-filtration result, thus 10756-10593 (85.2%) likely to be the most accurate date of all 10983-10736 Miotti et al. (2003); same cut-marked distal humerus

10170  100 10107-9340 10860  160 11121-10477

Nami and Nakamura (1995) Nami and Nakamura (1995)

H. saldiasi

10310  160 10604-9445

Massone and Prieto (2004)

OxA-9319

H. saldiasi

10780  60

OxA-9247

Hippidion sp. 10685  70

Cueva del Medio

NUTA-1811 H. saldiasi NUTA-2331 H. saldiasi

Cueva del Lago Sofı´a 1

OxA-9504

Tres Arroyos 1

Comments and references

10654-10611 (9.7%) Massone and Prieto (2004) 10795-10671 (85.7%) 10546-10485 (12.1%) Massone and Prieto (2004) 10581-10565 (2.1%) 10762-10590 (81.2%)

(calibrated using the ShCal13 curve from OxCal 4.2. Calibrated dates are shown at 95.4% probability unless otherwise indicated)

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Table 3.1. Continued

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Figure 3.3. A distal sesamoid of Hippidion saldiasi exhibiting cut-marks from stone tools, Cueva Fell, southern Patagonia, Chile. The cut-marks are between 8.80 and 4.35 mm long and are probably related to the removal of tendons (Martin 2013: 101). Copyright and courtesy: Fabiana Marı´a Martin.

Figure 3.4. Piedra Museo rockshelter, Argentina, one of only a few sites to have produced convincing evidence for an association between people and extinct horses in South America. Copyright and courtesy: Laura Miotti.

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marrow, around 12,600 years ago; guanaco, an extinct llama, and the extinct ground sloth are also present.60 Further north, H. saldiasi and Equus both occur slightly earlier at Arroyo Seco 2 in the Interserrana area of the Pampas south of Buenos Aires, while at the nearby site of Paso Otero 5 people may have used the bones of ‘Equus neogeus’ and other extinct species for fuel towards the very end of the Pleistocene.61 How far horses were central to people’s subsistence remains an open question. Being a gregarious species like camelids (including the guanaco and vicun˜a which survive today) we might expect that they were particularly attractive, but existing evidence does not suggest that they were a preferred prey.62 Across much of South America other extinct taxa likewise played a marginal role within quite generalized subsistence strategies,63 albeit with some exceptions, such as Argentina’s Interserrana where people exploited horses, glyptodons (giant armadillos), and giant ground sloths,64 animals that were probably intercepted within highly mobile lifestyles ranging over several hundred kilometres.65 Horses and these other taxa exemplify an important general trend, namely that extinction emphasized open-adapted species that reproduced relatively slowly and produced few offspring at a time. The disappearance of many open habitats as the climate warmed must have stressed those animals that preferred them, both in absolute numbers and overall distribution, while the large mammals that survived the Pleistocene/Holocene transition were primarily those that were small, quick, reproduced fast, or lived in environments that were more inaccessible to people: forests, wooded savannahs, wetlands, and mountains.66 Immigrant taxa that had not evolved in South America suffered particularly badly,67 including some of the most specialized grazers;68 horses, of course, fell into both camps. Nevertheless, extinction was not a sudden event, synchronous with people’s arrival or even the large-scale increase in their archaeological visibility evident after 13,000 years ago. Two Argentine sites— one on the high-altitude altiplano plateau, the other in east-central Patagonia—establish that Hippidion survived into the early Holocene. The same is true elsewhere in Argentina for the giant ground sloth and at least one kind of armadillo;69 Equus itself may have survived for a while in northeastern Uruguay, but bones there lack cut-marks or direct dates.70 Overall, however, some degree of persistence in ecologically favourable refugia does seem likely.71 For H. saldiasi these

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would have been relict steppe habitats, though the lack of early Holocene instances of the species in archaeological—as opposed to naturally accumulating—faunas may also point to changes in human behaviour: a greater emphasis on guanaco, a temporary reduction in human numbers, or shifts in using the regional landscape to eschew areas where Hippidion clung on.72 To sum up, human settlement of South America probably disrupted what were already rapidly changing, unstable ecologies. For those animals people hunted, this extra pressure, however slight, may have been a crucial tipping point, especially as populations dwindled, fragmented, and became concentrated into areas where ecological conditions remained favourable but human predation then had proportionately greater impact.73 Though ending later, with more taxa hanging on into the early Holocene, extinctions in South America were even more dramatic than in North America: not only did every mammal larger than 1 tonne disappear (ten to twelve genera), but so too did the overwhelming majority of those weighing more than 100 kg, horses among them.74

A world without horses No man is an island wrote John Donne, and the same holds true of every species: all exist as part of a complex web of interconnections, an ecosystem. Thus, when so many large mammals became extinct across the Americas at the end of the Pleistocene we would expect that this had consequences for the continents’ ecologies as a whole. Can we say anything specific about the effects of the loss of the horse? A positive response comes from a now thirty-year-old study of trees in the lowland forests of Costa Rica.75 Here, at least thirty-nine species along that country’s Pacific coast may once have depended on megafaunal taxa for their reproduction. By way of example, today horses eat the fruits of jicaro (Crescentia alata) in quantity about a month after they fall to the ground at the end of the dry season (March to May) and also in mid-wet season (August/September). Yet, where horses are absent the fruits lie undisturbed and rot to the point that fermentation kills the seeds inside. Only occasionally do squirrels succeed in dispersing the seeds, whereas a single horse may eat up to thirty fruits a day and almost all the seeds deposited in its dung germinate. It seems likely that

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Pleistocene horses were important in dispersing jicaro and that the latter’s distribution has expanded significantly since the Spanish Conquest. Similar interactions exist for other trees.76 Losing horses and other large mammals may have had other effects too: reducing the numbers of animals directly dependent on them, such as dung beetles and vampire bats, but increasing the fruit supply for species like peccaries and rodents. Similar implications hold across the Americas. For example, in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands now-extinct Pleistocene megafauna were probably critical for the reproduction and dispersal of many trees, enhancing soil fertility and reducing fire risks (by not allowing large quantities of vegetation to accumulate uneaten). Today, cattle provide a partial replacement, reversing some of the ecological trends of the last 10,000 years.77 Many biologists conclude from such evidence that the ecologies Europeans encountered after 1492—let alone those that exist today, after centuries of Crosby’s still-ongoing Columbian Exchange—were fundamentally impoverished and skewed by the loss of so many large mammals. Recognizing this, some advocate deliberately reintroducing species that were once present in the Americas or—where these are completely extinct—of close relatives (for example, elephants for mammoths). Such ‘Pleistocene rewilding’, it is argued, would restore the ecological links lost at the end of the Ice Age, while simultaneously promoting the conservation of threatened Asian and African species.78 This is, as one might expect, highly controversial:79 can we foresee all its consequences, not least because modern ecosystems have evolved since the Pleistocene?80 Might it undermine conservation efforts elsewhere in the world? Would reintroduced predators pose a threat to people? But in reality the experiment has already begun, and not just because condors now soar again above the Grand Canyon, an area from which they disappeared over 10,000 years ago.81 For the horse has been running wild and living free in western North America for centuries.82 How Equus ferus returned to its continent of origin is the next topic to consider.

The return of the horse Horses came back to the Americas at the end of the fifteenth century, brought by a Genoese adventurer to what is now the Dominican

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Republic at the end of 1493. As Spaniards extended their rule across the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba horses—along with other livestock, crops, and microbes of European derivation—went with them. And it was from Cuba that Herna´n Corte´s brought horses back to the North American mainland in 1519 as part of the expedition that went on to seize central Mexico from its Mexica (Aztec) overlords. Those sixteen animals, each more expensive than an African slave, bore names consistent with their importance as harbingers of a new order: El Rey, Cabeza de Moro, and so on.83 When first used in battle they caused a sensation as their Maya opponents found it difficult to distinguish horse from rider.84 Described to the Mexica ruler, Moctezuma, as being ‘as high as rooftops’ and ‘deer which bore the visitors on their backs’,85 further acknowledgement of the horse’s military and symbolic importance came when the Mexica sacrificed some of those they captured during the final siege of their capital, Tenochtitlan. Appropriately enough, the city fell to Corte´s on 13 August 1521, the feast day of St Hippolytus, patron saint of horses (Figure 3.5).86 The horse went on to play a crucial role in Spain’s other conquests in the Americas, often provoking similar reactions from people who had never even imagined, let alone seen, such an animal before. Tarascans in western Mexico initially thought they could talk because the Spanish spoke to them,87 while in the Andes the Inka understood the shine of their horseshoes to mean they had silver feet.88 Pursuing the horse across South America is an enterprise we must delay until Chapters 7 and 8. Before then, we shall look at its impacts on Indigenous peoples in North America, and so it is back to Mexico and then across the Rı´o Grande into the United States and Canada that I now turn.

Flourishing mightily By the mid-sixteenth century tens of thousands of horses had been introduced to or bred in New Spain (modern Mexico), helping to subdue its Native population and lay the foundations of a colonial economy in which rearing livestock played an important part. The discovery of silver in Zacatecas in 1542 proved significant in directing Spanish attentions northward, and in the same year some of Spain’s Native allies were allowed to use horses to help suppress the Mixto´n

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Figure 3.5. An early Native American view of the horse. This view (cell 46) from the reconstructed mid-sixteenth-century Lienzo de Tlaxcala shows mounted Spanish conquistadores attacking the defenders of the Mexica (Aztec) capital of Tenochtitlan. Copyright and courtesy: Liza Bakewell and Byron Ellsworth Hamann, Mesolore: A Cybercenter for Research and Teaching on Mesoamerica, (Portland, Maine: Prolarti Enterprises, LLC and Providence, RI: Brown University, 2010).

Revolt in Jalisco. By 1551 Chichimec groups along the northern frontier were stealing horses and soon afterwards were using them to raid colonial settlements; others may have been acquired by trade or as presents given in vain attempts to secure peace and alliance. Native Americans and African slaves seeking freedom from Spanish rule probably helped spread the skills needed to ride and care for them. Thus, well before the close of the 1500s, Indigenous communities from Chihuahua to Coahuila had access to the new wonder animal,

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although only much later did it spread west of the Sierra Madre Occidental and into Sonora.89 Keen to find yet more sources of gold, labour, and agriculturally productive land, Spain’s conquistadores began exploring what is now the United States even before Corte´s’ conquest of Mexico.90 A key moment was Francisco Va´squez de Coronado’s expedition of 1540–42, which explored New Mexico and the Southern Plains. But contrary to the views of early researchers,91 neither this nor the almost precisely contemporary maraudings of Hernando de Soto through the southern United States entailed any long-term consequences for the reintroduction of the horse. In de Soto’s case this was because his expedition ended in disaster; the handful of surviving horses almost certainly perished once abandoned on the west bank of the Mississippi in 1542.92 Coronado’s expedition was also a dead end from an equine standpoint (just two of its almost six hundred horses were mares), though the fact that the Hopi of Arizona learned of how the Zun˜i had been attacked by ‘very fierce men who rode animals that ate people’ suggests that the horse’s return was not immediately well received.93 Equus’ permanent re-establishment north of the Rı´o Grande came with a much later Spanish entrada, Juan de On˜ate’s conquest of central New Mexico, which began in 1598. Only then did the Spanish begin to impose their rule over many of the area’s settled agricultural Pueblo peoples and to reconnoitre once more the surrounding regions, initiating trade with those living in them. Knowledge of the horse, if not its acquisition, spread outward from this point (Figure 3.6). After several unsuccessful attempts and numerous provocations, the Pueblo communities launched a co-ordinated rebellion against Spanish rule in 1680, provoking further revolts across the far north of Mexico and expelling the Spanish from the Southwest until 1692. Horses were killed, freed, or stolen as an initial step in the uprising to deprive the Spanish of a significant military advantage.94 The opportunity to seize horses during this revolt was once thought to have been instrumental in their spread to other Native American groups in the Southwest and on the Plains.95 No doubt some were acquired in this way, and the Navajo, in particular, likely received horses (as well as sheep) on welcoming Pueblo refugees fearful of Spanish retaliation.96 However, it is now clear that the horse had already bolted free of the Spanish stable well before the Pueblo Revolt.

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Figure 3.6. The expansion of the horse in western North America post-1492. 1 Arizona; 2 Biesterfeldt (North Dakota); 3 Chihuahua; 4 Coahuila; 5 Durango; 6 Jalisco; 7 New Mexico; 8 Quebec City (Canada); 9 Tenochtitlan/Mexico City (Mexico); 10 Zacatecas (Mexico). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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As had already happened in Mexico, trade and raiding provided the two principal mechanisms by which that liberation was achieved. Apaches, for example, are known to have exchanged captives for horses in 1667. Before that both they and their Navajo cousins were raiding Spanish farms, while Utes were using horses as pack and draught animals.97 In fact, as early as the winter of 1607–08, Apaches are said to have been ‘carrying off the horse herds’ from raided settlements.98 The increasing proliferation of horses in Native American hands further south must also have contributed to their availability north of the Rı´o Grande as communities exchanged them between themselves using long-standing trading connections: in northern Mexico, for instance, the Tarahumara were almost all raising horses by 1678, while, three years later, the Indigenous inhabitants of Nueva Vizcaya (modern Chihuahua/Durango) were ‘expert’ in managing both horses and arms.99 There can thus be little doubt that ‘the spread of the horse northward into the Southwest was primarily an Indian phenomenon’, nor that it had little to do with the Pueblo uprising of 1680–92.100 Some areas nevertheless remained ‘horse-light’ even as horses were taken up all around them. As late as 1683, for example, the Mendoza– Lo´pez expedition saw no one (but did it just miss them?) with horses along the Rı´o Grande, while in 1690 the Spanish expedition sent to repulse the French explorer Rene´-Robert de La Salle found that, at the mouth of Texas’s Colorado River, people still used dogs to carry meat. And this despite the probability that virtually all the groups living on the Southern Plains had horses by this time (Figure 3.7), as demonstrated by a horse tooth (and a cow-horn core reused as a stake) from a broadly seventeenth-century occupation at the Longhorn site, northcentral Texas.101 Three groups, in particular, were instrumental in effecting the dispersal of horses and equestrian skills across the western half of North America. The Apache, who had acquired them earliest of all, used horses to enhance their ability to trade, move, and raid within an economy that combined hunting and gathering with growing maize. As I discuss in Chapter 4, they also developed new techniques of mounted warfare—modelled in part on Spanish practice—and used their increased mobility to displace earlier Jumano traders and acquire captives for Spanish mines, ranches, and domestic service. It was probably Apaches who were responsible for horses reaching as far as

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Figure 3.7. Mounted hunters pursuing bison, Meyers Spring, Texas. The speed of the chase is indicated by the backward-streaming appearance of their hair or headdresses. Bullet holes, probably fired by mid-nineteenthcentury United States soldiers, have damaged the paintings. Copyright and courtesy: Jamie Hampson.

Kansas and Nebraska by the beginning of the eighteenth century and for transmitting them to the Caddo along the Texas/Louisiana border by 1680.102 By the 1730s the Apache had largely been pushed south and southwest off the Plains, abandoning farming in favour of a way of life focused on hunting, gathering, and raiding. Primarily responsible for this were the Comanche, who eventually developed what Pekka Ha¨ma¨la¨inen has termed an ‘empire’ on the Southern Plains, founded upon ‘exchange-oriented equestrianism’:103 the export of horses, captives, and bison hides and meat in return for firearms, metal, cultivated foodstuffs, and a variety of other goods. Crucial to this was their location close to Spanish-ruled territories in New Mexico and Texas and in a part of the Plains particularly favourable for horse-rearing. But Comanches also accessed the European goods—especially firearms—introduced by

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predominantly French traders operating among Caddo, Wichita, and Pawnee farming communities along the eastern edge of the Plains. Since the networks supplying these items extended up the Mississippi/Missouri and into Canada, as well as downstream to New Orleans, they became critically important in the further spread of the horse. The Shoshone were the third pivotal group. Like Comanches, they were relatives of the Ute, from whom they probably acquired horses a little before 1700. Once obtained, horses were used to great effect against those who still lacked them until coming up against opponents armed with guns, traded from the Hudson Bay Company’s outposts in Canada.104 The Shoshone’s initial advantage also slipped away as neighbouring peoples gained horses of their own through trade or in raids, and by 1800 they had largely withdrawn into Wyoming and Idaho. Before then, however, they played a crucial role in funnelling the horse onto the Northern Plains and the Plateau, breaking the south’s seventeenth/early eighteenth-century monopoly on experiments in equestrian living.105 The Blackfeet, for example, obtained horses around 1725 and were using them on a large scale a generation later (initially to the total surprise of Hudson’s Bay Company traders).106 By that time the Cayuse and Nez Perce´, both living on the Columbia Plateau to the west of the Rocky Mountains, had also acquired them.107 The Crow, who gained a reputation as skilled horsemen comparable to that of the Nez Perce´, obtained them at almost the same time as the Blackfeet, and by 1760 horses had spread across virtually the whole of the Northern Plains.108 Maintaining viable herds this far north in the face of often severely cold winters proved difficult, however;109 only the Piegan (a Blackfoot subdivision) and the Crow had access to areas of good winter forage and a more clement climate (Plate 3).110 The Assiniboin and Plains Cree, on the other hand, ‘came to detest systematic winter care of horses as a waste of energy’, leaving them to fend for themselves and collecting survivors in spring.111 For these groups—as for many others elsewhere on the Plains—dogs remained an essential transportation technology into the nineteenth century. Larger and arguably better known than all the other Plains groups, the Lakota only gradually moved west of the Missouri to secure beaver furs for trade with Europeans and to escape gun-wielding enemies. They obtained their first horses in 1708/09 from the Omaha and

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acquired others on multiple occasions thereafter. However, only in the 1780s did they have enough mounts to become effective horseback hunters and raiders. Thereafter, they expanded rapidly, building on the weakness of their neighbours (many of whom suffered much more heavily from smallpox and other epidemics) and becoming a dominant presence in the supply of furs to American traders.112 A key aspect of Lakota expansion was their attacks on those sedentary village communities living along the Middle Missouri that depended on horticulture for much of their food, attacks motivated by the desire to deny them access to bison. The groups concerned— the Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa—only used horses on a small scale,113 but were another centre for long-distance trade networks, offering maize, tobacco, and other crops for the meat, hides, horses, and other products brought to them by more mobile, Plains-focused hunter-gatherers—a mutually beneficial exercise in complementary exchange.114 The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara were also at the convergence of two frontiers—or waves of diffusion—that are central to understanding the history of the Horse Nations of the Plains (see Chapters 4 and 5). Explored by Frank Secoy in his book Changing Military Patterns of the Great Plains Indians, these frontiers were those of the horse and the gun, the former moving in a generally northeasterly direction away from New Mexico, the latter in a southwesterly one emanating—as I have already indicated—from the fur traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company. These traders, and their competitors from Quebec who, after 1779, operated under the aegis of the Northwest Company, provide important first-hand information on the horse’s arrival and the pedestrian lifestyle that preceded it. Thus, when Pierre La Ve´rendrye and his sons visited the Mandan in 1738 they and their Assiniboin trading partners, who supplied them with muskets and metal tools, still lacked horses. The following year, however, horse users were visiting the Mandan, and by 1742/43 the latter had horses of their own.115 Further south, other village communities—including the Pawnee, Omaha, Osage, and Wichita—opted for a different strategy. Instead of keeping just a few horses and trading on others, thus enriching themselves while simultaneously retaining a horticulturally focused economy, they built up their herds, intensified their hunting, and became significantly more mobile: by the beginning of the 1800s some were spending half the year away from their ‘permanent’ villages hunting

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bison.116 The Cheyenne, coming onto the Plains much further north, represent an extreme version of this strategy, for they eventually abandoned farming and a settled life completely, becoming another of the archetypal equestrian nomads of nineteenth-century North America.117 Horses also came to be owned by many Native Americans far beyond the Plains. In what is now the southern United States their adoption followed multiple pathways, reflecting the presence here, before 1800, of British (South Carolina, Georgia, and—briefly—West Florida), Spanish (Florida), and French (Louisiana) colonies. Traders seeking deerskins were particularly influential, introducing horses to the Chickasaw and Choctaw of Mississippi and the Waxhaw and Saponi of the Carolinas before 1700, though other groups—such as the Cherokee and Creek—only acquired them in number some decades later.118 To the northeast horses were also introduced by English and French settlers, starting in Virginia in 1620, Massachusetts in 1629, and Quebec in 1665,119 but while they were ridden, used as pack animals, and bred by at least the later eighteenth century their economic and social impact remained limited.120 Today the Great Basin is home to the largest number of feral horses in North America. Here, the Ute had acquired their first horses before 1640 from Spanish New Mexico, taking them into widespread use from the end of the seventeenth century.121 More northerly Great Basin groups also adopted horses, among them the Bannock, who acquired them in the early 1700s and became close allies of the Shoshone.122 Other communities, however, like the Gosiute, spurned horses for several generations.123 Further west the Spanish brought horses into the lives of the Indigenous peoples of southern Arizona after reconquering New Mexico in the 1690s and then introduced them to California, which they began colonizing in 1769. By 1800 feral populations had established themselves in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and Yokuts and Miwok communities were taking horses from Spanish settlements for use as mounts and food, a process that rapidly accelerated.124 Connecting central California with the Great Basin in the east and the Plateau to the north, existing trade routes spread horses yet further and themselves grew in size and complexity as a result.125 It was through such routes that horses were even acquired at the very end of the 1700s by some of the communities of

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the Pacific Northwest Coast (in pockets of southern British Columbia and the Puyallup and Upper Chehalis drainages of Washington state).126 Throughout this discussion I have highlighted trade and raids as the principal means by which horses expanded across North America, and yet one of the consequences of their reintroduction was that they also moved of their own accord, through the formation, reproduction, and expansion of feral herds, free of human control and derived from animals that had escaped, strayed, or been abandoned. Today, such herds exist principally in Nevada (as a consequence of Euro-American migration to California in the late 1840s), but can also be found in many other western states. The question must thus be posed as to whether Native Americans domesticated any of these feral horses. In some cases this undoubtedly did happen, as reported by Be´nard de la Harpe of both the Caddo and the Wichita in 1719.127 But outside Texas, the Snake and Columbia Rivers of the Plateau, and (perhaps) California’s San Joaquin Valley, significant feral horse populations did not exist for much of the period with which we are concerned, and they were especially few in the Rockies and on the Northern Plains before 1800.128 By that date, of course, the Indigenous inhabitants of both regions already had horses in abundance. Yet owning horses does not make you a Horse Nation: as Colin Calloway has emphasized, while wild horses could diffuse of themselves, equestrianism needed trade to spread.129 But trade did not just move horses: it also transferred, modified, and retransmitted from one end of North America to another the knowledge of how to care for them and of the equipment needed to work with them. Moreover, it took time to build up horse numbers to the point at which a much more mobile life could begin and in at least one case—that of the Cheyenne—this was a decision that also took considerable time to take and to implement.130 Indeed, for the agriculturally committed societies of the Missouri Valley—the Mandan, Arikara, Hidatsa, Pawnee, and others—it was an option that was—to a greater or lesser degree— turned down in favour of a more limited use of horsepower, integrated within a farming economy. Thus, while the Comanche transformed themselves into equestrian nomads near the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Blackfeet and the Crow did so only from the 1730s, the Lakota some decades later than that, and the Cheyenne only from the 1780s—less than a century before that way of life was curtailed

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when they, like all the other Plains groups, finally lost their independence.131 Before that loss, however, the horse and many of the Indigenous peoples who adopted it flourished mightily. Reclaiming the animal that their distant ancestors, the continent’s first settlers, had known millennia before, they made it a central element in new patterns of existence that underwent continual reinvention and change. How they did this is the topic to which I now turn. I begin in the Southwest and the Southern Plains, the first regions north of the Rı´o Grande to which the animal that was—if not their master—then at least a treasured and highly influential companion, successfully returned.

Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Kirch (2002). Stanford and Bradley (2012); cf. Straus et al. (2005). Reich et al. (2012). Pitulko et al. (2004). Zimov et al. (2012). Meltzer (2009). Waters and Stafford (2007). Haynes (2002), Meltzer (2009). Dillehay (2000). Jenkins et al. (2012). Adovasio et al. (1998). Waters et al. (2011). Dixon (2013) notes that initial settlement of the corridor would have been difficult because it was open to people only narrowly at the north and remained geologically unstable for some time. It may, in fact, have been settled from the south, concurrent with the northward movement of bison into eastern Beringia around 13,000 years ago. 14. Fladmark (1979); Dillehay (2000). Proof of early watercraft comes from human remains from Santa Rosa Island off the Californian coast, which are directly dated to about 13,000 years ago (Waters and Stafford 2007). 15. With spears, despite my subtitle. The bow and arrow was only introduced to North America (from Siberia) or invented there late in the first millennium bc (Hildebrandt and King 2012). Independent invention seems likely in South America, but again nowhere near early enough to be relevant to the hunting of pre-Columbian horses. 16. Flannery (2001).

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17. Weinstock et al. (2005). Debate is not, however, closed on this issue, with Baskin et al. (2013) recently arguing that, because only a few fossils have thus far yielded ancient DNA, reliance on them may be artificially masking the taxonomic diversity that actually existed; they thus recognize two caballine taxa in the late Pleistocene of Texas (Equus conversidens and E. scotti), as well as two stilt-legged forms (E. francisci and the much larger E. calobatus), both of which have more elongated metatarsals than in the stilt-legged specimens from Alaska and Wyoming used in Weinstock et al.’s (2005) ancient DNA study. 18. Vilstrup et al. (2013). 19. Azzaroli (1998). 20. Weinstock et al. (2005). 21. Kooyman et al. (2001). 22. Kooyman et al. (2006). The hyoid anchors the tongue, a highly desirable source of meat. 23. Johnson (1987). 24. Yohe and Bamforth (2013). 25. Haynes (2002); Meltzer (2009). 26. Plus nineteen bird genera and at least one tree species (Grayson 2007). 27. Some form of extraterrestrial impact hovers in the wings as a hotly debated third possibility for initiating rapid climate change (Firestone et al. 2007), but has little to commend it (Holliday and Meltzer 2010). 28. Barnosky et al. (2004). 29. Faith and Surovell (2009). 30. Grayson (2007). 31. Campos et al. (2010). 32. Orlando et al. (2013). 33. Grund et al. (2012). 34. Gill et al. (2009) identified such declines in sediments from lakes in New York and Indiana. They fell below a critical 2% threshold 13,700 years ago. The implication is that megafaunal populations collapsed and became—in an ecological sense—functionally extinct centuries before their last attested presence in the fossil record. The decline in spore frequency preceded climate-led major vegetation changes and took place during a warmer climatic interval, but Feranec et al. (2011) caution that we still lack detailed knowledge of how particular spore frequencies relate to large mammal numbers and under what conditions spores preserve best. Such research is now underway (Robinson and Egan 2012). 35. Levy (2011: 55). 36. Kay (1998: 23). Grasses photosynthesize using two slightly different chemical pathways. Those known as C3 prefer cooler conditions, those using a C4 pathway a warmer climate. 37. Guthrie (2003). Wider ecosystem changes are signalled by the failure of several taxa in Alaska and the Yukon to survive the Last Glacial

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38. 39. 40. 41.

42. 43.

44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55.

56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.

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Maximum: stilt-legged horses, mastodon, ground sloth, giant beaver, etc. (Guthrie 2006). Mann et al. (2013). Guthrie (2006). Faith and Surovell (2009). Haile et al. (2009). A single, directly dated mastodon from Indiana from about 11,500 years ago suggests that this species too has a more complex extinction history than previously thought (Woodman and Athfield 2009). MacFadden (2013). Alberdi and Prado (2004) discuss South America’s fossil horses in depth. Thus overturning earlier syntheses, such as that of Pichardo (2004), who identified no fewer than eight species of Equus in North America plus four more in South America, along with three of Onohippidium and one of Hippidion! Alberdi and Prado (1993, 2004: 99–124). Weinstock et al. (2005); Orlando et al. (2008, 2009). Alberdi and Prado (2004: 161), who also note that with Equus, forms found at higher elevations (‘E. andium’) are smaller than those living at lower altitude (‘E. neogeus’ and ‘E. santaelenae’). Principally size, limb length, and the degree to which feet and hooves are or are not gracile (Alberdi and Prado 2004: 125–44). Orlando et al. (2008, 2009). Prado et al. (2011). Alberdi et al. (2001). Paunero (2009); Steele and Politis (2009). Chinchihuapi not far from Monte Verde and only slightly younger is a rare exception to this generalization (Me´ndez Melgar 2013). Borrero and Franco (1997). Borrero (2009) provides a comprehensive review. Aceituno et al. (2012). At Taima-Taima, Venezuela (Bryan et al. 1978), three sites in Brazil ˜ uagapua, Bolivia, where the (Gue´rin 1991; Faure et al. 1999), and N suggestion has been made, on frankly very weak grounds, that Equus survived into the Holocene (Coltorti et al. 2012; Capriles and AlbarracinJordan 2013). Ecuador and Peru similarly lack convincing associations of human and horse (Borrero 2009). Borrero (2008). Nun˜ez et al. (1994); Jackson et al. (2007). Borrero (2009). Borrero (2009); Martin (2013). Alberdi et al. (2001); Steele and Politis (2009). Nami and Nakamura (1995); Massone and Prieto (2004); Steele and Politis (2009); Politis et al. (2012); Martı´nez et al. (2013).

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62. Borrero (2009: 160). 63. For the ground sloth (Mylodon darwinii), for example, which occurs at several sites, including some with human activity, there are just two cutmarked bones in all Patagonia (Borrero and Martin 2012). Prates et al. (2013) provide the most comprehensive review for Argentina as a whole. 64. Politis and Messineo (2008). 65. Borrero and Franco (1997). Striking evidence of long-distance connections (either direct or via exchange) is given by a fishtail point from Paso Otero made on silicified limestone, the nearest source of which is in southern Uruguay, 400–500 km further north (Martı´nez et al. 2013). 66. Martin and Steadman (1999: 38). 67. Politis et al. (1995), though see Cione et al. (2009) for a contrary view. 68. Sa´nchez et al. (2006). 69. Borrero (2009). 70. Sua´rez and Santos (2010). 71. Prates et al. (2013). 72. Paunero (2010). 73. Ficcarelli et al. (2003) explore this possibility for coastal Ecuador where ‘Equus santaelenae’ was among the species that became extinct. Their argument that greater aridity led megafauna to abandon the mountains and concentrate in coastal refugia that then became increasingly unviable due to human settlement and further climate change is attractive, but unsupported by direct dates on the taxa concerned. 74. Farin˜a et al. (1998); Alberdi and Prado (2004). Borrero (2009) notes that the Argentine Pampas alone lost more genera than the whole of North America! 75. Janzen and Martin (1982). 76. For example, guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), guacimo (Guazuma ulmifolia), and cenizaro (Pithecellobium saman). 77. Galetti (2008); Ratter et al. (1997) make the same point for Brazil’s cerrado savannahs as a whole. 78. Donlan et al. (2006) 79. Rubenstein et al. (2006). 80. Often overlooked here are the effects that Native American huntergatherers and farmers had on New World landscapes, as well as those resulting from the recurrent epidemics (of European introduction) that then massively reduced Indigenous numbers after 1492 (e.g. Broughton 2004). 81. Californian condors (Gymnogyps californianus) survived into the Holocene only along the Pacific coast, in part by scavenging marine mammal carcasses. They are sustained in the Grand Canyon today by providing them with slaughtered cattle (Donlan et al. 2006: 666–8). 82. And also in Argentina (Novillo and Ojeda 2008). Free-ranging populations of wild donkeys (burros) also exist in the western United States.

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83. ‘King’, ‘Moor’s Head’; as remembered by Bernal Dı´az, who provides one of the fullest first-hand accounts of Corte´s’ expedition (Thomas 1993: 153). 84. Thomas (1993: 169). 85. Thomas (1993: 180). 86. Thomas (1993: 524–5). 87. Thomas (1993: 557). 88. Hemming (1983: 161, 112). 89. For this and other observations in this paragraph I follow Forbes (1959). 90. Juan Ponce de Leo´n explored the Florida coast in 1513, before unsuccessfully attempting settlement in 1521. 91. For example, Wissler (1914). 92. Haines (1938a). 93. Calloway (2003: 135). And with good reason, given the frequent acts of brutality in which the conquistadores engaged. 94. Gutie´rrez (1991: 133); Liebmann (2012). 95. The belief has persisted until recently (e.g. Flores 1991: 468). 96. Calloway (2003: 199). 97. Haines (1938a); Blackhawk (2006: 30). 98. Forbes (1959: 199). 99. Forbes (1959: 204). 100. Forbes (1959: 208). 101. Haines (1938a); Boyd and Peck (1992). 102. La Vere (1998: 61). Horses had reached groups immediately south of the Pawnee in eastern Nebraska by 1682 according to one of La Salle’s informants (Clark 2001: 8). 103. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2010: 181). 104. Rock art represents several confrontations between mounted and pedestrian warriors (e.g. Keyser 1979). 105. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2003). 106. Roe (1955: 182). 107. Painter (1946) records an account of Plateau groups obtaining their first horses from the Shoshone, perhaps around 1740/50, and the explorer David Thompson heard detailed recollections of the Blackfeet’s first encounter with mounted Shoshone warriors in the 1720s (Secoy 1953: 34–5). 108. Calloway (2003: 303). 109. Rinn (1975); Osborn (1983); Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2003). 110. Ewers (1955). 111. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2003: 851). 112. White (1978). 113. Hanson (1986) discusses this for the Hidatsa. 114. Boyd (1998). 115. Haines (1938b).

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116. Roper (1991) describes such an extended hunt for the Pawnee in 1835/ 36. 117. Moore (1999). 118. Gibson (1971: 42); Harper (1980/81). 119. Crosby (1986). 120. Roe (1955: 69; 119, note 123). 121. Blackhawk (2006). 122. Fowler and Liljeblad (1986). 123. Shimkin (1986a: 520). 124. Layton (1981); Phillips (1993). 125. Arkush (1993); Zappia (2012). 126. Suttles and Lane (1990: 499); Hajda (1990: 508). 127. La Vere (1998: 62). 128. White (1994). 129. Calloway (2003: 41). 130. Holder (1974: 91). 131. The late eighteenth-century Biesterfeldt site in North Dakota most likely belonged to the Cheyenne and has produced a few horse bones (Wood 1971). Maize was grown there, and some Cheyenne women still planted it when living much further south as late as the 1850s (Grinnell 1923 I: 253). The Plains Ojibwa—latecomers to the Northern Plains from the woodlands to the east—shifted to an equestrian lifestyle even later, in the first decades of the nineteenth century (Hanson 1998).

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4 North America I The Southwest and the Southern Plains ‘It would come about that the broad earth would be covered with horses’ (Clark 2001: 86) ‘They are so skilful in horsemanship that they have no equal’ (Athanase de Me´zie`res, with reference to the Comanche in 1770; Ha¨ma¨la¨inen 2008: 67)

Introduction Ruled from Mexico City for about a century longer than they have thus far been from Washington, New Mexico and Arizona lie in what English speakers generally term ‘the Southwest’. I follow that usage here, even though calling them the ‘Northwest’ (of first colonial New Spain and then an independent Mexico) would, for this chapter’s purposes, be more accurate, as well as emphasizing that the cultural area to which their Indigenous inhabitants belonged extended across modern Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa, and Sonora. Together with the Southern Plains, to which trade links intimately tied it before and after Spanish arrival, the Southwest constituted the cradle within which the first Horse Nations of North America took shape (Figure 4.1). I start by highlighting key aspects of the two regions’ ecologies and prehistories. Next, I look at the horse’s impact on the Southwest’s settled farming peoples, particularly the Pueblos, many of whom came under Spanish rule after 1598. Its take-up by their Athapaskan-speaking

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Figure 4.1. Map of the Southwest and the Southern Plains showing sites and localities mentioned in the text. 1 Acoma (New Mexico); 2 Awatovi (Arizona); 3 Be´xar (Texas); 4 Bolso´n de Mapimı´ (Coahuila); 5 Canyon del Muerto (Arizona); 6 Chaco Canyon (New Mexico); 7 Cochiti (New Mexico); 8 Cogdell Site (Texas); 9 Fort Sill (Oklahoma); 10 Frances Canyon (New Mexico); 11 Jemez (New Mexico); 12 Mesa Verde (Colorado); 13 Paquime´ (Chihuahua); 14 San Felipe (New Mexico); 15 Santa Clara (New Mexico); 16 Santa Fe (New Mexico); 17 Santo Domingo (New Mexico); 18 Taos (New Mexico); 19 Tolar (Wyoming); 20 Yellowstone Canyon (Texas). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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neighbours, the Apache and Navajo, gives us our first view of how more mobile societies understood and used the horse, including—in the Navajo case—the development of a distinctive pastoralist way of life. Attention then turns to the Comanche, another pivotal player in the horse’s expansion across western North America, for whom it altered not just how they secured food, but also their social organization and entire economy.1 Trade—especially trade in horses—was critical in this, and so I end by examining the horse’s arrival among some of the Comanches’ trade partners, the village communities of the eastern edge of the Southern Plains, an area to which Native farmers-with-horses from the American South moved, and were forced to move, in the early 1800s.

Before the horse The Southwest is one of the driest parts of North America (Plate 4). Its climate is also strongly seasonal, with cold winters and hot summers. Major drainages are few: the Colorado in the west and northwest, southern Arizona’s Gila, the Rı´o Grande, which snakes south through New Mexico and then along the present Texas/Mexico border, and the rivers draining into the Gulf of California from Mexico’s rugged Sierra Madre Occidental. Other major mountains include New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Range, while, across the region, plateaux, canyons, and isolated mesas punctuate the landscape, supporting forests of pine and other conifers at higher elevations. Elsewhere, desert scrub and grassland feature cacti, creosote bushes, and sagebrush. The Pecos Valley marks the western limit of the Southern Plains, which extend across most of Texas and Oklahoma, nudging north as far as the Arkansas River (Figure 4.2). Shortgrasses dominate here, particularly blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and the aptly named buffalo grass (Buchloe¨ dactyloides). They have dense roots near the surface to maximize water capture. Groves of trees line rivers, but the Llano Estacado of northern Texas is especially dry, almost desert-like, in character. Overall, rainfall increases eastward, with vegetation trending into more mixed grassland and then tallgrass prairie in which species like little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) and needle and thread (Stipa comata) are most common. Compared to areas north of the Arkansas River the Southern Plains have higher summer temperatures, a greater annual water deficit, and greater susceptibility to drought; forage

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Figure 4.2. A Southern Plains landscape: a canyon carved into the plains by the Tierra Blanca Creek, Buffalo Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in the Panhandle region of northwest Texas. Photographed by Leaflet and reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons AttributionShare Alike 3.0 Unported License ().

production is therefore lower, more variable, more unpredictable from year to year, and less nutritious in winter.2 Agriculture on any scale in the Southwest was a challenge, irrigation frequently a necessity. Despite this, farming has a long antiquity, with people growing maize from as early as 2200 bc.3 By the time the Spanish first arrived in the 1530s a wide diversity of communities based their existence on it and other crops like beans and squash, typically living in villages of often-contiguous adobe (mud-brick) or stone houses around plazas and ceremonial buildings. Chaco Canyon in New Mexico and Mesa Verde in Colorado are particularly striking examples of this way of life, both abandoned well before Spanish arrival.4 In the 1500s their descendants helped populate the communities collectively dubbed ‘Pueblos’.5 Three concentrations existed: the Hopi of northeastern Arizona; the Zun˜i and Acoma of western New Mexico; and a string of other settlements running eastward to the Rı´o Grande—Cochiti, Jemez, San Domingo, Santa Ana, Taos, and so on. Across the region in southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert were other farmers: the Pima, who maintained extensive irrigation systems, and their Papago cousins,

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who used flash floods to grow crops or—in the driest areas—subsisted solely from hunting and gathering. Further south in Sonora and Chihuahua farming was essential in the economies of other Native peoples who mostly lived in dispersed settlements (rancherı´as) rather than Pueblo-like towns. Prominent among these groups were the Opata, the Yaqui, the Mayo, and— well within the mountains—the Tarahumara. Seri hunter-gathererfishers lived along the Sonoran coast, while east of the Sierra Madre in Chihuahua, Durango, and Coahuila other groups, like the Tobosos, practised varying degrees of foraging and mobility, tempered, in some cases, by limited horticulture. But just like north of the Rı´o Grande, what the Spanish encountered was far from the sum total of Native historical experience: Paquime´ in Chihuahua, for example, which was abandoned around 1450, had been the centre of a regional polity covering several thousand square kilometres that traded macaws (for sacrifice and feathers) and shells into Arizona and New Mexico, sending the turquoise received in exchange as far south as the cities of the Valley of Mexico.6 Relative newcomers to all this when the horse returned to the Southwest were those Athapaskan speakers who emerge into history under the names ‘Apache’ and ‘Navajo’. Linguistic analysis suggests that their ancestors diverged from other Athapaskan speakers in northwestern Canada over a thousand years ago and they probably arrived in the Southwest in, or even before, the fourteenth century, via the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado, developing an initial focus in the Four Corners area where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet; some may also have moved south along the western edge of the Plains.7 By the early 1500s many combined hunting and gathering with a degree of horticulture within a seasonal cycle of movement. They likely included the ‘Querechos’ met by Coronado on the Llano Estacado in 1541. Subsisting principally on bison, the hides of which gave them tents and clothes, and using dogs to carry their possessions, the Querechos traded with Pueblo villages, exchanging dried meat and bison and deer hides for maize and cotton blankets.8 Archaeologically, the Tierra Blanca complex of the southern Llano Estacado (around 1450–1650) has the right stone tools (emphasizing hunting and hide-processing), plus evidence of trade with the Southwest (Pueblo ceramics, Olivella shell beads, obsidian, and turquoise), for a match.9

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Coronado’s expedition encountered several other groups before turning back on reaching the fabled (and, to gold-hungry Spaniards, thoroughly disappointing) settlement of Quivira in Kansas. The ‘Teyas’, who may have practised a degree of horticulture along with hunting and gathering, also traded with Pueblo settlements, sometimes wintering at them. A possible archaeological correlate is the Garza complex of the Texas Panhandle, whose makers hunted bison, possibly engaged in some farming, and certainly traded with the Southwest. Both it and, perhaps more convincingly, southwestern Oklahoma’s Wheeler complex, are linked to Caddoan speakers, like the Wichita.10 Other Caddoans lived to their east and southeast, but only along the Red and Ouachita Valleys did Caddo chiefdoms survive the disruption wrought by European-introduced epidemics in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Another key player were the Jumanos, a label the Spanish applied to a wide range of communities in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Farming, hunting, and gathering, they stood out for their role as traders, west into New Mexico and east to the Caddo. Important in the initial dispersal of the horse and owning large numbers of them by the 1680s/1690s,11 their communities and commercial networks collapsed thereafter, weakened by recurrent droughts, disease outbreaks, and Apache attacks.12 The trade ties linking these various Southern Plains groups to Pueblo villagers in New Mexico had intensified considerably after 1450 when climate change may have rendered farming less reliable and bison more plentiful. But another important reason was physiological: humans cannot digest large amounts of lean meat without fat or carbohydrate to help metabolize it, and if they persist in doing so they risk starvation. With plant foods scarce and bison low in fat in winter, trade for agricultural produce provided one way out of the nutritional deficiencies that would otherwise have affected bisondependent hunters, a point I discuss again later with reference to the Comanche.13 In the mid-1500s, however, when the events covered in this chapter begin, the latter had not yet differentiated from other Shoshonean speakers and still lived far to the north. So too, despite speaking a language related to those of several Pueblo groups, did the Kiowa, who later became the Comanches’ close allies.14

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The horses of Santiago The Pueblo peoples of the Southwest are not obvious candidates for inclusion among those Native Americans who adopted an equestrian lifestyle. Horses nevertheless made a strong impression on them from the start: at Acoma in 1540 people rubbed the sweat from Coronado’s animals on themselves as a source of supernatural blessing.15 Encouraged—with good reason—to fear horses, the Pueblos were taught to care for them when the Spanish colonized New Mexico after 1598, but for most of the seventeenth century they were forbidden to keep any of their own, a rule relaxed after the reconquest of 1692 in order to help fight off Athapaskan raiders.16 Horses and other European-introduced animals found uses in several Pueblo communities, with the Hopi of Awatovi, Arizona, particularly receptive.17 Though few in number, they were used to tend cattle and thresh wheat (another Spanish introduction), while at both Jemez and Santa Clara men rode them on autumnal bison hunts, drying the meat into jerky and bringing it back on horseback. Horses also found a place in religion, notably at Taos, of all the Pueblo towns the one most in contact with the Plains (Figure 4.3).18 Particularly widespread was the horse’s association with Santiago Matamoros, St James the Moorslayer, revered by the conquistadores for his aid on the battlefield and his patronage of all horsemen.19 Notwithstanding the violence with which Catholicism was propagated before 1680 and the explicit attempts to destroy it during the Pueblo Revolt, syncretic forms of religious practice that mixed traditional and Christian beliefs and rituals took hold among many communities, including the depiction of horses on church fac¸ades (Figure 4.4).20 For some, Santiago was thus transformed into a defender, celebrated on his feast day (25 July) and impersonated in ritual dances featuring a white hobbyhorse, a celebration that continued into the twentieth century at Cochiti and Santo Domingo (Figure 4.5). Rooster pulls, in which riders competed to gain possession of a live rooster, also honoured the saint.21 At Santa Ana he was thought to have killed both his own horse and the cockerel: the former’s blood gave rise to all other horses, the latter’s to domesticated plants and animals, of which he thus also became patron.22 Ridden intensely in these rituals, the horses’

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Figure 4.3. A view of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, taken in 1880 by J. K. Hillers (1998.163.11). Copyright and courtesy: The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

Figure 4.4. The Catholic church at Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico. Two horses are painted either side of the door on the front wall behind the balcony. Photographed by John Candelario (c.1940). Courtesy: Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), negative number 165913.

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Figure 4.5. The arrival of Santiago (Saint James) at the Feast of St Stephen, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, 1886. Note the man at centre-right costumed as a horse and rider. Photographed by James Wharton, this image forms part of the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California and is reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons as being in the public domain ().

sweat, and the rooster’s blood, acted as blessings to secure rain for crops. Since rooster pulls were male events, they also helped counter missionary attacks on male powers in rainmaking and hunting. For many Pueblos riding itself also long remained an exclusively male preserve, with women discouraged from even touching horses—a sharp contrast to the situation among the Athapaskan speakers living all around them.23 Before the Spanish reached New Mexico they had necessarily established their rule over much, though not all, of the lands to its south. Preceded by epidemics that ravaged Indigenous numbers, missionaries took the lead in extending Christianity, submission to the Spanish Crown, and European technical and agricultural innovations

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to the peoples living in and around the Sierra Madre. Central to this were attempts to ‘reduce’ them into large, aggregated settlements around the churches that the missionaries had built. Contradicting both traditional settlement patterns and beliefs, this strategy met with limited success, even when backed by force: many Tarahumaras, for example, retreated into more inaccessible areas, while Yaquis and Mayos retained considerable autonomy as organized communities. Common to them all was the adoption of livestock as new sources of meat and textiles, and of horses to move and herd them.24 To judge from the example of the Tobosos, however, few of the more mobile groups took to horses, except for meat. As a result, they became vulnerable to attack, dispersal, and absorption by those who did, principally Apaches and Comanches.25 Of the three areas of the Southwest where farming was practised, Spanish rule came last to southern Arizona. From 1687 the Jesuits introduced livestock among the Pima, but permanently staffed missions took decades to develop, interrupted by armed resistance and the Jesuits’ own expulsion from Spain’s empire in 1767. Significant introduction of European forms of agriculture—including wheat, sheep, and cattle—therefore only took place in the later eighteenth century. Horses again found their principal uses in transport and herding, but excavations of archaeological deposits dating to 1795–1820 at the Misio´n de San Agustı´n de Tucso´n produced a few equid remains (most of them definitely or probably horse rather than donkey or mule), including a cut-marked carpal that hints at post-mortem processing and thus consumption.26 But for none of these farming communities did horses radically transform their lives. The first peoples north of the Rı´o Grande for whom that claim can be made were the Apache and the Navajo. Valuing horses as ‘something by means of which people live well’, their story is the one I now follow.27

Singing for horses The deities of the Navajo kept horses in great number long before people had them and both Sun and Moon rode them across the heavens. But when the Twin War Gods asked Sun for weapons to fight the monsters devouring all living beings they preferred to accept lightning instead. Horses and other livestock thus came first into the

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possession of Europeans. Only later did Turquoise Boy, the elder Twin, succeed, after much searching, in obtaining the stone and shell fetishes needed to create the Navajo’s first horses, which were then sung into life by his mother, Changing Woman.28 Several different versions of this myth exist. Some details suggest that Turquoise Boy found the fetishes in the very area where the Navajo lived until the end of the eighteenth century; others may recall their acquisition from the Jemez Pueblos, many of whom found sanctuary with the Navajo after the Pueblo Revolt. Other Athapaskan groups (such as the Jicarilla, Lipan, and Mescalero Apaches) attribute the gift to a mythical hero, needing little or no aid to achieve his purpose, but however obtained the horse became an integral and much valued part of Navajo and Apache life. The Navajo first definitively appear in Spanish sources in 1627. At that time they were farmers, probably living in the San Juan Basin where New Mexico abuts Colorado. Known to the Navajo as Dine´tah (‘Among the people’) this, their traditional homeland, has deep soils, good for growing maize, and is still recalled as the place where Changing Woman, the mother of the Twin War Gods, was born (Figure 4.6). Trade with—and assimilation of—Pueblo communities introduced the Navajo to sheep and the skills needed to make woollen textiles before 1700, while bones and artefacts recovered from late seventeenth/early eighteenth-century sites confirm Spanish records that they also had horses.29 Importantly, sheep were a portable, not just an additional, source of food. Along with defensive stone structures (pueblitos) located on cliffs or rocky outcrops like Frances Canyon, New Mexico, sheep thus offered Navajos greater security against Spanish or Ute raids. Though little hard material evidence survives (spindle whorls, loom fittings carved into stone, some earthen dams, etc.), by 1750 the Navajo kept substantial flocks and, in the face of enemy attacks, were relocating further south and west. Less than two generations later all were accomplished herders and weavers who combined sheep-raising with growing maize, beans, squash, and peaches in a cycle of transhumant movement aimed at exploiting seasonal differences in the availability of forage and water. Horses were essential to the new economy, allowing people to disperse, travel, and trade more widely, and to move their animals as needed (Figure 4.7). Apaches followed different trajectories: those in New Mexico obtained horses in the early 1600s, those further west and east by and

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Figure 4.6. The landscape of the northern corner of Dine´tah, the Navajo homeland, photographed near Mesa Verde, southeastern Colorado. Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

from the 1680s.30 As with the Navajo, horses made it easier to trade and exploit resources over a wider area. For many, including the Mescalero, Jicarilla, and Lipan, this allowed them to hunt bison on the open grasslands while maintaining a horticultural economy along river valleys. Such groups used their increased mobility to expand over the Texas Plains and north through Oklahoma and perhaps beyond.31 Typically, settlements were occupied from spring until harvest time, followed by mobile pursuit of bison in autumn and winter. This novel combination of farming and mounted bison-hunting may have produced a significant population increase, helping Apaches to displace (and in some cases assimilate) the Jumanos, who had previously dominated trade on the Southern Plains.32 With the Jumanos out of the picture, Apaches replaced them as the Spaniards’ major trading partners until themselves supplanted by the Comanche. Having acquired horses, Apaches and Navajos had to learn how to ride and care for them properly. According to the White Mountain

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Figure 4.7. A Navajo man uses his horse to herd his sheep and goats, photographed near St Michaels, Arizona, by Simeon Schwemberger, August 1906. Copyright: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (NAA INV 03259900).

Apache, Sun gave the elder Twin God, Naiyenezgani, a saddle, bridle, rope, and blanket with instructions for their use, but folktales make clear that many skills may literally have been made up on the hoof.33 Early on, bridles made of braided rawhide, buckskin, or twisted horsehair were used, with metal bits taken or traded from Spanish/ Mexican sources; the silverwork for which modern Navajo are famed only began in the 1870s, although iron bridles were made two decades before this. Saddles were of two types: one, stuffed with grass, recalls the pads and packsaddles that Coronado saw on Querecho dogs, while the other, made from cottonwood, was modelled on Spanish originals and fastened with a hardwood ring or woollen rope. Apaches used animal skins or traded blankets to cover the saddle, but Navajo women wove saddle blankets of their own that were ancestors of today’s commercial rugs (Figure 4.8);34 saddles and harness, on the other hand, were made only by men. In a pattern common across western North America—and quite distinct from normal European practice—horses

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Figure 4.8. Navajo saddle blanket. This finely woven example in red, black, blue, and white wool over a wool warp was collected by Mrs Emily Cushing, wife of early anthropologist Frank Cushing, in Arizona. It dates to between 1850 and 1870. Copyright: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (E221409-0).

were mounted from the right, perhaps because Native Americans did not have to contend with the impediment of the swords the Spanish wore.35 Completing the essentials needed to ride, stirrups were typically made from wood, horseshoes from hide (mostly bison) tied over the hoof with string, though horses were often left unshod over dry, grassy ground. This basic equestrian toolkit finds many similarities in the equipment used by other Horse Nations on North America’s Plains and beyond. Like them, the Apache and Navajo also took pains to beautify their mounts. Painted, with ribbons in tails and manes, decorated with

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eagle, hawk, or hummingbird feathers for swiftness, and protected by other amulets, their animals reflected the splendour of the original supernatural horses kept by Sun. Known archaeologically from Apache sites in southern New Mexico,36 Spanish-derived metal bells on manes, bridles, and spurs added sound to this splendour.37 Metal bits with tinklers hanging from them are also represented in rock art. Wellknown examples include sites in Chaco Canyon and Canyon del Muerto,38 but horses also constitute a major theme of recent paintings further afield, for example in Texas’ Pecos Valley and northern Coahuila.39 I discuss rock art at length in Chapter 5, but a particularly striking scene from northern Mexico’s Bolso´n de Mapimı´ is worth noting here: known as the Jinetes sin Cabezas (Headless Riders), it lies inside a canyon at San Antonio de Alamos, an oasis near the centre of this extremely arid landscape that served as both refuge and raiding launch pad for numerous Native Americans from the late sixteenth to late nineteenth centuries. Apaches and Comanches made particular use of the area and the panel in question shows around ninety decapitated Spanish riders in official costume, a dramatic warning to those who resisted the Native peoples (Plate 5).40

Fighting on horses Relations with Spain, and subsequently with Mexico, could also be peaceful, even if prisoners featured highly among the commodities exchanged, but before being traded for more horses at Santa Fe and other Spanish settlements, captives had to be taken. Here too the horse changed things, with the Apache developing a wholly new style of warfare employing short bows, sabre-tipped lances, and small leather shields, the latter replacing large body shields able to cover two men at once.41 For greatest security a metal bit and stirrups, plus a highpommelled, high-cantled saddle modelled on those the Spanish used, were also employed. With Spanish settlements long its only source, this inevitably made metal another sought-after trade item. Also characteristic of seventeenth/early eighteenth-century Apache mounted warfare was their use of armour, made not from metal, but from leather. Spanish documents and the oral histories of other Indigenous groups, such as the Ponca, recount how warriors wore skin armour, brightly painted in a variety of colours.42 Horses too were

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protected, their breasts and sides covered by overlapping pieces of rawhide onto which sand was glued to create a rough surface to ward off the penetration of enemy arrows (Figure 4.9). Leather armour was used in the Southwest even before the Spanish arrived, but a shortage of metal and the frequently low penetrative power of Indigenous weapons saw it replace plate armour among the Spanish themselves in the 1600s. Apache armour, therefore, probably drew upon both Native and European military traditions. Armour of this kind helped Apaches to raid widely across the region: one sign is the emergence, by the early 1700s if not before, of larger, fortified, and frequently paired villages among one of their targets, the Wichita.43 The same mounted warfare package was also quickly taken up across the Plains: Caddoan groups in eastern Oklahoma, including the Wichita, were using it by 1690, the Pawnee in Kansas by 1719, and both the Comanche and the Shoshone within a few years of that. Indeed, Shoshone warriors still employed multilayered leather armour bonded with glue and sand for themselves and their horses when they met American explorers Lewis and Clark in 1805. Only when guns became both common and more accurate did armour eventually disappear.44

Figure 4.9. Reconstructed drawing of a horse wearing rawhide body armour, Meyers Spring, Texas. Like Figure 3.7, this image is part of a rich body of rock art at this site, just north of the Rı´o Grande, but many of the paintings there are now badly damaged. This reconstruction draws in part on a watercolour painted by Forrest Kirkland in the 1930s. Copyright: Solveig Turpin.

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Keeping people safe and horses holy Created by the gods in the very first Blessing Way, the core Navajo healing ceremony, horses were their supreme gift to people. Unsurprisingly, they were therefore the principal booty that Athapaskan warriors sought in raids, a desire that Laverne Clark characterizes as not just an economic necessity (to ensure that everyone had sufficient horses to move themselves, their goods, and their flocks),45 but also a sacred mission to secure ‘the things by which men lived’. Following the example and advice of the deity who had first brought them horses, warriors complied with a multitude of ritual observances so that raiders and horses would return safely: prayers and chants; decorating shields and shirts with symbolically powerful images; restrictions on food and drink intake; and the use of altered, sacred forms of speech while in enemy territory. Navajo leaders also had to know at least one raiding ceremony, which drew on the power of supernatural beings to guarantee invulnerability, safe passage, and protection from enemy witchcraft. Their Apache counterparts used the power of guardian horse spirits to safeguard their companions and successfully take horses.46 Horses had to be protected on other ventures too, for example when used as pack animals or to hunt (Plate 6).47 The songs sung on such occasions were part of a much larger body of sacred knowledge applied to protecting and increasing their number. Blessing Way ceremonies could, for instance, ensure the increase of horse herds as well as protecting them from witchcraft or sickness. Various medicines could also forestall the dangers that witches posed to horses and other livestock, while singing over the animals would itself bring them good fortune.48 Moreover, virtually all Navajo, and not just healers, kept horse fetishes inside their medicine pouches, the physical association with sacred pollen, stones, and shells protecting their real horses from harm.49 As well as being healed, horses could also heal, particularly injuries that they themselves had caused, and even when that injury was in retaliation for mistreatment. Apache horses might even be present at the ritual that was then undertaken. With a much wider remit, Navajo Blessing Way ceremonies ask Sun’s turquoise horse to restore a person’s health, while water horses (which have the heads and hooves of

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cattle) are invoked to cure illnesses specifically associated with snakes, water, or lightning. The same spirits are also addressed to secure rain: female water horses producing gentle showers, male ones more violent downpours. Conversely, horses can also carry out the evil intentions of witches, with sickness entering the body in the form of horsehair ‘arrows’ that healers must then suck out.50 Given all these associations and the high status accorded horses in myth, ritual, and daily life, it is not surprising that horse trappings like bridles could be ceremonial articles nor that horses were the standard payment made to Apache shamans and Navajo healers.51 Horses also featured in rites of passage, rituals carried out at important transitional moments during a person’s life. At birth a boy’s umbilical cord was tied to their tails or manes (Navajo) or buried beneath their tracks (Apache) to ensure mastery over and care of his future horses, practices that continued at least into the 1990s. When a girl enters puberty sacred horse songs are still sung to bless and promote the fertility of people and animals, while among the Jicarilla Apache horses were also once involved in boys’ initiations. Later in life, they formed the traditional gifts given by the groom’s family to the bride’s to seal and legitimize marriages, though this practice ceased within decades of confinement to reservations. The horse’s role at funerals, on the other hand, persisted into the 1980s and involved the deceased’s favourite animal, the one used to carry him and his possessions to the gravesite, being killed and left there or nearby. One reason for this was so that the rider would create a good impression on arriving in the hereafter, another (motivated by an intense fear of ghosts) to forestall his return for his still-living property.52 Alternatives existed where it was impractical to kill all of someone’s horses: Mescaleros trimmed their tails and gave them away to non-relatives,53 while Naishans handed the horses to the deceased’s brother, who used them only in battle in the hope that their deaths would honour the dead man.54 Where the dead person lacked a horse, a saddle blanket might be interred with him instead, though the borrowed horse was still washed and had its tail and mane cut to purify it.55 As we shall see, remarkably similar procedures were followed elsewhere in the Americas, not least among those who supplanted the Apache on the Plains: the Comanche.

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Lords of the Southern Plains Nothing could have prepared the Comanche for what they would become when they first acquired horses in the late seventeenth century and yet within a hundred years they had carved out a dominant position in the politics and economics of the Southern Plains, treating Spanish governors as equals and later raiding to within 200 km of Mexico City. Likely the very first North American society to take fully to an equestrian life, they perfected the use of horses for hunting bison to the point where they invite serious consideration as pastoralists, rather than hunter-gatherers. As we shall see, however, success came at a high price as intensive horse-herding, trade, and bison-hunting may have overtaxed grassland ecologies to undercut the very basis of their newfound existence. For that reason, Wallace and Hoebels’ famous 1952 book, from which the heading of this section derives, should perhaps have a question mark appended to it. To understand the Comanche and those who became their allies, we need to learn more about the environment in which they eventually lived. This done, we can better compare their situation with that of the more northerly Plains groups discussed in Chapter 5. Three issues demand attention: obtaining enough food for horses; securing a nutritionally balanced diet for people; and maintaining sustainable bison numbers. In good conditions, a horse needs some 9 kg of grass per day. A byno-means large encampment of 250 people with just 1,000 horses (the ratio reported for early nineteenth-century Comanches) would thus get through about three hectares of pasture every twenty-four hours. In practice, because horses choose to move on rather than eat less preferred grasses this is an underestimate. In droughts much larger areas are needed: if annual rainfall drops from 500 to 250 mm, yields on the shortgrass plains can fall by up to 85 per cent, necessitating a sixfold increase in accessible fodder.56 One consequence was to make the search for pasture a prime determinant of people’s seasonal and annual movements. Winter was particularly problematic as horses could suffer significant weight loss and slower maturation when forage was least available and least nutritious.57 The solution was to spend winter in those valleys

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best suited for providing horses with food. There, tall bunch grasses like side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) and big and little bluestem (Andropogon gerardii and Schizachyrium scoparium) could be found in quantity, but since all lose protein in winter, supplements of willow (Salix spp.) and cottonwood (Populus deltoides) bark and twigs were essential. Conveniently, the same locations also offered shelter from penetrating winds and fuel for people’s fires.58 A 100 km stretch of the Arkansas River in eastern Colorado known as the Big Timbers provided an ideal site for such winter camps (Figure 4.10). Comanche seizure of this region from the Apache, whom they finally drove still further south, beyond the Canadian River, by 1730, gave them control of the crucial resource base needed

Figure 4.10. The Picketwire Canyon, Purgatoire River, Comanche National Grassland, southeastern Colorado. This area, into which Southern Cheyennes moved around 1830, lies close to Bent’s Fort, an early Euro-American trading post on the Southern Plains and just upstream of the Big Timbers of the Arkansas River, a critical wintering location for the region’s equestrian nomads. Photographed by cm195902 and reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License ().

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to complete their transition to equestrianism, releasing them from having to use dogs as beasts of burden.59 Once taken, the area remained in their hands and those of their allies until Euro-American travellers, settlers, and hunters devastated bison numbers and grazing alike.60 People, as well as horses, faced difficulties in surviving on the Plains in winter. As we have seen, in the sixteenth century (and no doubt before) one solution to the scarcity of wild plant foods and the low fat content of bison was to trade for maize with farmers, such as the Pueblo groups of the Southwest. But there were also others: focusing on fat-rich animals or body parts when exploiting kills; storing body fat by gorging on bison kills, something observed by Europeans on several occasions; preserving edible fat in the form of pemmican (a meat/ berry/fat mixture that could keep for years); and engaging in limited horticulture, the strategy practised by the Apache. Of these possibilities, historians studying the Comanche have emphasized the first, the trade in maize and other foodstuffs, which was, they argue, ‘crucial to survival’, an absolute necessity for avoiding the ‘chronic nutritional imbalance’ that a high protein diet would otherwise have caused.61 And yet, in the many trading encounters with Spain’s New Mexico outposts described by historian Thomas Kavanagh, there is next to no mention of maize. It is true enough that some 10,000 litres of it were dispatched to the Comanche in 1787–89 to relieve drought and foster good relations, but what was traded seems principally to have been cloth, blankets, metal tools, tobacco, body paint, and—when available—guns and related equipment. Though foodstuffs are certainly more evident in historical sources by the 1830s when Comanchero traders, using carts as well as pack animals, made annual trips into Comanche territory, it seems unsatisfactory to suggest that, ‘maize is rarely mentioned in the contemporary accounts of Comanche-Taos trade . . . because it was so commonplace’.62 If there were indeed as many as 40,000 Comanche living on the Southern Plains around 1780 then the quantities of maize needed to offer more than just dietary variety would surely have been enormous, straining Indigenous transport capacity.63 Moreover, the archaeologically demonstrable fact that people lived on the Southern Plains for millennia before agriculture even developed clearly shows that they could survive and flourish—albeit perhaps less easily—in the absence of any trade in cultivated foodstuffs.64

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Two other possibilities should be considered. Both arise from the experience of Sarah Ann Horn, held captive by the Comanche in the 1830s, who lamented how she was expected to subsist on a combination of horsemeat and berries for days on end.65 The first is that historians have underestimated the role of wild plants, not just berries, but also tubers and roots. Certainly on the Northern Plains so-called ‘prairie turnips’ (Psoralea esculenta) were a major foodstuff, harvested in early summer and dried or turned into flour for winter use; less palatable species like the related P. argophylla (‘big root’) were also eaten in times of need, and both prairie turnips and another tuber, the American groundnut (Apios americana), were sometimes transplanted to other locations, even beyond their normal range.66 While compared to their Shoshone relatives, the Comanche may have lost much of their botanical lexicon, they definitely did not ‘[stop] actively using plants’.67 In fact, ethnobotanical studies show that they ate a wide variety of species, storing some (such as persimmons, plums, grapes, prickly pear, pecans, and black walnuts) for winter use. Note, too, that the name of one of their largest subdivisions (the Yamparika) means ‘Eaters of the yampa root’ (Perideridia gairdneri), a source of high-energy carbohydrate widely consumed across western North America.68 Archaeological research and plant use practices among other Southern Plains groups confirm this picture.69 Sarah Ann also remarked on the Comanche predilection for horsemeat. Recall that in Chapter 2 we saw that this is not only rich in protein, but also in some of the fatty acids essential to human health that are rare in the meat of ruminants.70 Might eating horsemeat have offered an additional nutritional supplement, perhaps when bisonhunting failed to produce sufficient sustenance? The reliability of historical observations for regular horse-eating is contested,71 but this suggestion usefully highlights a major gap in our understanding of Southern Plains hunting societies, for we have little direct evidence of what people ate and how they lived on a daily basis for most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With detailed, long-term historical observations few in number, there is thus great need for archaeological research that might focus on identifying and sampling past campsites, especially large winter aggregations in areas such as the upper Arkansas Valley, in the hope of recovering evidence (from bones and perhaps also organic residues on any pottery or stone tools in the case of earlier sites) of what exactly people ate.

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Bison were, nevertheless, the mainstay of Comanche subsistence, just as they were for other Plains hunters, and it is thus relevant to ask how many were present on the Southern Plains. This is, as one might imagine, no easy task given the species’ near-extinction in the late 1800s and the lack of truly free-ranging herds today, but attempts can be made. One of the most comprehensive studies, that by Dan Flores, suggests that the region could have supported a median figure of about 8.2 million, a little less than 30 per cent of a total of perhaps 30 million for the Great Plains as a whole and broadly the same as William Brown’s estimate of 7 million for Comanche territory alone.72 These figures undoubtedly fluctuated considerably from year to year, depending on changing patterns of rainfall, temperature, and predation. Drought, for example, which was a recurrent danger, saw numbers drop sharply. Where acute, it could prevent aggregation into summer-breeding herds, necessitate herd relocations, and even initiate long-term population declines. Severe winters that made it impossible to reach grass buried beneath deep snow or simply impaired the animals’ condition beyond the levels needed to cope with intense cold and a lack of nutritious food also caused significant mortality. The climate changes associated with the Little Ice Age, the generally cooler conditions that prevailed globally between the mid-fifteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries, do not seem to have dramatically affected this picture: while annual tree-ring variations show that winters were colder (by up to 3˚C on the northeastern Plains, but less in the south and west), they also counsel against any substantial change in annual precipitation. At most, rainfall on the Southern Plains may have dropped by about 2 per cent relative to a twentieth-century baseline, sufficient only to change forage production by roughly the same amount. Such changes as there were, then, were probably less significant than ‘normal’ year-to-year variability in precipitation and temperature.73 But were there not always far more bison than Indigenous peoples needed? To answer this question several points must be made. First, and excluding the killing of bison to acquire furs, hides, and meat for trade, Plains hunters probably needed six to seven bison per person per year for their own food, clothing, and shelter.74 Moreover, some kills were demonstrably not exploited to the full.75 Modern data suggest that winter cold, disease, accidents, and other natural causes would probably have resulted in annual losses of 3–9 per cent of total herd numbers, while carnivore (mostly wolf) predation presumably

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removed many others, especially calves. Quite how many bison this left available for people remains uncertain, but hunters’ preferences for cows of between two and five years old, the meat of which was tenderer and the hides easier to process, introduces another variable since their removal reduced the number of females available to reproduce. All told, Flores suggests that up to 574,000 animals could have been taken in a year.76 We enter into yet murkier territory when trying to estimate human numbers on the Southern Plains, for while the Comanche and their Kiowa and Naishan allies registered at reservations in 1877 barely exceeded 3,000, this figure certainly understates their size a century or so earlier, before the toll taken by droughts, warfare, and starvation in the immediately preceding decades and the more spread-out effects of recurrent epidemics, of which the 1779–82 smallpox pandemic was especially destructive. Drawing on those historical sources that provide estimates of Comanche numbers, Ha¨ma¨la¨inen suggests that their total population had reached as high as 40,000 when that epidemic began.77 If so, then at that time Comanches alone needed to kill a minimum of 240–320,000 bison every year. And this is where the horse comes in, for the diets of horse and bison overlap by about 80 per cent and the two species also compete directly for water. In other words, the more horses that were present on the Southern Plains, the fewer bison. Numbers are again difficult to estimate, but by 1840 there may have been as many as 2 million wild and— perhaps more reliably—250,000–500,000 domestic horses living there. Feral cattle, which were present in southern Texas from the early 1700s, also competed with bison for grass and water, but their effect was compounded by their consumption of mesquite pods (Prosopis spp.) when grass was scarce: unable to digest the seeds, they deposited them wherever they went, converting grassland productive for bison into inedible mesquite-ridden scrub that also impeded bison movements.78 Even allowing for horse and cattle numbers being larger by 1840 than in 1780, the total sustainable annual offtake of bison at that earlier date must already have been significantly impacted.79 In bad years, when drought or cold wreaked havoc with grassland productivity and bison numbers, the number that could be killed without initiating population decline must have been lower still.80 If Comanche numbers were as large as Ha¨ma¨la¨inen suggests, then by 1780 perhaps they were already straining at the ecological margins of the Southern Plains

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environment. Ironically, the smallpox pandemic that followed, which may have killed up to half their population, may also have returned human and bison numbers closer to equilibrium, postponing social and demographic collapse into the 1840s and beyond. With these ideas in mind, it is now time to take a more detailed look at the history of ‘the Comanche Empire’.

Comanche imperialism Comanches first enter Spanish records in 1706 when, allied with the Ute, they threatened the pueblo of Taos in New Mexico. Moving south from the general area of Wyoming, they sought ‘game and ponies’.81 Rock engravings there at the Tolar site show how they perceived themselves: mounted warriors sporting headdresses bearing upward-pointing horns and armed with shield and lance (Figure 4.11).82 Other engravings of armoured horses in southeastern Colorado and central Kansas may reflect a fairly rapid Comanche spread east across the grasslands of the Arkansas River Basin.83 A likely reason to create such images was to seek spiritual help before a fight, something that was frequently successful to judge from what happened after the Comanche arrival on the Southern Plains. We have seen that survival there required access to wooded river valleys in winter, but the Comanche found them occupied by Apaches, who used them to grow maize, beans, and squash. That, however, was their downfall since, tethered to their garden plots, Apaches could keep only limited numbers of horses for fear of exhausting and degrading the available pasture. Opting to secure the carbohydrates they needed in other ways, including trade, Comanches could be more mobile and, within just a few decades, had effectively driven the Apache from the Plains. Larger horse herds and access to French firearms obtained in trade with Wichita, Kansa, and other farmers to their east secured their victory. Retreating south, Apaches, who had next to no guns because of a Spanish ban on their sale to Native Americans, were forced into more arid areas where farming was more difficult. Most shifted their economy to one founded upon hunting, gathering, and raiding. Spanish and Pueblo settlements were repeatedly targeted for both horses and cattle, some eaten, others traded back to other parts of Spain’s colonial empire in the Southwest.84 Though a period of relative peace ensued for

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Figure 4.11. Rock engraving of a horned Comanche warrior riding a horse, Tolar, Wyoming. Copyright: Richard Collier (Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources) and courtesy too of Larry Loendorf.

some forty years beginning around 1790, intensive raiding resumed when food rations previously supplied by Spain were cut off by an independent Mexico. They continued off and on until the American military forced all Apaches onto reservations in the 1870s and 1880s. Replacing Apaches as the dominant force for trade on the Southern Plains by the 1740s, Comanches became middlemen in networks that connected them with New Mexico on the one side and (generally via Wichita, Pawnee, and Caddo farmers rather than directly) French Louisiana on the other (Figure 4.12). Apache captives flowed along these routes, along with bison hides and meat, the latter directed particularly

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Figure 4.12. Map of the eighteenth/early nineteenth-century Comanchecentred Plains/Southwest/Southeast trading system (after Ha¨ma¨la¨inen 1998, 2008). 1 Atlanta (Texas); 2 Belcher (Arkansas); 3 Fatherland (Mississippi); 4 Fish Hatchery (Louisiana); 5 Lasley Vore Site (Oklahoma); 6 Longest Site (Oklahoma); 7 Menard (Arkansas); 8 Mobile (Alabama); 9 Nacogdoches (Texas); 10 Natchitoches (Louisiana); 11 New Orleans (Louisiana); 12 Taos (New Mexico). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

towards New Mexico in return for horses and the wide range of goods. Since Spanish policy long forbade the sale of firearms, the Comanche largely obtained them from the east, along with metal tools, foodstuffs, and other items.85 Captives, horses, and mules were the major items offered in exchange. Comanche camps on the Upper Arkansas Valley were accessible to all their partners and developed into major trade fairs linking the Upper Missouri Valley with New Mexico, New

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Orleans to the Northern Plains, but Comanches were not just commercial intermediaries. Geopolitically they held a crucial position between competing European powers: Spain to their southwest and France to their east. Though this changed after New Orleans passed under Spanish control in 1763, their role as middlemen continued until the middle of the next century, now between Spain (later Mexico) and Britain (later the United States). Always alert to this situation, Comanches skilfully played off one party against another, constantly manoeuvring to secure the greatest possible degree of autonomy and advantage. Well-established links between their own bands transferred goods from one end of Comanche territory (or Comancherı´a; by now including much of Texas) to another. The scale of Comanche transactions was substantial, the numbers of animals they kept enormous. Both attracted other groups south to seek access to them. Early arrivals were the Kiowa and their Athapaskanspeaking Naishan (Kiowa Apache) allies; by 1806, after earlier conflicts, the Comanche had forged alliances with both of them. Hoping to take over from them in moving horses northward from Comancherı´a into the Central and Northern Plains came Cheyenne and Arapahos. Once again, after an initial struggle the outcome (in 1840) was peace, predicated upon shared winter access to the Arkansas Valley, where American traders now sought animals for settlers moving overland to the Pacific coast and the growing horse and mule markets east of the Mississippi. But horses were not just items of trade. They were also instruments of war. While raiding was a long-standing element of Comanche life, its economic importance increased dramatically towards the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth and, while New Mexico was largely spared for over a generation (1786–1821), Texas and the lands south of the Rı´o Grande were fair game. Indeed, the destabilization that Comanches—and also Apaches—wrought there after Mexico’s independence arguably paved the way for the American conquest of Arizona and New Mexico in 1846 by weakening the Mexican state’s infrastructure across its northern provinces and undermining its citizens’ allegiance.86 For raids not only brought loss of life and property, they were never-ending, aimed at taking horses and mules while keeping their suppliers economically viable, but militarily weak: an outsourcing, in other words, of the business of horse

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production in which raids creamed off ‘surplus’ production for resale to the burgeoning United States or to other Native American groups, as well as for Comanches’ own use. Together, raids and trade established a Comanche hegemony over the Southern Plains and into the lands to their south and west that lasted from the 1770s into the 1840s. As their horse herds grew and the political circumstances around them changed, Comanches were confronted ever more sharply with the paradox that while the Southern Plains were well suited to horses they were one of the most vulnerable areas of all for bison. The basic components of this equation remained unchanged: the greater susceptibility of the Southern Plains to drought; the overlap between horse and bison diets and needs for winter shelter; the potentially small margin of error within which Southern Plains hunters operated even under ‘average’ conditions. It was their context that now altered. First, American takeover of the Southwest and of Texas in the mid1840s replaced two weak states (Mexico and Texas) with a much stronger and more determined one, equipped, as it turned out, with an aggressive policy of expansionary settlement for both ranchers and farmers. Second, the political deals Comanches made with other Indigenous groups to facilitate trade were purchased by granting access to Comancherı´a’s bison and reducing buffer zones where herds were free from hunting pressures; their 1840 agreement with the Cheyenne and Arapaho is just one example. Related to this, the focus of Comanche settlement and hunting shifted increasingly away from the Arkansas and on to the less sheltered Texas Plains.87 Third, any reduction in horse numbers inevitably endangered Comanche military and trading power, as well as their internal social relations. Acquiring livestock for trade by raiding Mexico relieved some of this pressure,88 but sustained drought after 1846, coupled with multiple disease outbreaks,89 hit bison and Comanche numbers hard. Recovery was only partly complete when commercial bison-hunting and American military action devastated the herds and ended Comanche independence in the 1870s.

‘A profound material revolution’ Comanche military and commercial dominance of the Southern Plains would have been impossible without horses, which dramatically increased

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how much people could transport and how far they could move (Plate 7). In this section I examine how this shrinking of distance fed through into three areas of Comanche life: hunting, settlement, and social organization. I end by asking whether the changes associated with horse ownership and the development of an equestrian lifestyle turned the Comanche into a pastoralist society. Comanches, like other mobile Plains peoples, hunted bison for a living (Figure 4.13). Horses democratized access to this essential resource, by reducing the necessity for communal drives (see Chapter 5). They also massively expanded the radius over which hunting could be undertaken by allowing larger quantities of dried meat and pemmican to be transported to campsites and reducing the need for the entire tribe to stay close to herds.90 Most hunting came to be done by riding in and shooting bison at close range, but bison were also killed using lances.91 Other groups with access to the Southern

Figure 4.13. Good saddles were an essential part of the equestrian nomad’s toolkit. This Kiowa man’s saddle consists of a rawhide-covered wooden frame with high pommel and arched cantle. The girthing and stirrups are of leather. The broad decorative crupper has a red painted fringe and applied bead discs with silver conchos (circular ornaments) in the centre. It was collected on the Kiowa/Comanche Reservation, Oklahoma, in 1892. Copyright: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (E152829-0).

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Plains did the same: in 1686 La Salle observed Wichitas using bonetipped lances in Texas,92 while the Quapaw, northern neighbours of the Caddo, employed a variant in which a crescent-shaped iron blade hamstringed bison that were then dispatched with axes or clubs.93 Horses also profoundly influenced where and when people camped. The need for winter fodder and shelter was one aspect of this. From as early as the 1740s Europeans observed how Comanches’ large herds meant that ‘they could not live together, having to seek sufficient pasturage and water for their horses’ and in 1772 de Me´zie`res noted that groups split seasonally in order to find enough pasture.94 No longer were bison the only, or even primary, determinant of where people camped, and as horse numbers grew (to an average of four per person by the early 1800s)95 their needs became increasingly paramount, for without horses neither bison nor other essentials could be secured. At the same time, the necessary but repeated use of preferred winter campsites, such as those along the Upper Arkansas River, changed local ecosystems through overgrazing and overexploitation of cottonwood stands, degrading their capacity to sustain animals in large numbers and in good condition.96 Partly to overcome such difficulties, on at least some occasions Comanches practised a form of transhumance, as when, in 1776, they moved over a thousand horses into the Sangre de Cristo uplands in summer before returning to the Plains in winter.97 Horses were not equally distributed within Comanche society. Sizable herds that could sustain large extended families provided greater opportunities for paying bridewealth (the items needed to transfer rights to a woman’s children from her family to that of her husband). Those who could do this could gain more wives, who could process additional bison hides for trade and care for yet more horses (principally by collecting cottonwood in winter). By the 1840s, a few men owned hundreds of horses and by loaning some of them out, or requiring other men to work for them to pay off the bride price needed for their daughters, had built up clienteles of dependents. Giving horses away in public acts of generosity further enhanced their status. Conversely, young men with few or no horses found it difficult to marry, acquire trade goods, or play a full political role, a situation that made raiding the principal route by which they could raise their social standing. These trends away from egalitarianism marked many Plains societies, reaching an extreme perhaps among

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the Kiowa, who explicitly differentiated between an elite (o´ngop, ‘the best’), the well-to-do (who had ten to twenty rather than dozens or hundreds of animals and were called o´ndeigu´p’a, ‘second best’), and the poor (ko´on), who, lacking horses, had to work for others.98 Differential access to trade goods reinforced these emerging distinctions, since many of those that Comanches bought or were given held symbolic, rather than practical value: body paint, silver medals, European clothing, glass beads, mirrors, and so on. Whatever else they meant—and they feature in many Southern Plains burials, where their disposal would have helped maintain their value (see below)—it was the leaders of Comanche bands who brokered negotiations with traders and officials, effectively setting prices and securing for themselves the best of what was available. Displaying these items helped denote and assert leadership, while their redistribution secured alliances and allegiances, albeit within a still fluid and consensual framework where leaders depended on persuasion and moral authority, not force.99 The best of what was available also included people, and there are many instances of not only other Native Americans, but also Spaniards and individuals of mixed descent joining Comanche bands.100 While these admissions were voluntary, others were forced, with slaves acquired via horse-borne raids and the pan-Southern Plains/Southwest trade in captives. Assimilated into Comanche society by adoption or marriage, captives provided additional labour, for example in caring for horses, and helped sustain Comanche numbers in the face of recurrent epidemics. By the early 1800s they may have comprised 10–25 per cent of the total population and were mostly Mexican in origin or from other Native American groups, notwithstanding a few high-profile Euro-Americans.101 Cultural and demographic borrowing were not, however, a oneway street. At least to a degree Comanche became a lingua franca for trade on the Southern Plains and with New Mexico at the same time that it borrowed extensively from Spanish.102 More significant, perhaps, was the emergence of professional traders, the Comancheros (or Ciboleros), on the New Mexico frontier. From the 1780s until 1872 (with a sharp downturn when the United States banned the sale of guns after taking over New Mexico in 1848), they undertook regular trading expeditions into Comancherı´a, exchanging guns, blankets, foodstuffs (now clearly on a significant scale), and ultimately cattle

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for horses, mules, bison products (hides, dried meat, tallow), and captives. Partly of Indigenous descent, Comancheros borrowed heavily from their exchange partners, hunting bison with bow and arrow and lance (Figure 4.14), turning meat into jerky, and sometimes even painting themselves in Comanche fashion.103 And, by relieving the Comanche of the necessity of moving to European settlements, they also helped guard them against exposure to potentially lethal infectious diseases; that Comanchero trade took off after the smallpox pandemic of the early 1780s may not be coincidental.104 By keeping and trading such large numbers of horses Comanches had significantly modified their annual cycle, settlement patterns, and labour organization. There also seems to be reasonably convincing evidence that, from the 1820s, if not before, Comanche subsistence turned increasingly to their horses. The acceleration of raiding that accompanied Mexican independence and then flourished as overland

Figure 4.14. The Lance of the Cibolero. This modern painting beautifully captures the significance of bison-hunting for the Comanchero communities of the Southwest. Copyright and courtesy: Ronald Kil ().

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trails grew, connecting the Southwest with the United States, was important here. So too was the growth in trading horses and the bison products obtained from horseback to the Comancheros. Long recognized as skilful horse breeders,105 Comanches also now kept mules, in numbers large enough to suggest that they bred them themselves, rather than obtaining them solely through trade and raids.106 By way of scale, consider that, in 1846, a single Osage trading party bought 1,500 at one go.107 Able to withstand dehydration better and capable of eating poorer-quality food, mules could also carry more goods and fetched high prices when traded. Putting all these various elements together, we may not be far wrong in suggesting that, in the final decades of their independence, and particularly as they turned increasingly to horses and even cattle for food and sources of hides when bison numbers dropped in the 1860s and 1870s,108 the Comanche were ‘evolving into horse pastoralists who relied heavily on domestic herds for subsistence’.109

Riding into the sunset Virtually everything you have read thus far about Southern Plains hunters comes from historical and ethnographic sources. Archaeology, though it quite richly documents the farming communities who lived in parts of Comancherı´a before the Comanche or were their contemporaries to the east, has so far given us little, though a few equestrian era sites have been identified, for example in Texas’ Mackenzie Reservoir.110 Kiowas, Comanches, and Naishans are nevertheless known archaeologically almost entirely from burials, mostly as the result of casual encounters rather than systematic research.111 The grave of a young man from Yellowstone Canyon near Lubbock, Texas, exemplifies one key feature of these interments: the presence of horse trappings—in this case the remains of a bit, bridle, and saddlebag.112 In addition, the dead man, who wore a shirt decorated with a shell-and-porcupine-quill breastplate, was buried with pistol, knife, kettle, and jewellery. Though no actual horse was present, this horse-related material is a common feature of nineteenth-century Plains burials (perhaps as a substitute for the horse itself?) and recalls the observations of Jose´ Francisco Ruiz, who lived with the Comanche from 1813 to 1821, that weapons and other war-related equipment were buried with warriors killed in battle.113 A later eyewitness account of a

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Comanche burial indicates that this was done so that the deceased could continue to use them in the afterlife.114 Similar practices are attested for the Kiowa, their Athapaskan-speaking Naishan allies, and the Cheyenne. Like Arapahos these groups also generally killed one or more horses above the grave.115 This last detail, of course, matches the Apache and Navajo practices discussed above, but as well as providing the dead with a mode of transport can also be understood as an exercise in what anthropologists call conspicuous consumption: the deliberate destruction of valued goods to show that one (or one’s family) has more than enough of them to spare. Extreme instances of horse sacrifice, such as that where over seventy animals are said to have been killed at the funeral of one Kiowa chief, can surely only be understood in this light.116 The form of the bit (an iron snaffle) found in the Yellowstone Canyon grave suggests that it post-dates the American Civil War (1861–65), while Comanche and Kiowa confinement to reservations after 1875 may place an upper boundary on the burial’s age, though without resolving the deceased’s tribal identity. Other examples, some falling within the same time bracket, add further detail. The most spectacular is the Cogdell burial from the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado (Figure 4.15). As well as a Euro-American saddle, the broken pieces of a travois (used to carry the body to the grave?), a bison robe, and various other items, mostly brass and silver jewellery, the dead man was accompanied by a richly decorated extra suit of clothes (an estimated 150,000 glass beads were recovered!) and food offerings, though no firearms.117 A burial from just south of the Arkansas River in Kansas was also well equipped: here, bit and bridle were enriched by an iron stirrup, cinch buckle, and harness ring, plus remains of a Euro-American leather-and-wood saddle, and a largely complete headstall of leather straps decorated with silver ornaments. This man also went to the afterlife well-armed, with two revolvers, rifle parts, and a sword blade that may have been used to tip a lance.118 Not all burials, of course, are male, and in some cases, such as that from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, which is probably of post-Civil War date and most likely Comanche, women too were buried with horse gear, in this case a Euro-American saddle with stirrups.119 Children, too, received similar treatment: at Canyon Creek in the far northwest of Texas a 5-year-old child was buried around 1830–50 with two saddle frames (one a child’s, one an adult’s), a bridle, stirrups, and a considerable amount of jewellery.120

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Figure 4.15a. Horse equipment from the Cogdell burial, Texas (Word and Fox 1975): a) saddle fork in top (A) and side (B) view.

The relative uniformity of goods accompanying nineteenth-century Indigenous burials on the Southern Plains does not only demonstrate the value placed upon horses and warfare. Rather, the deliberate emphasis on similarity of practice across the whole region irrespective of tribal affiliation, plus shared ideas about an afterlife in which horses and weaponry featured strongly, reflect both the common historical experience of Southern Plains nomads and the military alliances and shared participation in religious ceremonies that connected them. In

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Figure 4.15b. Horse equipment from the Cogdell burial, Texas (Word and Fox 1975): b) saddle parts and hoe: (A) fragment of wooden saddle cantle; (B) leather strap ring; (C) stirrup strap; (D) and (E) rawhide saddle parts; (F) saddle skirt; (G) iron eye hoe. Copyright: The Texas Archaeological Society and courtesy too of Jeff Fleisher.

that sense, they express in material, and, for those buried, permanent, form the increasing unity between Arapahos, Southern Cheyennes, Naishans, Kiowas, and Comanches that the horse helped forge on the Southern Plains in the first half of the 1800s.121

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The deer hunters Long before that, Caddo and Wichita chiefdoms on the eastern edge of the Plains had been crucial Comanche trading partners, exchanging deer hides and horses for European goods obtained from French (later Spanish) New Orleans. Archaeological excavations document this at eighteenth-century Wichita villages in Oklahoma: the Lasley Vore site, probably visited by Be´nard de la Harpe in 1719, has produced glass trade beads and gun parts, while the Longest site, which may have been attacked by the Spanish in 1759, yielded a variety of ornaments, metal tools, and arrows, as well as horse trappings.122 Caddo sites preserve unusual evidence of how horses were treated. At Fish Hatchery on Louisiana’s Cane River, two horses appear to have been deliberately buried next to a large human cemetery, each with a large bowl placed near its head;123 a third horse burial, this time accompanying a person, comes from near Atlanta, Texas.124 Presumably these examples attest to the high value that horses held, and we know that among Caddoan speakers both breeding and trading horses were sources of male prestige.125 But another Caddo site, Belcher in Arkansas, suggests that they were also eaten, something that was certainly the case at settlements belonging to other groups elsewhere in the same state.126 East of the Mississippi, the Choctaw show how this trajectory could develop. Eaten on first acquaintance, like the deer that they resembled and after which they were called (isuba from isi holba, meaning ‘deer resembler’), horses were later killed, roasted, and consumed when a person’s remains were placed in his clan’s bone house. By the late 1700s, however, they were buried intact with men for use in the afterlife, and by 1820 had replaced wild animals as symbols of masculine power in ritual ball games in which players wore long white horsetails (Figure 4.16).127 The Caddo acquired their first horses a little before 1680, calling them cavali, from the Spanish caballo. Within a decade each household had up to four or five animals, and wooden stirrups, leather armour, and pointed saddles were all in use.128 Subsequently, the Caddo obtained other horses by capturing feral animals on the Plains or through trade with Comanches and their own Wichita cousins in Oklahoma and north-central Texas. Horses found their principal

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Figure 4.16. Choctaw men playing lacrosse. This George Catlin painting, entitled ‘Ball play of the Choctaw—ball up’, shows the horsetail decoration worn by Choctaw lacrosse-players from the early nineteenth century, by which time horses had become a well-established feature of Choctaw life. The original painting is in the Smithsonian Art Museum and this image is reproduced from Wikimedia Commons as being in the public domain ().

uses in war and chasing bison on the Plains, but also in hunting deer, for which New Orleans traders had great demand. Several hunts normally took place each year during the eighteenth century, usually after planting (late spring/early summer) and harvest (late summer/ early autumn). Men processed the hides and acquired more from other Indigenous groups in exchange for French goods.129 The Caddo also supplied Plains horses to the French themselves, a trade that exceeded a thousand animals a year by the late 1700s.130 Deer hides were esteemed by eighteenth-century Europeans for gloves, footwear, harnesses, and book covers, but above all for men’s breeches. Trade in them accelerated with time: 36,000 passed through

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the French settlement of Natchitoches in 1775–76, while three decades later the Hasinai Caddo alone supplied 1,200–2,500 per month to Spanish traders at Nacogdoches, Texas.131 And the Caddo were not alone: right across the American South Native peoples were encouraged to do the same by French, Spanish, and especially British traders, the last of whom exported an astonishing 400,000 a year during the 1760s.132 Ironically, the deer populations they exploited had grown enormously because of the epidemic-driven demographic and political collapse and subsequent reorganization of Native populations that had begun with de Soto’s incursions across the Southeast in the early 1500s.133 The Choctaw of Mississippi were among those for whom this trade became particularly important as horses allowed them to expand both the scope and intensity of their hunts.134 Probably seen first when trading with the Caddo to their west around 1690, by the 1730s horses were quite common. Mississippi’s very different landscape and the lack of large bison herds meant that horses could not effect a transition to an equestrian nomadic hunting way of life as on the Plains, but they still produced significant change: as pack animals carrying skins home or onward to traders, and as mounts for reaching hunting grounds. Their take-up was made easier by the ready availability of grazing where forest had been cleared near Choctaw settlements and by their conceptual equation with deer as four-footed animals that ate plants. Eating and using them did not therefore threaten Choctaw understanding of the universe, something untrue of other European domesticates: both pigs (omnivores likened to bears) and chickens (birds that could not fly) cross-cut conceptual categories and were therefore tabooed until the 1790s when falling deer numbers encouraged wider use of livestock.135 Horses also affected Choctaw mental landscapes, with footpaths becoming horsepaths marked by place names such as conchak ou soubaille (‘Canebrake where a horse drowned’) and bouk ite tchuie suuba (‘Bayou where there is a tree that marks a horsepath’), both noted in the 1730s along the route leading north from Mobile, Alabama.136 On a more pragmatic level, the effort devoted to hunting and then laboriously processing deer hides led to growing access to, and dependency on, European goods at the expense of manufacturing traditional ceramics, clothing, and weapons. In this—and in the overexploitation of deer numbers already evident by the late 1700s—the deerskin trade

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both resembled and presaged the relationship between Native peoples and bison on the Plains in the later nineteenth century.137 By the 1790s, as deer numbers fell, European settlement was starting to encroach on Choctaw boundaries. Horses, previously employed to raid Osage and Wichita communities further west, were now used for the same purpose against Anglo-American farms as men—increasingly deprived of their role as hunters—tried to defend their people and maintain male values in other ways. Such raids were quite frequent between 1790 and 1810, but Choctaw power was severely limited by a forced cession of territory in 1805. In common with other Southeastern peoples, Choctaws were by then increasingly acculturating to the Euro-American society around them while simultaneously striving to maintain their own identity and independence. Horses were used to trade beeswax, tallow, and honey, to plough, and as mounts for the national police force established in 1823 to check frontier violence and forestall alcohol sales. By then the Choctaw had almost as many horses per capita as white Mississippians and were renowned horse breeders:138 though small, Choctaw horses could carry heavy loads,139 and are still prized for their hardiness, vigour, and ease of training.140 Unfortunately, however, Choctaw economic success and territorial ownership proved incompatible with the land-hunger of Euro-American settlers: first encouraged and then forcibly deported, most Choctaws had moved west of the Mississippi by 1840. I have discussed the Choctaw at some length for the simple reason that more evidence relating to the horse exists for them than for other Southeastern groups, but they were not alone. The deerskin trade and loss of land affected all the Southeast’s Indigenous peoples, many of whom took up the use of horses: they were, for example, widely used among the Seminole in Florida by 1775 (partly to raise cattle on that peninsula’s grasslands) and had replaced women in carrying deerskins a quarter-century before this among the Creek.141 Along with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and others, Creeks, like Choctaws, brought horses with them when forced west of the Mississippi in the early 1800s. Settling in Oklahoma on the very edge of Comancherı´a, the Southeastern tribes hunted bison while herds lasted, though this was never as important in their more complex mixed farming economies as among the village communities of the Missouri Valley further north.142 To those communities and their nomadic neighbours on the Central and Northern Plains I now turn.

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Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008). Bamforth (1988: 59–64). Merrill et al. (2009). Plog (1997). From the Spanish for ‘village’. Plog (1997: 172–8). Seymour (2012). Encountering what were also probably Apaches later in the 1500s other Spaniards noted tallow, suet, and salt among the goods they carried, pottery and turquoise among those they sought from their Pueblo exchange partners. They, too, emphasized the ‘great trains’ of dogs that carried meat and corn, tipi poles, and tipis alike (Calloway 2003: 159–60). Hughes (1989); Baugh (1986); Habicht-Mauche (1992). Excavations at Pueblo villages have yielded bison bone, Plains-type bison tools, and chert and freshwater shells of Texan origin (Spielmann 1983). Baugh (1986); Habicht-Mauche (1992); Vehik (1994). Forbes (1959). Anderson (1999). Speth and Spielmann (1983); Spielmann (1983). The language family is Tanoan and the Pueblo communities concerned include those of Jemez, Taos, and Santa Clara. Some Pueblo-associated Jumano groups living in New Mexico appear to have spoken Tanoan languages and may provide a possible ancestry for the Kiowa (Hickerson 1994). However, oral traditions place Kiowas in Montana and the Black Hills before their appearance on the Southern Plains in the second half of the 1700s. Hammond (1940: 44). Sweet and Larson (1994). Chapin-Pyritz (2000). Several key Hopi terms reflect their Spanish source: kawa´yo ‘horse’ (caballo); ala´sani ‘sorrel horse’ (alaza´n); mule mo´oro (mula), etc. Lange (1953). Sweet and Larson (1994). For example, at San Felipe and Santo Domingo (Treib 1993). Gutie´rrez (1991) discusses the attempts by the revolt’s leaders to destroy all traces of Spanish presence and prohibit the use of the domesticates that they had introduced. An interesting parallel exists with the prohibitions laid down by the Shawnee Prophet Tenskwatawa in the Ohio area in 1805, from which horses (and guns) were virtually the only exemptions permitted (Cave 2006: 100–1).

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21. Rooster pulls continued at some more conservative towns into the mid1990s ( Johnson 1995). After extensive criticism from animal rights activists, they are either no longer performed or not publicized to outsiders, part of a widespread reluctance among Pueblo communities to share details of religious practice and belief. 22. White (1942: 264). 23. Parsons (1939); Sweet and Larson (1994). 24. Spicer (1962). 25. Martı´nez-Serna (2013: note 19). 26. Pavao-Zuckermann and La Motta (2007). 27. Clark (2001: 62). 28. Clark (2001: 62–106) discusses both Navajo and Apache myths on this topic. In one retelling Turquoise Boy only received the sacred ingredients needed for his mother to make the fetishes: saliva from the mouths and pollen from the bodies of Sun’s horses (Clark 2001: 69–70). In another the fetishes were then buried and only later brought to life by a medicine man (Clark 2001: 167–72). 29. Weiseger (2004) reviews the origins of Navajo pastoralism. Farmer (1942) and Vivian (1960) discuss archaeological instances of horse bones. Relevant artefacts include a wooden saddle frame and stirrup from Carson National Forest (c.1650–1750) and a Spanish-made bridle bit and buckle from a grave at Three Corn Pueblo (c.1700–40) (). 30. Clark (2001: 10). 31. Dismal River pottery from archaeological sites in northeastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, and the Texas Panhandle, which resembles that made by the Jicarilla, may represent some of these Plainsdwelling Apaches around 1675–1725 (Gunnerson 1987). Other Dismal River sites, also occupied by people who combined horticulture with hunting bison, extend into Nebraska and Kansas and date between 1625 and 1725. 32. Seymour (2004). 33. Clark (2001: 101–5) explores Chiricahua, Mescalero, and, particularly, Jicarilla folktales of how the Foolish People struggled to learn how to ride; mounting backwards, placing saddles on back to front, and eventually sticking themselves on to their horses with pitch were among their many difficulties! 34. Coulter (2002). 35. Cf. Ferret (2010: 174). 36. Adams et al. (2000). 37. Clark (2001: 204, 219). 38. Brugge (1999).

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39. Turpin (1988, 1989). See also Schaafsma (1986: 322, 335) for brief references to the horse in Navajo and Apache rock art. 40. Cardenas Villareal (1978); Turpin (2002). 41. Before the horse, battles were apparently fought between opposing lines of warriors armed with bow, shield, spear, and club (Secoy 1953: 10). Unique finds, three painted shields from Utah, double the size of those used historically, are radiocarbon-dated to about ad 1500 (Loendorf and Conner 1993). 42. Including Father Damien de Massanet’s diary, dating to as early as 1691 (Clark 2001: 8). 43. Perkins and Baugh (2008). 44. Reports of several nineteenth-century warriors wearing metal or chain mail armour, and a unique photograph of a Kiowa or Comanche man with what is very probably rawhide armour covering his chest, suggest that it survived, if only for talismanic or display purposes, as late as the 1870s (Gelo and Jones 2009). Its value as protection against cold (on the Plains) and cacti (in the Southwest) should not be discounted either. 45. Clark (2001: 114–63). 46. Clark (2001: 299). 47. Clark (2001: 193–4) discusses this in the context of Navajo expeditions to acquire salt from distant deposits in particular, but also mentions hunting deer. 48. Clark (2001:190–201). 49. Clark (2001: 175–6). 50. Clark (2001: 177–9, 242–5). 51. Clark (2001: 239–40). Note that rain singers were never paid with livestock in order to avoid animals and people being struck by lightning (Clark 2001: 266). 52. Shepardson (1978). 53. Opler (1946). 54. Opler and Bittle (1961). 55. Opler (1945), writing of the Lipan. 56. Sherow (1992: 69). 57. Dawson et al. (1945). 58. Sherow (1992). 59. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 37). 60. West (1998: 229–30) indicates that the impact on cottonwood and grass resources was extremely rapid since, while both were still largely intact along the Purgatoire and Platte Rivers in 1845, they were then drastically thinned and reduced within just a decade, inevitably increasing pressure on remaining wintering locations. 61. Anderson (1999: 107); Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 31).

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62. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 385, note 34). In fact, ethnographic data suggest that maize consumption was actually quite limited (Wallace and Hoebel 1952: 74). 63. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 102). 64. Fagan (2005). 65. Isenberg (2000: 73). 66. Kaye and Moodie (1978); West (1998: 74). 67. As claimed by Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2010: 180, note 9). 68. Carlson and Jones (1940) identify twenty-seven food plants; both Campbell (2007), who identifies almost double this number, and Wallace and Hoebel (1952: 73–4), record plants being stored for winter consumption. 69. Adair (2003); Jordan et al. (2006), who discuss the Naishan; Campbell (2007), who discusses the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Kiowa, as well as Comanches. 70. Levine (1998). 71. Kavanagh (1996: 492, note 2) argues that claims for Comanche horseeating are exaggerated except under famine conditions or on raids, but other apparently reliable reports do exist (Anderson 1999: 338, note 34). 72. Brown (1986); Flores (1991). 73. Bamforth (1990). 74. Epp and Dyck (2002: 330). Frison (1978: 329) uses a slightly higher estimate that scales up to eight adult animals per person per year. 75. Speth (1983) discusses this at length for two pre-Columbian bison kill sites where processing clearly emphasized the most fat-rich body parts. 76. Flores (1991). 77. Other groups also took some Southern Plains bison, even when Comanches attempted to restrict access to them. In the late 1700s, the Kiowa and Naishan, as well as Pueblo, Wichita, Caddo, and other farmers, hunted them. Human numbers may thus have been closer to the margin of safety than at first seems likely. Note, however, that other historians express greater scepticism over total Comanche numbers (e.g. Kavanagh 1996: 104, 498, note 18; and perhaps Anderson 1999: 219). 78. Anderson (1999: 61). 79. Two million horses would consume as much grass as 1.6 million bison, reducing the maximum number of the latter on the Southern Plains to no more than 6.6 million and—using Flores’ (1991) numbers—sustainable offtake to about 460,000. Forty thousand Comanche would, as already indicated, have needed 240–320,000 bison every year, good or bad. This figure does not include animals taken by other groups or killed purely to obtain hides for trade. 80. In the 1660s drought was so severe that grass production may have fallen by 80–90% (Anderson 1999: 60)! Perhaps more accurate, though referring

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81. 82. 83. 84. 85.

86. 87. 88.

89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95.

horse nations to the Northern Plains, in 1934 drought in Montana reduced forage availability there by almost two-thirds (Isenberg 2000: 27). Betty (1997: 5); Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 23). Bison were probably not the main attraction since they were less plentiful on the Southern Plains than north of the Arkansas River (Bamforth 1988: 78). Loendorf and Olson (2003). A Comanche chief killed in a Spanish attack on a camp north of Be´xar, Texas, in 1781 was, like his horse, wearing a horned headdress of the kind represented at Tolar (Kavanagh 1996: 95). Mitchell (2004). Weber (2005: 148–51, 193–4) summarizes Spain’s strategies for dealing with the Apaches in the mid/late 1700s. So much so that they even traded guns, powder, and ammunition to New Mexico (Ha¨ma¨la¨inen 1998: 498). When, in 1786, Spain allowed guns to be sold the change in policy was justified by arguing that muzzle-loading muskets were less effective than bows, though to ensure this those supplied had long barrels, making them more awkward to use and easier to damage on horseback (Ha¨ma¨la¨inen 1998: 504). Native peoples dealt with this by cutting off part of the barrel, converting the weapon into a more easily deployable shotgun (Fowler 1996: 6). One early sign of the effectiveness with which Comanches (and their then Wichita and Caddo allies) deployed firearms was their destruction of the Santa Cruz de San Saba´ Mission in central Texas on 16 March 1758; a Spanish painting, now in Mexico, commemorating the event, includes a clear depiction of the use of leather horse armour. I am grateful to Solveig Turpin for bringing this information and the San Saba´ site as a whole (for more on which see ) to my attention. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 219–38). Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2001: 106–7). The Bolso´n de Mapimı´ became an extension of Comancherı´a, lived in by hundreds of Comanches for much of the year and used as a redoubt from which to raid deeper into Mexico. Paintings of horned human faces and sun symbols at San Antonio de los Alamos visually attest to their presence (Turpin 2002). Of cholera in 1849 and smallpox in 1848, 1851, and 1861 (Ha¨ma¨la¨inen 2010). Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 247). Kavanagh (1996: 169). Anderson (1999: 149). Young and Hoffman (2001: 500). Kavanagh (1996: 126). Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 240).

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96. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 285). Comparable ecological degradation is attested in the early 1800s at Wichita towns in northeastern Texas where mesquite had invaded pasturelands (Anderson 1999: 186). 97. Anderson (1999: 242, note 4). 98. Mishkin (1940). 99. Anderson (1999: 233–5). 100. Anderson (1999: 224–5). 101. Notably Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of the 1870s Comanche war leader Quanah Parker (Gwynne 2011). 102. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (1998: 510–11). 103. Some Comancheros were of Genı´zaro origin, i.e. Spanish-speaking descendants of detribalized or enslaved Native people assimilated into a basal position within colonial society as hunters, traders, and a buffer against Comanche, Ute, and Athapaskan attacks (Hanson and Kurtz 2007; Ha¨ma¨la¨inen 2008: 207, 212). 104. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2010). 105. Anderson (1999: 227–8). 106. Anderson (1999: 226), though some mules are noted in Comanche camps at least as early as 1750. 107. Kavanagh (1996: 322). 108. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 315). 109. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2001: 111); cf. Hoebel (1940: 14); Betty (1997). 110. Hughes and Willey (1978). 111. Hanson (1998); Walsh (1998). A Southern Cheyenne village in Ness County, southeastern Kansas, burnt by United States forces in 1867, has also received some archaeological attention (Millbrook 1973). 112. Walsh (1997). The headstall was decorated with a crescent-shaped pendant (naja) of ‘German silver’, a nickel/copper/zinc alloy widely traded to Plains groups in the mid-1800s that could be cut or hammered relatively easily into the desired shape. Used by Spaniards and Mexicans to avert the evil eye (Clark 1963), among Cheyennes and Kiowas the naja gave protection when worn or used to decorate shields (Walsh 1998: 207, 209). 113. Ruiz (1972: 15–16). 114. Dodge (1989). 115. Hoebel (1988: 92–3); Lekatz (1987: 15). At least one Southern Plains burial, from the White site, Texas, contained horse bones (Suhm 1962). 116. Yarrow (1881: 143). 117. Word and Fox (1975). 118. Lees (1992): the headstall and revolvers strongly resemble those from Yellowstone Canyon (Walsh 1997). 119. Jackson (1972). 120. Shafer et al. (1991).

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121. Archaeologically, that unity has been dubbed the ‘Southern Plains Equestrian Nomad Complex’ (Shafer et al. 1991; Walsh 1997). 122. Gettys (1995). 123. Walker (1935). 124. Bolton (2002: 153). 125. (Anderson 1999: 162, 187). 126. Jeter et al. (1989). Webb (1959: 181) discusses Belcher. Horse occurs at Menard (possibly a Quapaw site, Ford 1961: 159) and Fatherland (a Natchez site, Penman 1973), though deer—and at Fatherland, cattle—dominate overall. 127. Carson (1995: 504). 128. La Vere (1998: 61). 129. La Vere (1998: 66). 130. La Vere (1998: 63). 131. La Vere (1998: 68). 132. Braund (1993: 97–8). 133. White (1988). 134. Carson (1995: 497). 135. White (1988: 100). 136. Carson (1995: 498). 137. Cf. Isenberg (2000). 138. Usner (1988: 394). 139. Swanton (1946: 349–50). 140. Both Choctaw horses and those of their Oklahoman neighbours, the Cherokee, remain recognizably distinctive breeds, with bloodlines that trace back at least 180, perhaps as many as 240, years (). 141. Harper (1980/81); Walker (2004: 377). 142. Partly through the influence of individuals of mixed Native/European descent, Cherokees, Choctaws, and others had incorporated livestock and European agricultural methods into their economies, even to the point of owning and using African-American slaves on the farms of richer individuals (McLoughlin 1993).

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5 North America II The Central and Northern Plains ‘What is a country without horses?’ (Arapooash, a Crow chief, c.1830; Binnema 2001 : 17)

‘These horses are gods . . . they have supernatural power’ (Wilson 1924: 124)

Introduction The Central and Northern Plains are home to many of the peoples popularly considered quintessential Native Americans (Figure 5.1). First brought to the widespread attention of Europeans and EuroAmericans as the ‘noble savages’ of nineteenth-century romantic paintings and travel accounts, they were later stereotyped in dime novels and Hollywood movies as an inconvenient—and ultimately removed—barrier to white expansion and settlement. Only relatively recently has that image given way to the more rounded, if still overromanticized, one seen in films like Dances with Wolves.1 However, the extrapolation of Plains equestrian groups as a generalization for all Native Americans is not the reason to focus on them here. Rather, it is because of the great wealth of evidence—ethnographic, historical, and archaeological—that relates to the impacts on them of the horse. Those impacts affected village-based farming communities along the Missouri River and its tributaries as well as the mobile societies of the open grasslands. Using evidence from both, I look at how having horses affected the ways in which people hunted bison, moved themselves and their goods, and structured their use of the

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Figure 5.1. Map of the Great Plains showing sites and localities mentioned in the text. 1 Cluny (Alberta); 2 Crossfield Coulee (Alberta); 3 Crow Creek (South Dakota); 4 Dodge City (Kansas); 5 Fort Pierre (South Dakota); 6 Hussie Miers (Texas); 7 Larson (South Dakota); 8 Like-a-Fishhook (North Dakota); 9 Little Big Horn/Reno Creek (Montana); 10 Medicine Rocks (Montana); 11 North Cave Hills (South Dakota); 12 Pine Ridge (South Dakota); 13 Saddle Butte (Montana); 14 Turner Shelter (Montana); 15 Vore (Wyoming); 16. Writing-on-Stone (Alberta). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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landscape, as well as at how changing patterns of warfare and trade influenced the broader organization of society. These topics also relate to several broader issues. One is the relationship between the horse and two other agents of change: the spread of firearms and the involvement of Native peoples in trading furs and bison robes to Europeans. Another concerns the different responses to the horse by those who used it to enhance a mobile hunting way of life and those who sought to integrate it within an economy and social system in which horticulture and permanent settlements were paramount. A third relates to the ecological constraints on people’s ability to keep horses on the Plains: what were they? What was done to mitigate them? And how did they affect the region’s history between the initial acquisition of horses in the early 1700s and the loss of independence that followed the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876 and culminated with the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890?2

Ecological background For convenience, we can distinguish the Central Plains (Nebraska plus most of Colorado and Kansas) from the Northern Plains (the Dakotas, most of Wyoming and Montana, and southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). Both are primarily flat-lying grasslands where trees concentrate in upland areas or along rivers.3 Trending northwest to southeast from Montana to Kansas, the largest river is the Missouri: major tributaries include the Platte, the Powder, and the Yellowstone. North of the Canadian border, most rivers drain instead into the Mississippi or towards Hudson Bay. In the east the Plains merge into the taller grasslands of the prairies, while in the west they end at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The Arkansas River marks the southern border of the Central Plains. To its north, the climate is even more seasonal, with warm to hot summers and sharply cold winters, but the dominant winds blow out of the northern Rockies, rather than being southwesterlies from the mountains of Mexico and New Mexico. As a result, precipitation is higher and more evenly distributed through the year, droughts less frequent and less intense, temperatures cooler, and winters significantly more severe. Increasing latitude also plays a part here, but, between the Milk and Yellowstone Rivers in the northwest warm,

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dry Chinook winds make winters significantly less severe than would otherwise be the case (Plate 8).4 The Rockies exercise a strong rain-shadow effect on the Plains and precipitation therefore generally decreases from east to west. However, it is unusually heavy in the biodiversity-rich Black Hills of South Dakota, making them an island of locally high forage production (Figure 5.2). Plant communities on the Central and Northern Plains are broadly similar to those south of the Arkansas: shortgrasses dominate in their drier western third, tallgrasses in the wetter east, with a strip of mixed grassland running north–south in-between.5 As we have already seen, the climatic changes of the Little Ice Age affected this situation relatively little, slightly increasing precipitation in Montana and Wyoming, but with colder temperatures shortening the growing season overall.6

Peopling the Plains People have been on the Plains for over 13,000 years, but the combined effects of horses, guns, epidemics, and furs mean that a map

Figure 5.2. Horses in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Copyright: 2009 Glen Fredlund, with permission, and courtesy of Linea Sundstrom.

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locating the Native American groups who inhabited it when this chapter begins (the late seventeenth/early eighteenth centuries) differs markedly from one showing their distribution as the reservation era dawned (in the late 1800s) (Figure 5.3). Apaches, present around 1700 as far north as Nebraska, left the region all together, largely because of the Comanche expansion discussed in Chapter 4. So too did the Shoshone, driven back beyond the Rockies by a scarcity of guns resulting from a much later entry into the fur trade than their Blackfoot enemies. Kutenais and Flatheads experienced similar losses of territory, relocating onto the Columbia Plateau as the Blackfeet moved south to occupy their former lands. While Atsinas remained largely in place, this was not true of Kiowas and Crows. Having once lived around the

Figure 5.3. Map of tribal distributions on the Great Plains in 1700 compared to their distributions in 1870. Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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Black Hills, the former relocated to the Southern Plains before 1800. The Crow, on the other hand, who lived near Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains in the late 1600s, came to occupy a much larger territory further to the west. Other groups appear barely, if at all, on a distribution map for 1700. The Athapaskan-speaking Sarsi, for example, moved south from northern Canada’s boreal woodlands in the mid-eighteenth century, attracted in part by bison and the horse. So too did groups of Assiniboin and Plains Cree, both of whom used kinship ties with the Blackfeet to ease their transition to a bison-hunting existence.7 Crees, and, somewhat later, Plains Ojibwas as well, nevertheless took time to effect that change, long combining equestrian-hunting on the plains with canoe-based trapping of beavers in the woodlands to the north in order to exchange the furs with Hudson’s Bay Company traders for guns.8 Further south the Lakota, who may already have been living along the Red River in eastern North Dakota before 1700,9 gradually moved west of the Missouri to assume control of a large area centred on the Black Hills. Cheyennes completed an even longer odyssey, leaving Minnesota before the Lakota and moving via North Dakota and then the Black Hills and the Big Horn Mountains to divide, around 1820, into northern and southern subdivisions, respectively focused around the North Platte and Yellowstone and the Arkansas Rivers. Occupying the space between them were the Arapaho, who had moved south from an earlier home near their Atsina cousins. While Lakotas and Cheyennes were new arrivals on the Plains, other groups disappeared completely in the two hundred or so years that our comparison covers. The Suhtai, who merged with the Cheyenne, are but one example.10 Many other historically recognized distinctions may have a relatively shallow time depth or not be reflected in ceramics and stone tools: Algonquian-speaking Atsinas, Arapahos, and Blackfeet, for example, may all lie behind the Old Woman’s archaeological complex of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana.11 Geographically more constant were the horticulturally oriented populations along the eastern margin of the Plains. Excavated evidence in the form of pottery styles and settlement organization shows that Mandan and Hidatsa communities (descendants of the people responsible for what archaeologists term the Middle Missouri Tradition), as well as the Arikara to their south, lived along the Middle Missouri several centuries before Columbus crossed the Atlantic. Drastically

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reduced in numbers by disease and eventually congregating together in a single village, they were still there as the nineteenth century closed.12 Further downstream, the four bands of Pawnees in eastcentral Nebraska also based their subsistence on maize agriculture and bison. Along with their fellow Caddoan speakers, the Arikara, they find ancestors in the Coalescent Tradition (c.1300–1650), which in turn derives from earlier Central Plains Tradition farmers in Kansas and Nebraska. Intruding into the region between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers about ad 1000, another archaeological tradition, Oneota, marks the westward spread of farmers who likely included the ancestors of groups speaking Chiwere Siouan languages like the Iowa and Missouri. Links to Dhegiha Siouan speakers, like the Osage, are more obscure.13 This rapid sketch gives just a glimpse of the complexity of the world to which the horse returned, a world containing speakers of several wholly unrelated language families and encompassing both mobile hunter-gatherers and sedentary village folk, who might nevertheless abandon their settlements for part of each year to hunt bison on the open grasslands. Just as in the Southwest and on the Southern Plains, exchange networks tied practitioners of the two subsistence economies together, with Mandan and Arikara villages a particularly important focal point when the first Europeans arrived. Those networks were, as we saw in Chapter 3, instrumental in assisting the spread of the horse, as well as in reconfiguring the map of the Plains by disseminating firearms and channelling furs to European traders. Before looking further at how horses helped shape the region’s history, let us first see how they affected the day-to-day lives of those who kept them. After examining how horses were reared and cared for, I discuss settlement pattern, transport, and subsistence before exploring changes in areas such as warfare and gender relations. Rock art informs our discussion of these last topics and simultaneously invites us to ask how people made sense of the mysterious and powerful quadruped that had now come into their lives.

Keeping horses on the Plains We are fortunate in having detailed studies of the horse for several Northern Plains societies, including the sedentary, horticulturally

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focused Hidatsa and the mobile, bison-hunting Blackfeet.14 The former likely acquired their first horses around 1742, a decade or so after the Blackfeet (Plate 9). Hidatsa horse care began when colts were rubbed down and dried after birth using the dung of swift animals such as wapiti (Cervus canadensis) and pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana).15 The animals were then broken around the age of 2 years old by repeatedly riding them across a river to tire them out. Only thereafter were they ridden on land and gradually trained to swim, prance about to produce a less static target in battle, and turn and stop suddenly. Many were now gelded to enhance their endurance and speed. Blackfoot practice was generally similar in all respects and, when it came to breeding horses, emphasized selecting stallions rather than mares in order to obtain particular colours, larger size, or greater speed. That similar characteristics were widely appreciated is evident from the names Hidatsas gave their horses (Table 5.1). Wild animals, on the other hand, were only rarely taken and tamed. The Blackfeet kept their best horses picketed near their owners’ tipi for protection from night-time raiders, concealing others some way from the main camp. Hidatsas also favoured their best animals, keeping them in a corral within their semi-subterranean earth lodges and leaving the others outside to fend for themselves, except when enemy threats necessitated their movement into the village. As was typical for other Plains populations, horses were taken to water each Table 5.1. Hidatsa horse names Fast horses E˙datakic Tsı´˙ta˙taki-itsu´wuckac ˙˙ ˙ Geldings used as workhorses Cı´piceˇc Tisdi-ce¨pic Tsadic Tsı´˙tana¨xic ˙ Stallions Nu´wakceˇc Mares Mı´ka-aku´-i’-tı´ac (after Wilson 1924)

White Belly Deer Horse Black Dark Bay Light Bay Whitetail Stallion Female-that-is-Big

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day. This task, like their breaking in and training, fell to boys and young men. Women, on the other hand, had the hard work of collecting the cottonwood bark, tops, and branches used in winter as a vital nutritional supplement; among the Hidatsa they also collected dry grass as emergency fodder and gave maize to those horses specially trained to hunt bison. To use horses successfully depended on having the necessary equipment. Museum collections preserve a wealth of material evidence for the items that people made and decorated so that their horses could be ridden or used as pack and draught animals.16 Saddles followed the same broad pattern outlined in Chapter 4. For hunting, racing, and fighting Hidatsas employed a soft skin pad saddle, stuffed with pronghorn antelope hair. Saddles of this kind were widely used across the Plains and bison hair, deer hair, and grass provided alternative fillings. For added security, women, children, and the elderly used more substantial rawhide-covered wood frame saddles of the same type employed on pack animals. Once again, their general form, with high pommels and cantles ultimately inspired by Spanish originals in the Southwest, was found Plains-wide, though the Crow and their neighbours developed extraordinarily high versions in the mid1800s.17 Following their invention (perhaps by Kiowas?) about 1825, deer or wapiti antler-framed saddles were also widely used on the Plains and Plateau, both for riding and as pack saddles.18 Below the saddle, skins (often of bison) protected the horse’s back, a single one sufficing perhaps if just for a rider, but four or five for a heavy load. Horses’ feet were shod with rawhide ‘shoes’ as in the Southwest and— in the absence of spurs—physical encouragement, when needed, was applied using quirts with decorated wapiti antler (or sometimes bone or wood) handles. To control their horses Hidatsas made bridles and halters by twisting a long (12–15 m) rope in and about the mouth and tying the loose end into the rider’s belt. More complex versions, using two reins, were employed for warhorses and when hunting bison. Among the Blackfeet, but also more widely, rawhide was the standard material for such reins, as well as for picket lines, hobbles to secure a horse’s feet, and stirrup and saddle straps; twisted bison hair was also used.19 Metal-bitted ‘Spanish’ bridles were rare, as they had to be acquired through trade, but they are recorded on the Northern Plains as early as 1739;20 valued as prestige items, they occasionally occur in burials,

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such as that of a Lakota man from South Dakota,21 and are still valued as heirlooms.22 Many of these items were elaborately decorated, especially after glass trade beads became increasingly available through the nineteenth century. This is particularly so for saddle blankets, breast collars, the martingales used to keep a horse’s head down, and the cruppers used to prevent saddle and harness from sliding forward. Decorated horse collars and bridles with cheek straps and brow bands ornamented with silver dollars were also notable—and highly valued—features of later nineteenth-century horse gear: Limpy, a Cheyenne youth, braved heavy gunfire to retrieve one given him by his uncle at the Battle of the Rosebud in June 1876.23 Trophy scalps might also decorate bridles, but the use of feathers and small bags of horse medicine hanging from a beaded, leather-covered stick suspended from the bit or bridle was a distinctively Blackfoot practice, later shared by Cheyennes, as well as by Flatheads and Kutenais on the Columbia Plateau. Such ‘things to tie on a halter’, or war bridles, were thought to give the horse strength, speed, and agility and protect it from bullets. They occur frequently in the Plains art traditions.24 Horses themselves could be painted or might have feathers attached to their manes and tails to impart added speed, but most spectacular of all were the masks that they sometimes wore, especially on ceremonial occasions. Representing animals such as bison, wapiti, and bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), they were noted on the Northern Plains from the very beginning of the 1800s, though surviving examples—some fitted with real bison horns—are more recent (Plate 10; cf. Figure 6.5).25 Feathered war bonnets are also known from the work of George Catlin, painted robes, and several rock art sites in Montana; probably disappearing from use by 1850, they seem to have been largely restricted to the Crow, their Hidatsa cousins, and the latter’s Mandan allies.26 Conversely, horses could also provide materials with which to make artefacts: horsehide drums, horsehair decoration on shirts, and horse teeth jewellery are all attested among the Blackfeet, for instance.27 Images of horses also beautify many others, including pipe bowls, courting flutes, and dance sticks.28 Like many of the artefacts made from horses or used with them, such representations frequently carry a rich symbolic content that even now may not have been fully explored.29

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‘Big dogs’ and little dogs: changes in transportation and settlement ‘Mysterious dog’ to the Lakota, ‘elk dog’ to Algonquian speakers like the Arapaho, Blackfeet, and Cheyenne, ‘seven dogs’ to the Athapaskan-speaking Sarsi30—the names employed for the horse on the Northern Plains simultaneously emphasize its similarities in usage to the long-familiar dog, but also its transcendence of things canine. In this section I explore some aspects of how this was so. Descendants of Eurasian wolves, dogs may have been present in North America before the horse became extinct there. Indeed, as meat and in pulling or carrying loads dogs may have been important in the very first human penetration of the New World, though the oldest known archaeological evidence dates from the early Holocene.31 Jim Bozell’s study of Pawnee dogs illustrates their essential role in preequestrian times on the Plains for transporting things within villages and on seasonal bison hunts away from them and as an extra source of food.32 Smaller, coyote-like animals and larger, more wolf-like ‘Sioux dogs’ hauled meat, tent poles, and firewood on a frame stretched between two debarked poles, the ends of which were tied together and placed over the small of the back (a travois). They also carried packs on their backs in a ‘saddlebag’ arrangement. Experimental evidence suggests that dogs can drag loads of at least 27 kg over distances of up to 27 km per day, but that in summer performance is severely impaired when temperatures exceed 20˚C, so walking is best done in early morning or evening. Historical observations record daily movements of loads of 30–45 kg over distances of 40–50 km, but regular, sustained progress must have required significantly lower weights; in winter dragging would have been easier when snow could support the animals’ paws.33 Given that horses can be ridden, can carry five times as much over even greater distances and pull even more, and do not compete with people or dogs for food,34 one might expect that the use of dogs would have disappeared as soon as horses were sufficiently plentiful. But while in the Pawnee case archaeological evidence shows that dogs did decline in number, decrease in size, and have less effort expended on them,35 there is much historical evidence to confirm their continued use.36 Understanding why this was so teaches us more about the advantages—and disadvantages—that horses offered.

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One key factor is that, when working, horses cannot eat, yet simply to maintain body weight a horse must ingest about 2 per cent of its mass per day, which means it must graze for much of the time. Moreover, work expends energy, especially when working so hard that the horse sweats, so that normal water amounts need to double, or even treble. Lactating mares also need to drink more to allow them to produce 5 per cent of their body mass per day as milk.37 Additionally, when eating dry grass, as in winter, almost all (85–90%) of a horse’s water needs must be met in liquid form.38 But not all water is alike and when rich in algae, polluted by waterfowl, or cursed with a poor mineral content the result may be severe health problems, or even death. Thus, while horses may be significantly more efficient than dogs in moving people and loads over distance, that efficiency comes at a price. In a penetrating analysis of these issues, Alison Landals points out that dogs are also less liable to be stolen, reproduce faster, grow quicker, withstand cold winters better, can satisfy all their moisture needs by eating snow (which also impedes their movement less), are better able to share human shelters, need less specialist training before they can be used, spend far less time eating, and tend not to stray.39 All told, it now becomes easier to understand why people should still have used dogs to carry loads even when they had horses aplenty.40 Horses also required shelter and extra feeding to enhance their chances of surviving a Plains winter. As we saw in the last chapter with the Comanche, this inevitably affected people’s decisions about where to camp and how best to use the landscape. One of the few archaeologically focused studies of these choices comes from southern Alberta. There, Landals compared the distribution of sites immediately preceding the first European contacts (in the mid-eighteenth century) with those that followed, a distinction that broadly coincides with the divide between before and after the adoption of the horse. Notwithstanding the devastating impact of smallpox, she found a real increase in the use of the reservoir catchments studied once people had the horse. The reason lies in the need to find sheltered, secluded locations where both water and fodder existed in sufficient quantity, a need that river valleys and major gully systems amply fulfilled. The riverine woodland, steep valley walls, windblown (and thus snow-free) prairielevel areas of cured grass, and possibility of multiple night pastures with different aspects and degrees of wind exposure of the Oldman River

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Dam area exemplify this. Conversely, previously acceptable upland areas where water was scarce could now be used only briefly, if at all, except when ample green grass was available in summer. Landals’ analysis confirms the conclusion drawn from historical observations that while in the pedestrian era the presence/absence and abundance of bison were probably the most important factors determining camp location and the frequency of camp moves once people switched to horses their needs took priority. Perversely, at least in winter some groups may have been more mobile before the horse than after.41 Demanding as they may have been, however, horses undoubtedly made moving across the Plains an easier proposition, not least when we bear in mind how often such moves were made. Though movements were affected by weather, food supply, and social imperatives, a summary account for just the Blackfeet would encompass some five months in winter quarters, up to a month at large aggregation camps in early summer when major ceremonies would be held, and a much more mobile, dispersed pattern in spring, midsummer, and autumn inbetween.42 Archaeologically, it seems likely that summer aggregation camps became larger once horses increased the range over which, and the ease with which, bison could be hunted and people could travel.43 In all cases, however, band membership remained fluid and the precise details of how bands combined and dispersed depended on fluctuations in bison supply, as well as their own internal and external leadership ties and kinship connections. When they did move people had two main options for transporting homes, personal possessions, and the elderly and infirm. One was to scale up the travois previously dragged by dogs, something noted as early as 1754 by explorer Anthony Hendry, who described the Cree/ Assiniboin making ‘sleds of birch for the women and horses’.44 Among the Blackfeet, each family had its own horse travois, made and owned by women from wood and rawhide, preferably with a ladder-type platform (Plate 11). Dragged over rough ground, travois lasted about a year and were also used in camp as drying racks or for shade. In fact, two types were employed: one an A-shaped drag with two shafts, integral platform, and hitch for attaching the horse (for moving the sick and injured), the other, which was more common, improvised from two bundles of tipi poles with a temporary platform (for carrying goods).45

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Tipis were the largest and heaviest item moved. A typical Blackfoot home made from 12–14 bison hides would, with pegs and lining, weigh about 70–85 kg, while the nineteen poles needed to support it added a further 180 kg. The total weight of some 250–265 kg needed three horses to move it, with the poles carried in two travois and the rest on a packhorse. Larger lodges of wealthier people needed even more animals. All told, an average family of eight living in one tipi probably required no fewer than twelve horses: three to carry the lodge, two for packing personal possessions, three ridden by women and children plus two more for men, and finally two horses kept for hunting bison. Where families had fewer horses than this they either had to overload those they did have, borrow from others (especially for hunting, with the social dependencies that this created), or make greater use of dogs on daily marches that might vary between 8 and 40 km, but generally averaged some 16–24 km.46 Whether tipi size increased after horses became available has been much discussed. While the dog-borne tents seen by sixteenth-century Spaniards on the Southern Plains were probably smaller than those used 300 years later, dressing bison hides to make them thinner would have reduced the numbers needed, from twelve to fourteen to six or seven, something recalled in at least one Blackfoot account of the pedestrian era. Alternatively, as remembered by the Cheyenne, and still practised by relatively horse-poor Hidatsas and Assiniboins in the 1800s, hides might have been placed over upended dog travois, thereby obviating the need to carry heavy lodge poles as well.47 Archaeological evidence—at least in Alberta—counsels against any major change in lodge size.48 Packhorses, which could carry up to 320 kg at a time, were the second way in which horses could transport possessions. Typically, they carried things in pairs of parfleches, rawhide containers that largely replaced the bison skin bags of pre-equestrian times once metal knives became widely available from the late 1700s (Figure 5.4). One of the most important items stored and transported in them was pemmican, an energy-rich mix of bison meat, fat, and berries that could resist spoilage for years. Skin bags and saddlebags for riding horses were also used, but horses were not the only equids that people employed. Like the Comanche, some Northern Plains peoples also kept mules, mostly acquired by trading with or raiding Europeans. Stronger than horses and highly valued for hauling tipi poles, meat, and camp

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Figure 5.4. A Cheyenne parfleche painted in red and green and collected in 1868. Copyright: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (E6912-0).

equipment, mules were worth at least two ordinary horses in the early 1800s,49 and their capture, like that of horses, was sometimes immortalized in art.50

Buffalo runners: the horse as hunter Bison had been the key to the subsistence of Plains hunter-gatherers for over ten millennia when the horse returned to North America and were a source not just of meat, but also of clothing, shelter, fuel, and tools. Indeed, the Blackfeet made almost a hundred items from them.51 Obtaining bison was thus absolutely essential to existence. Before they had horses, Native peoples principally achieved this by stampeding herds into natural traps in the landscape, such as narrow gullies, or over cliff edges (as at Head-Smashed-In, Alberta), or by driving them into manmade corrals built of logs; stone cairns marking out drive lines

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leading to the kill site occur in all these contexts.52 All three methods required a high degree of concerted communal activity to lure the bison onward, to build traps and cairns, and to process the carcasses of those killed. Some communal drive sites continued to be used even when horses were available (Plate 8), though on the Northern Plains only the relatively horse-poor Cree and Assiniboin hunted this way after 1850.53 Instead, hunting took on a more direct and individual tone. Crucial to this was the use of highly prized horses (‘buffalo-runners’) specially trained to get in close to a running bison and not shy away from it. Employed only for hunting, fighting, and on ceremonial occasions, such horses were treasured for their speed, endurance, courage, and agility, and were only rarely traded. Using them, hunters could surround a herd and close in around it, shooting as they did so (Figure 5.5). Increasingly, however, bison were chased until they could be shot at close range, preferably behind the left shoulder, after which

Figure 5.5. Hidatsa hunters surrounding a herd of bison, as painted by George Catlin 1832–33 (‘Buffalo Chase, a Surround by the Hidatsa’). Copyright: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs Joseph Harrison Jr (1985.66.409).

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the horse swerved away to avoid injury, returning to allow extra shots to be delivered as needed (Plate 12). Less dangerous than surrounds, this technique could be used by any number of hunters, large or small. Those participating reduced the weight of their clothing and equipment to a minimum, sometimes riding bareback. Until breach-loading rifles became available after the American Civil War firearms were rarely used; though stone and bone points gave way to metal ones, small, composite bows were more manageable, more accurate, and could be fired several times in the time needed to reload a gun. Being silent, they were also far less liable to panic the bison. Hunting like this, a couple of men could kill over a tonne of bison in minutes. It was the relatively small numbers of packhorses owned by most families that limited how much meat could be dressed and removed, something that encouraged people to focus on the choicest cuts, with others going to waste. This, however, was no novelty of the equestrian age, as a detailed account referring to 1873 makes clear. Though having horses at the time, the Hidatsa of Like-a-Fishhook village on North Dakota’s Missouri River chose not to use them because of their weakened state at the end of that particular winter, the softness of the ground, and the swollen nature of the rivers. Instead, Buffalo Bird Woman and her eleven companions went on foot with twelve dogs on a hunt that lasted just over three weeks. Their lack of horses greatly reduced their ability to find and pursue bison, necessitated highly selective butchery and transport of those they eventually did kill (including caching meat between kill sites and camps), and encouraged a more conservative, play-safe hunting strategy that saw them return to existing meat caches when bison were not found where expected. Matching archaeological evidence, fat content was the best predictor of which parts were removed and kept.54 Buffalo Bird Woman’s hunt underlines the advantages that hunting bison with horses brought to the Plains. Whatever the potentially adverse social and ecological consequences that this entailed (topics I discuss in the following two sections), horses certainly expanded the range over which bison could be sought, making it easier to locate and kill them and thus procure food and other essentials. One measure of the horse’s success comes from human skeletal remains that provide some estimate of the nutritional standing of nineteenth-century Plains groups. A simple, but effective, proxy for this is height, and one study of almost 1,500, mostly male, individuals, over half of them Lakota,

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shows them to have been significantly taller than many contemporary Europeans and almost as tall as British or American men today.55 The reason? The substantial protein and energy resources secured from bison within a wider diet rich in other game animals and plant foods.

Of furs and bison robes: trade and gender in the age of the horse The nutritional challenges of a high protein diet that we considered in Chapter 4 also affected bison-dependent hunters on the Central and Northern Plains and were met in the same ways. In fact, the use of some plant foods, such as prairie turnips (Psoralea esculenta), which could only be collected for a few weeks in early summer, may have become easier once horses could transport the dried tubers or flour that were stored for winter consumption. Alternatively, they could be traded, as Cheyennes and Arapahos did in exchange for Arikara maize in the early 1800s.56 Archaeology shows that such exchanges, which on the Northern Plains also encompassed Mandans and Hidatsas on the farmer side and many other groups on the hunter-gatherer one, had a long ancestry.57 As with their Southern Plains/Pueblo/Caddoan counterpart, they helped buffer people against local fluctuations in environmental productivity, while enhancing access to resources by exchanging nutritionally complementary foodstuffs. That said, numerous other goods also moved through the system: excavations document Dentalium shells (for beads), obsidian (for stone tools), catlinite (for pipes), and steatite (for heatable containers), while in 1739 La Ve´rendrye noted that tobacco, skins, and feathers were traded to the Assiniboin in return for the guns, powder, bullets, metal axes, kettles, knives, and awls that the latter were already obtaining from British and French traders. Soon afterwards, Middle Missouri villagers became a crucial conduit for the northward dispersal of horses; in summer 1805, for example, Hidatsas traded over five hundred to Assiniboins, Crees, and Ojibwas, having secured them first from the Crow in return for guns, ammunition, and maize.58 Though trading relations were always unstable, the farmer populations long held considerable power because they effectively monopolized maize production on the Northern Plains and could—to a degree—secure bison of their own. Their position as middlemen in the dispersal of European trade goods

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reinforced this for a time,59 and they sometimes also moved on to the Plains to hold trade fairs attended by many different groups.60 Regardless of whether they came from French Quebec or British outposts on Hudson Bay, European traders entering the Northern Plains in the mid-eighteenth century were principally interested in furs, especially beaver. Into the early 1800s bison were still of only minimal importance, but this changed between 1815 and 1835 as the United States deregulated its fur trading operations west of the Mississippi, fashions changed, beaver were over-trapped, and steamboats penetrated the upper reaches of the Missouri.61 Massive and accelerating expansion of trade was the result, especially for bison robes and tongues. Two aspects of this expansion deserve singling out: its consequences for the scheduling and scale of bison hunts and its impact on relations between Indigenous men and women. At low levels, supplying Euro-American demands for bison did not necessarily have a negative impact on Native economies or social organization. However, that situation changed as demand grew and dependence on firearms and articles of metal rather than the stone tools and ceramics of the past increased with it.62 One major reason was that bison have their thickest coats in winter, making this the preferred time at which to hunt them for trading purposes, not summer, when animals were in better condition from both a meat and a tanning point of view. Since summer hunts were heavily policed to avoid individual hunters disturbing bison before everyone else was ready to hunt, hunting for commercial purposes when communities had dispersed into much smaller units began to escape from traditional social controls.63 Increased demand also affected bison numbers. Close to some early trading posts, such as Fort Pierre at the junction of the Bad and Missouri Rivers, bison were effectively hunted out within twenty years.64 But such declines were only in small part a Native responsibility. The trans-continental migration of hundreds of thousands of sheep and cattle along the Platte River between the start of the California Gold Rush (1848) and the outbreak of the Civil War (1861), coming on top of the opening up of the Oregon Trail to the Pacific Northwest (especially from 1846) and—further south—the growth of another route leading to Santa Fe, devastated natural pasturelands. But it was commercial hunting by Euro-Americans (for hides, not robes), compounded by the development of a cattle-ranching industry on

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parts of the Plains and facilitated by the advance of an extensive railway network, which ultimately destroyed the bison. Industrial demand for leather belts in machinery, the perfection of new tanning techniques to supply them, and the availability of accurate long-bore rifles provided the additional ingredients: in the winter of 1872–73 over 400,000 hides were shipped via Dodge City, Kansas, alone. With the southern bison herds largely destroyed by the end of that decade, commercial hunting shifted north and by 1889 only a few hundred animals survived in the entire United States. Though direct military action and Euro-American appropriation of many of the best pastures and overwintering localities were more important in ending Indigenous independence, the connection between eradicating the bison and removing Native peoples from the land that Euro-Americans now wanted for themselves was lost on no one.65 Bison hides, as opposed to robes, did not need to be dressed before they were sold and Native peoples therefore had no advantage in supplying them. That robe production was a female task invites us to consider how far the increase in this activity, brought about by marketoriented trade in the first half of the nineteenth century, affected relations between men and women. In general terms the arrival of domesticated horses on the Plains may have made life easier for women in that they no longer had to participate in communal bison drives or carry heavy loads as mobile groups moved from camp to camp or when farmer communities decanted onto the grasslands to hunt. Typically, women also owned those horses used as pack or draught animals.66 But the reality was probably less rosy since, among both sedentary and mobile populations, it was women who had to find fodder for horses in winter.67 Among the Hidatsa at least— but perhaps true of other farmers as well—they also had to fence off their gardens from potential equine predators and remove manure after horses grazed on maize stubble in order to prevent the growth of weeds.68 The demand for bison robes brought about greater changes in women’s lives since they invariably undertook the time- and labourintensive work of cleaning and dressing them and an ever-increasing demand for trade goods could most easily be satisfied through their exchange, which was controlled by men.69 Women, it is argued, therefore now had to work harder to maintain their status and that of their husbands and kin, while men found it desirable to seek

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additional wives to increase output. The bones of Omaha and Ponca women do indeed show signs of increased stress after trading intensified, though domestic violence cannot be excluded as a cause.70 But other village-based groups, such as the Hidatsa and Wichita, developed more expedient ways of processing hides, for example by ceasing to mount stone scrapers in hafts, abandoning heat treatment of the chert used to make them, maintaining them less carefully, or simply making them bigger to begin with. All helped enhance the efficiency of the tools women needed;71 metal knives, awls, and needles did this even more, while on clothing glass beads were easier to use as decoration than traditional porcupine quills. Trade, then, probably also made things easier for women, even if it was labour, not the number of bison that could be killed, that ultimately limited robe production. Indeed, we should be wary of overgeneralizing, not least because comparable processes, involving a reorganization of gendered labour divisions and the shift of women’s work to increase hide production, had probably begun on the Southern Plains even before the horse, as part of the abandonment of cultivation along their western margins and the intensification of Southern Plains/Pueblo trade in the late fifteenth/early sixteenth centuries.72 Moreover, in all Plains societies women retained control of the domestic sphere and were valued for their skills in preparing food, raising children, and making craft items, bison robes included. In some instances, they also took on what, to the traditional Western eye, are distinctly male roles. Buffalo Calf Road Woman, a Northern Cheyenne, who rescued her brother during the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876 and days later fought at the Little Big Horn, unhorsing the American commander, George Custer, is one of the best known. Running Eagle, a Piegan, who hunted, went on horse raids, and eventually died in battle, is also well remembered.73

Horses as instruments of politics and war Much has been written about whether the advent of the horse changed patterns of warfare on the North American Plains.74 Long before European arrival in the New World, however, archaeological evidence makes clear that, at least at times, this was ferocious in both nature and scale. At an early fourteenth-century village at Crow Creek, South Dakota, for

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instance, some five hundred people, virtually the entire population, were killed and mutilated, though some young women may have survived, presumably as captives.75 Eighteenth-century records reinforce a picture in which entire camps could be targeted to acquire prisoners for adoption or trade and where pitched battles might involve several hundred warriors.76 A prelapsarian Garden of Eden the Plains were not. The horse altered both the tactics and the strategy of conflict. In terms of tactics, we saw in Chapter 4 how Apaches were the first to adopt armour for themselves and their horses and how the use of that armour spread right across the Plains as far as southern Canada. Though battles initially continued to be fought on foot (to protect horses that were still few in number? Because the relevant equipment had not yet been perfected?), soon those with horses were using them in battle against those without. Having obtained horses early on, the Shoshone, in particular, raided on a large scale, particularly for captives who could be traded south into New Mexico in return for more horses. Rock art, especially the extensive body of engravings at Writing-on-Stone in southern Alberta, documents the shift over time in how warfare was conducted: from pedestrian warriors using large shields, clubs, and lances in hand-to-hand fighting through the appearance of horses protected by leather armour to a time when guns were few and eventually to one in which armour had been abandoned, shields were rare, and a greater variety of weapons was used (spears, hatchets, bows, clubs, rifles, and even swords).77 One of two quite exceptional decorated hides dating to the early 1700s, the Segesser I painting is also worth noting for showing armoured Native riders (equipped with Spanish weapons and presumably in Spanish service) attacking pedestrian warriors at a tipi village (Figure 5.6).78 Though such armour largely disappeared in the early 1800s, elaborately quilled and beaded hide caparisons placed over the saddle and the horse’s withers continued to be used, at least by some women. Small double shield-like objects that covered the horse’s ribs, one of the most vulnerable parts of its body, are slightly more common, though their effectiveness probably resided as much in the sacred designs painted on them as in their size (Figure 5.7).79 The horses men used in war were, like those employed to chase bison, specially trained. Indeed, they were often the same animals, able to run at a steady pace and swerve almost immediately when needed. Riders also made sure that their warhorses could stop quickly, stay

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Figure 5.6. A detail of the Segesser I painted hide showing mounted Pueblo or other Native American auxiliaries of the Spanish attacking pedestrian (Plains Apache?) warriors. Note the leather armour worn by the horses. This work and its companion piece are probably painted on bison hide (as a substitute for rare and expensive canvas), while the images were probably the work of Native artists. The hides were likely acquired by Philipp von Segesser von Brunegg, a Jesuit priest, in Sonora, Mexico, between 1732 and 1758, and produced in the 1720s. Photographed by Blair Clark. Courtesy: Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), negative number 149798.

close when they dismounted, and—when necessary—carry two people at once. It thus comes as little surprise to learn that they were generally used only in battle itself; Cheyennes and Kiowas rode other horses to the scene of a fight, while Lakotas led their warhorses on foot.80 Such luxuries became less practicable when confronting American forces in the mid- and late nineteenth century, but the finesse and skill with which Native warriors used their mounts rightly led to them being described as the ‘best light cavalry in the world’.81 Historians and anthropologists have sometimes polarized mounted warfare and horse-raiding. And yet, as Thomas Biolsi has remarked,

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Figure 5.7. An example of rawhide horse armour of probable nineteenth-century date, brought to Britain in 1825 by Bryan Mullanphy (Am2003,19.6). The whole object measures 90 by 60 cm and probably comes from a Central or Northern Plains group. It and its pair (now in Cambridge University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) were used on either side of the saddle, with the slit providing access for the girth and stirrup straps. The circular panels were designed to protect the horse’s vulnerable leg joints from arrows, but may also have offered protection from other objects being carried, such as bags or parfleches. Copyright: The Trustees of the British Museum.

raiding itself was an act of war in which enemies made horse raids but horse raids also made enemies. True, existing enmities lay behind many attacks, but the economic motivation to seek good-quality horses from those who had them in plenty was also well to the fore.82 Raids were generally undertaken on foot, armed only with bow, knife, and (when available) gun, and required great stealth as well as courage. Horses kept at the camp’s periphery might have been easier to steal, but those tied to tipis were the best, likely to be buffalo runners and thus of greatest value to the person taking them.83 More generally, given the effort needed to feed, care for, and train horses

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with no return likely before the age of 4 or 5, taking already trained animals from others made considerable sense.84 Considerable prestige accrued to the successful raider. Like touching an enemy in battle, horse-stealing allowed him to ‘count coup’ and thus gain honour within a recognized system of distinctions.85 Intriguingly, the likely chronological sequence of the images engraved at Writing-on-Stone suggests that, at least in this part of the Plains, graded war honours of this kind may have been absent—or at least insufficiently important relative to vision quests to be shown in rock art—until some time after the horse’s introduction.86 In turn, this points to some specific ways in which having horses (perhaps more accurately, getting horses) enhanced opportunities for social distinctions within Plains societies: not all men could be as successful as the best raiders. Some nevertheless amassed considerable wealth: among the Piegan, the most horse-rich Blackfoot group, for example, perhaps one in twenty had fifty or more horses, though among the Blackfeet proper and the Blood numbers were much less and a quarter of families had fewer than six—only half the ‘ideal’ number discussed earlier. Such extremes can be paralleled among other groups as well, though absolute numbers vary greatly, so that some Piegan individuals, for example, probably had more horses than entire Mandan communities.87 And it was not just having more horses that made one richer: an inherently mobile form of social capital themselves, horses could also move others, drastically raising earlier limits on the accumulation of material possessions. In another echo of what we saw with Comanches, as the preferred medium of exchange for sealing marriages having more horses offered a clear route into having more wives,88 and thus greater opportunities for trading bison robes to Euro-Americans. A tendency for the hides of bison taken in communal hunts to belong to the individuals who had killed the animals, even where meat was still shared with people who had no horses, reinforced the connections between robe production, trade, horse ownership, and social distinctions.89 In turn, the accelerating bison robe trade and the growth in polygamous marriage saw bride prices inflate until a man might have to engage in as many as ten raids before having enough horses to marry— a clear incentive to intensify raiding.90 Raiding was additionally favoured because men also gained prestige by giving horses away to those who had few or none of them, as well as

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by loaning out buffalo runners. Poorer men and younger kinsfolk who received such largesse formed the followers of the rich. They were termed ‘labourers’ (otockinikima) by the Plains Cree in recognition of their role as herders and hide-processors for the wealthy. But since horses—unlike food and trade goods—were relatively rarely redistributed, rather than loaned, they tended to become concentrated within particular kin groups, laying the foundations for social distinctions that were not only increasingly unequal but also increasingly hereditary.91 Funeral ceremonies expressed these inequalities. Just as on the Southern Plains and in the Southwest, horse gear might be included in the grave,92 or horses might be killed to accompany the deceased and left under the burial scaffold or tree or by the graveside.93 The social disparities that such practices reflect, and horse ownership helped create and reinforce, probably began very early: already by the late 1700s Atsina families with few or no horses had a more difficult time securing meat than those who had a great number of them.94

Imag(in)ing the horse The horse raids that provided such a potent means for men to acquire or enhance their social standing continued long after Northern Plains peoples were confined to reservations, becoming the only means for young men to gain status once warfare and bison-hunting were impossible.95 The Assiniboin, Crow, Plains Cree, Piegan, and Yanktonai were the major groups involved in the final phase of such conflicts until more effective army policing, increasingly dense white settlement, and near-total dependence on agency rations saw them disappear entirely.96 One of the last raids is memorialized at Turner Shelter, central Montana (Figure 5.8). Hidden away, but with easy access to trails leading to Crow territory further south, the scenes engraved here depict riders touching or killing pedestrian enemies, assaulting small, fortified sites, fighting hand-to-hand, and taking horses. The Turner Shelter images are almost certainly of Blackfoot authorship to judge from the medicine halter attached to one horse, the kind of fortifications represented, and the triangular bodies of some of the human figures, which recall others at Writing-on-Stone and Crossfield Coulee in core Blackfoot territory. They are also in an area where Blackfoot horse raids are well documented through the

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(a)

(c)

(b) 40 cm

Figure 5.8. Late nineteenth-century engravings of the Biographic tradition at Turner Shelter, Montana, are probably of Blackfoot origin. They are shown here in their approximate spatial relationship to each other as if drawn on a flat surface. Cluster (a) includes (at far left) a horseman spearing someone afoot and (to the right) a horse raid. Cluster (b) shows scenes of individual combat, or perhaps enemies on whom coup has been counted, plus two fortifications. Cluster (c) shows (above) a second horse successful horse raid and (below) a rider with war bonnet and wounded(?) pedestrian figure. These last two figures are in charcoal, but all the other images are scratched. Copyright and courtesy: Jim Keyser.

1880s—their likely date of production—and where they continued until as late as 1892.97 The Turner Shelter images fall within the Biographic tradition of Plains art.98 Innovated in the early 1700s and continuing to the end of the nineteenth century, this is mainly a narrative style concerned with everyday and historical events (Plate 13). On rock, images were mostly engraved (by scratching or incising), though they might sometimes be painted, as at the Hussie Miers site in southwest Texas, which is

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probably of Kiowa or Comanche authorship.99 Images were also painted or carved into tree stumps, while a unique example survives inscribed on a brass plate from the 1876 Little Big Horn battlefield. Originally part of a bucket, this artwork shows several warriors, all but one mounted, pursuing and shooting two mounted soldiers, while a third lies dead or dying. The scene may record an incident at the Battle of the Rosebud in the same year, a date compatible with the details of the weaponry shown.100 Horses feature prominently on this particular object and are by far the most common animal in the Biographic tradition as a whole. Generally shown in profile with outline, curvilinear bodies and limited anatomical detail, manes, tails, ears, hooves, and harness elements may also be represented. Horse tracks, on the other hand, consist of schematic lines of C-shapes. Realistic representations of both horse and mule tracks occur in the Hoofprint Tradition, another widespread form of Plains rock art that broadly coincides with the regional distribution of the Siouan language family to which Lakota belongs. This attribution is supported by ethnographic evidence that Siouan speakers used some of these sites for ritual purposes connecting ideas of fertility, womanhood, and bison (one of the most commonly represented animals).101 In several cases Hoofprint art occurs close to known communal bison kills or at locations still venerated for their supernatural power: given their importance for hunting and the desire to have as many of them as possible, the inclusion of horses seems quite natural (Figure 5.9).102 Turning back to the Biographic tradition, riders are usually shown carrying weapons, quirts, or other objects; large shields and horse armour are rare (and early). Virtually all Plains groups participated in this style, but on the Northern Plains Blackfeet, Cheyennes, Crows, and Lakotas were its principal exponents. In some cases horses, like people or weapons, appear in static, tally-like scenes, understood as indicating the numbers of animals captured (or—for people—killed). One of the most complex is at Writing-on-Stone where eighty horses are shown together, mostly only by head and neck, perhaps a single warrior’s lifetime tally. Closely connected to the Biographic tradition, continuing after it stopped, and again made by almost all Plains groups, was the so-called Robe-and-Ledger art. This takes two principal forms: bison robes, which have a pre-European antiquity of unknown length and were painted with natural colours before commercial paints became

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Figure 5.9. Engravings in the North Cave Hills, South Dakota, exemplify the Hoofprint tradition of North American Plains rock art. The characteristically equine triangular ‘frog’ at the base of the track is evident in the large print, fifth from the left. Copyright and courtesy: Jim Keyser.

available; and, beginning in the early 1800s, ledger books, paper, canvas, and muslin on which images were made with watercolours, ink, and crayons. Frequently, the scenes shown are well dated and were explained by the artists themselves, providing archaeologists with insights into the meaning of earlier traditions. Horses comprise almost all the animals illustrated, the difference in medium allowing considerable elaboration of their harness and ornamentation. Horse raids— including stealing horses picketed outside tipis—and warfare, again generally on horseback, are dominant themes (Figure 5.10). Horses also turn up frequently in the winter counts painted on bison hides that named each successive year, and extend back, in some instances, into the 1700s (Plate 14).103 Significantly older than the beginnings of the Biographic tradition, but with a more restricted distribution (from Alberta to southeastern Colorado and western Kansas), is the Ceremonial Tradition. As the name implies it is concerned with carefully executed, detailed imagery that likely had ritual or ceremonial connections. Where horses occur,

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Figure 5.10. Ledger drawing in graphite and coloured pencil of two men stealing a horse by cutting the rope picketing it to a tipi. This particular drawing is part of a large number made by an anonymous Arikara artist c.1875, a time when many Arikara men served as scouts in the United States Army. Ledger art such as this was executed on a wide variety of media and represents a final flourishing of the Plains Biographic tradition. Copyright: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (NAA INV 08510628).

they are depicted in profile as in the Biographic tradition and are generally quite schematic, classically represented using just three lines. They nevertheless stand out from other animals as being virtually the only ones associated with objects: reins, feathers tied in the tail, amulets, scalp-decorated halters, and so on.104 Ethnographic data indicate that other commonly represented items—shields, the weapons that people hold, and the dress they wear—were probably understood as symbols of power from the spirit world. The horse fits directly into this pattern of thought, with more detail typically expended on the animal than on its rider.105 Even what appear to be isolated images or simple narrative scenes may have had strong symbolic associations, recalling and emphasizing the medicine power inherent in the horse.106 Indeed, with their quasi-miraculous origins, sudden and unforeseeable appearance, and enormous potential to transform lives, horses must surely have seemed to have come from another world into this one.

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Horses of medicine and myth Though appearing at a specific point in time the horse was rapidly incorporated into much older cosmological systems, becoming ‘a sacred icon, a metaphor of power’.107 In the Blackfoot case John Ewers recorded three different myths to explain their origin.108 In one, Wise Man, intent on securing quills for his and his wife’s clothing, was told to find Thunder. Having done so, he met the latter’s horses. Since he did not frighten them, he was given some, as well as a porcupine to provide further quills, in return for a woman and the robe of a sacred white bison. In another account a poor boy seeking secret power was given horses by a powerful water spirit and then taught others how to ride, use, and care for them. Finally, in a third myth Sun made a play horse out of wood for his grandson, which was then decorated and embellished by the boy’s father, Morning Star, who also taught him to ride. After the child and his mother returned to Earth, Morning Star provided their camp with horses that came out of a lake. The derivations from celestial or underwater spirits are consistent with general Blackfoot ideas about the origins of other sacred items and it is worth noting that at least some of the rock art discussed earlier in this chapter is concentrated at spiritually significant points in the landscape: Writing-on-Stone, with its narrow canyons, strangely eroded rocks, high cliffs, and spectacular views, is an excellent example (Figure 5.11).109 Such landscapes were—and are—among those where people come to seek visions and secure spiritual help, typically by fasting and prayer. John Stands-in-Timber, a Cheyenne elder and historian, specifically noted that people might make ‘drawings of their visions in the sand rocks’ and recorded how the Lakota war leader Crazy Horse realized images of a horse with a snake above it and surrounded by lightning marks on Reno Creek, Montana, after the Lakota/Cheyenne victory over the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn in 1876.110 Crazy Horse’s vision—of a rider with loose, long hair and lightning painted on his cheek and hail on his body, passing unharmed through a rain of bullets and arrows—is well known, and horses remain a source of spiritual power to many Plains peoples.111 For a sense of how horses might manifest themselves and become a source of spiritual guidance we can turn to the reminiscences of the Lakota healer and elder, Black Elk, who acquired his ‘great vision’ at

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Figure 5.11. Writing-on-Stone, Alberta, Canada. The combination of strangely shaped landforms, cliffs, and canyons with the Sweet Grass Hills (in the background) evokes a landscape rich in supernatural power. Copyright and courtesy: Michael Klassen.

the age of 9, three years before the Little Big Horn.112 In it, a bay horse spoke to him and introduced him to other spiritual powers. Among them were numerous other horses, of different colours and with different associations, in each of the four directions. The power thus revealed was given material form in the Horse Dance that Black Elk initiated in 1881, after which he started to cure people using his newfound powers. The spirit horses that Black Elk saw were repeatedly linked to thunder, as when he described ‘a storm of plunging horses in all colours that shook the world with thunder’.113 Working with a verbatim record of Black Elk’s remarks, Julian Rice has explored these connections further, connections first examined over a century ago by Clark Wissler.114 For the Lakota, horses are both messengers (akicita) and potential embodiments of the physically manifest spiritual power (tonwan) of the Thunder Beings of the West. Moving swiftly, the horse’s speed and the energy of its rider make it become a thunder being; successful raiders even painted their faces black to resemble

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them. The similarity between the sound of thunder and that of horses’ hooves, especially when they gallop, is clear and recurs in other Lakota visions, for example that of Lone Man, as well as in the decoration of items like shields and the representation of horses in Robe-and-Ledger art.115 But it also extends into mythology and, indeed, palaeontology, for thunderhorses are said to have once chased bison across the Plains, killing them with their hooves and throwing up sparks like lightning flashes. The bones of these powerful creatures later turned to stone and, as Adrienne Mayor has shown, the idea of the thunderhorse provided the Lakota with a means of understanding the fossilized bones of long-extinct relatives of the horse (chalicotheres and titanotheres) that lived on the Northern Plains many millions of years ago. Pioneering palaeontologist Othniel Marsh was shown an amulet made from a ‘thunderhorse’ tooth in the 1870s, while the rhinoceros-like brontotheres, another group of now extinct mammals, take their name (‘thunder beast’) from Lakota beliefs. Such beliefs retain their potency: little more than a decade ago excavation of a major group of titanothere fossils in the Stronghold area of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation was prevented because of the sacred nature of the site.116 Horses sometimes took an active part in religious ceremonies, even, on occasion, the Sun Dance, the holiest Lakota ritual.117 Many Plains peoples also had special societies concerned with their curing or protection. Indeed, the Horse Society of the Oglala Lakota, which had medicines for capturing wild horses, making warhorses run faster, and curing illnesses and wounds, was founded by a man who ‘became a horse and disappeared among the thunders’.118 Similar horse medicine cults existed among the Arapaho, Arikara, Assiniboin, Blackfeet, Cree, Crow, and Sarsi, as well as the Kiowa. Where they took organized societal form their origins had, as in Black Elk’s case, frequently been revealed in dreams or visions,119 and membership was ceremonially purchased, creating additional opportunities for wealthier individuals to reinforce their standing by linking it to sources of supernatural power. A principal purpose was to cure people in rituals that involved repeated prayer, singing, ceremonial smoking, and the invocation of the spirit horses that had given the cult’s founder his powers. In keeping with widespread Native American beliefs, special horse medicine bundles were among the key ritual objects present at such ceremonies; the bundle belonging to the Blackfoot healer Wallace Night Gun consisted of seven skin pouches containing a variety of plants used to combat coughs, colds, and fevers.120

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Table 5.2. Examples of medicinal plants applied to horses on or near the Northern Plains Species

Common name

Group(s)

Clematis hirsutissima (previously C. douglassii) Ionoxalis violecera Lacinaria scariosa Paeonia brownii

Hairy clematis

Lakota; Nez Perce´

Sheep sorrel Devil’s bite Wild peony

Thalictrum sparsiflorum

Few-flowered meadow rue Yellow wood sorrel

Pawnee Omaha ?Arapaho; Nez Perce´; Ute Cheyenne

Xanthoxalis stricta

Pawnee

(after Ewers 1955)

Horse medicine was also used to treat sick and injured horses, generally by administering it to the animal’s nose or mouth.121 Among the plant remedies employed (Table 5.2), some were applied to people as well as horses. Thus, red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) treated coughs in both species, while to gain strength and energy the dried, powdered flowers of western pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) were applied to a Cheyenne rider’s limbs and body and to his horse’s hooves.122 Success also required the observance of various taboos. Shooting horses and eating their meat were, for example, proscribed to Cheyenne horse doctors,123 while a taboo on breaking open rib or shin bones within the horse medicine man’s lodge was both widespread and ancient: its observation as early as 1803–04 among the Arikara shows that at least some aspects of horse medicine must have developed within just a couple of generations of people first acquiring horses.124

Equestrian villagers and equestrian nomads Though I have touched on them at several points I have not yet looked in depth at how horses impacted mobile hunting-oriented societies on the one hand compared to sedentary village communities on the other. Of all the Horse Nations discussed in this book, those of the Central and Northern Plains are particularly well suited to such a comparison and it is now time to repair this omission.

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Richard White’s analysis of the Pawnee of the Central Plains is a good place to begin.125 When they acquired horses at the end of the seventeenth century, Pawnees lived in permanent earth-lodge villages where they grew maize, beans, and other crops and from which they departed seasonally—in both high summer when the maize was ripening and for much of the winter—to hunt bison on the open grasslands. Pawnee horses found their most important role on such hunts, as observed by the missionary John Dunbar, who accompanied one in the winter of 1835–36.126 Indeed, they became so crucial to their success that families without horses had to depend on others for access to meat. Pawnee hunting nevertheless remained subsistence-oriented, with community leaders regulating trade and refusing to engage in commercial bison killing for the American market. Two major problems presented themselves once the Pawnee had horses: safeguarding them from raids by more mobile groups, like the Lakota, and ensuring the availability of good-quality fodder. By the 1830s the first was tackled by posting an elaborate system of sentinels around villages and by keeping horses within them at night. As to the second, cutting hay in late summer for use in winter when the nutritional content of the tallgrass prairie was low was impossible as it would have disrupted summer bison hunts (the main reason for having horses in the first place) and crop harvests. Other solutions were therefore devised: using areas where grass remained green longer than elsewhere; feeding horses unripe maize; cutting hay from creek bottoms in early winter when time could be spared to do this; using cottonwood bark and branches; pasturing horses in snow-free upland areas where buffalo grass and grama remained nutritious;127 and burning the tallgrass prairie in spring to stimulate the growth of new grass in March to June when demand was highest. Unhappily, this encouraged the growth of more fire-resistant poplars and oaks at the expense of cottonwood, while early spring grasses like needlegrass (Stipa spartea) probably declined as horses ate them before they could seed. Notwithstanding these problems and the heavy investment of labour needed to address them, Pawnees were able to keep horses successfully without having to abandon their villages, though they eventually increased the scale and extent of their annual hunts to the point where they might spend half the year out on the Plains. Other Central Plains villagers did the same. The Osage, for example, used their position between the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers and nearer

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Louisiana to acquire guns early in the 1700s, becoming important intermediaries in supplying slaves, bison robes, horses, and furs to New Orleans. Once mounted, they expanded into the game-rich Ozark Plateau and Arkansas Valley, which gave them direct access to the bison plains beyond, where they could hunt twice a year and secure meat and robes for themselves and their trading partners.128 But the westward movement of Osages, Pawnees, and others did not go uncontested: in the south Comanches were far from always welcoming, while north of the Arkansas the Lakota, in particular, sought to minimize intrusions into lands and bison herds they claimed for themselves. Their more northerly location along the middle stretches of the Missouri undoubtedly made horse-keeping more problematic for Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras, but archaeology shows that, however briefly, they too expanded beyond their previous range. The most compelling evidence comes from the Cluny site east of Calgary, over 600 km north of their homeland (Figure 5.12). Fortified by ditch and palisade, this mid/late-eighteenth-century settlement belongs to what

Figure 5.12. Aerial view of the Cluny site, Alberta, Canada. Copyright: Glenbow Archives, Calgary, Alberta (PD-87-10-1).

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archaeologists term the One Gun phase. It may represent an offshoot of population growth or political dissension within the Middle Missouri, or a temporary summer/autumn hunting camp. The impossibility of cultivation at this latitude (crops and storage pits are absent), the intensive processing of the bison bones present, and the butchery of some of the dogs suggests that life here nevertheless proved difficult; the Middle Missouri groups which tried such experiments may eventually have been assimilated by local hunter-gatherers.129 Overall, however, the ecological productivity of their Middle Missouri home and the favourable opportunities its location and agricultural produce offered for trade meant that Hidatsas, Mandans, and Arikaras had little incentive—or possibility—to convert to equestrianism on a large scale.130 Horse numbers remained small and by the early 1800s growing insecurity limited them to those that could be kept safe within villages. The large size of their own communities, ideological commitments to maize agriculture, and the vested interests of existing leaders (especially among the Arikara, who shared with the Pawnee a more stratified form of social organization) also counselled against greater mobility and a full-scale adoption of the nomadic hunting life. When, indeed, Arikaras tried this in the 1830s, having seen their crops fail and their communities devastated by recurrent smallpox outbreaks, the attempt proved abortive, not least because, by then, powerful mobile groups like the Lakota were in no mood to permit it.131 As we saw in Chapter 3, Cheyennes, who did eventually abandon horticulture in favour of a mobile, hunting-based lifestyle, took several generations to do so. Interestingly, linguistics and oral histories make it plain that one of the Middle Missouri farming groups, the Hidatsa, share a recent common origin with one of the ‘classic’ equestrian nomad societies of the Plains, the Crow. How far horses were implicated in this is uncertain. Theodore Binnema has argued that, as their northeastern neighbours began acquiring guns from Canadian-based fur traders in the late 1600s, Hidatsas sent bison expeditions further west to avoid them. Ultimately, those participating in these trips acquired horses and separated themselves off as a different group, gravitating towards the excellent horse pastures of the Yellowstone Basin.132 An eighteenthcentury separation would parallel the One Gun expansion just discussed, but several archaeological sites of supposed Crow affiliation are older than this: those assigned to a period as early as the 1400s are clearly incompatible with any scenario involving horses.133

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Horse wars When the Cheyenne’s creator deity warned them about the mixed blessings that horses would bring, he noted that, ‘You will have to have fights with other tribes, who will want your pasture land or the places you hunt.’134 The ecological constraints on successfully keeping large numbers of horses north of the Arkansas River and the intersection of the horse’s spread from the south and west with that of firearms and fur trading from the north and east help explain this statement. They also clarify the vigour with which such conflicts were pursued, to the point that historians speak of the ‘horse wars’ which afflicted the region from the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century.135 Alan Osborn’s analysis of the ecological constraints affecting Plains horsekeeping provides a partial context. Together, winter severity and mean length of growing season can account for almost two-thirds of the variation in horse herd size around 1874, the earliest year for which reasonably accurate and comprehensive records exist. Numerous historical observations confirm the difficulties many groups experienced in securing sufficient winter fodder and the losses they could sustain. An earlier, but less widely known analysis by Dennis Rinn makes identical points, adding snow depth as another major constraint and placing the northernmost viable limit of horse-keeping along the 18˚C January isotherm.136 Given all this, it is not surprising that some of the most frequent and intense bouts of raiding were undertaken by those living in harsher environments (such as the Lakota) against those living in areas of milder climate (such as the Pawnee);137 nor that Crees and Assiniboins, living in some of the most marginal areas of all for horse-keeping at the northern edge of the Northern Plains, were commonly held to be the ‘most notorious raiders’ of all.138 But the numbers of horses kept and the conflicts over them must also take account of the wider political economy within which Plains peoples had their existence. Into the early nineteenth century, distance from the ultimate source of horses in the Southwest was one aspect of this, with thousands of animals funnelled north via Comanches, Cheyennes, and Arapahos from the Southern Plains. Another concerns the impacts of the fur trade and the guns that it supplied.139 Thus, once the Blackfeet gained direct access in the 1790s to traders who had built outposts within their territory, they ceased selling horses to their

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erstwhile allies, the Assiniboin and Cree, emphasizing the consolidation of their own herds, not least to produce the bison robes and pemmican that the trading companies now sought. Bereft of trade and unable to secure alternative suppliers, Assiniboins and Crees began instead to raid Blackfeet, Atsinas, and the Middle Missouri peoples. They also traded guns to Blackfoot enemies like the Kutenai. Confronted with these new threats, Blackfeet and Atsinas turned south. There, as their chief Arapooash noted, the Crow lived ‘exactly in the right place’ for horses, an area where mountain valleys (and Chinook winds) afforded protection and fodder from the harsh Plains winters. But Crow good fortune was also a curse, for their rich horse herds attracted not only Blackfeet and Atsinas, but also the most expansionist group of all, the Lakota. Caught between these two fires, Crows ultimately sought alliance with the American military.140 This brief sketch outlines just one example of how wars over horses brought increasing economic and physical insecurity, wars that were only intensified by the need to have sufficient horses to participate successfully in the bison robe trade of the early and mid-nineteenth century.141 Played out in a highly labile system of shifting alliances, horses’ contribution to the eventual restriction of all the Plains peoples to reservations should not be underestimated. Nor should that of epidemic disease. The Northern and Central Plains had what was perhaps their first, and certainly worst, experience of smallpox in the early 1780s.142 Ironically, the increased mobility brought by the horse may have facilitated the pandemic’s spread, while climatic anomalies in the form of successive La Nin˜a events thinned bison herds and deer numbers and reduced levels of immunological resistance.143 As in other major epidemics the effects were complex: adult deaths left dependents without food; those of elders and leaders resulted in the loss of practical and sacred knowledge, political fragmentation, and reorganization; survivors suffered psychological trauma.144 In the early nineteenth century recurrent outbreaks of smallpox, measles, and influenza again hit the region. Village-based farmers were particularly badly affected because of their dense populations and crowded living conditions, culminating in the 1837–38 smallpox epidemic, which virtually annihilated the Mandans and killed between a third and a half of all Hidatsas and Arikaras.

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Hunter-gatherers were not untouched, but a more dispersed, demographically less dense pattern of settlement often left them with fewer casualties. This advantage helped the Lakota gain full access to the Plains west of the Missouri at the end of the 1700s when farmers there underwent an initial reduction in numbers (80–90% among the Arikara, whose thirty-two villages dwindled to just two!).145 Having already begun acquiring horses, the Lakota raided for more and turned into full-time bison hunters, expanding rapidly to seize the rich grassland island of the Black Hills, allying with Cheyennes and Arapahos, and eventually dominating the few remaining riverine villagers.146 At the same time, they exercised control over the emerging fur trade along the Missouri and were able to remain largely independent of American power into the early 1870s (Figure 5.13). Paradoxically, as Pekka Ha¨ma¨la¨inen and Richard White have both noted, they achieved

Figure 5.13. A Lakota encampment showing the dressing of bison meat and robes as painted by George Catlin in 1832 (‘Sioux Encamped on the Upper Missouri, Dressing Buffalo Meat and Robes’). Note the horses arriving in the background. Copyright: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs Joseph Harrison Jr (1985.66.377).

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all this with relatively small numbers of horses, striking a balance between the positives and negatives of horse-keeping that avoided degradation of the riverine woodlands needed for feeding their horses in winter as well as excessive hunting (for trade) of the bison herds that supplied them with food year-round.147 The details of how Lakota hegemony and the independence of other groups were eventually ended belong to another book, but before closing this discussion of the horse on the Plains we must look at one last group. Drawing on both Indigenous and European heritages to create a new identity and a new way of living of their own, these were the Me´tis. The Canadian-based fur traders whom we have already mentioned in passing typically married Native women and were encouraged to winter with their in-laws to strengthen ties with them. With few prospects back home, many stayed on after their company contracts expired, intermarrying among themselves and giving birth to new communities of mixed origin. Their language, Michif, with its mainly French nouns but Plains Cree verb structure, demonstrates this well. Concentrated in the Red River area of Manitoba, Me´tis moved beyond this on both sides of the future American/ Canadian border, pushing other groups, like the Yanktonai, before them. Having maintained their independence from the Northwest Company and Hudson’s Bay Company alike, they eventually secured a large reserve and official status for the French language and Roman Catholic schools in the 1870 Manitoba Act. Later, however, many lost land and relocated further west, only to rise briefly in rebellion in Saskatchewan in 1885. After decades of discrimination, they were recognized as an Aboriginal nation within Canada in 1982. Striking parallels exist between the Me´tis and another newly formed, ethnically mixed trading population, the Comancheros of the Southern Plains we met in Chapter 4. Both took to hunting bison en masse from horseback, to policing hunts in ways similar to those of Indigenous Plains hunters, and to using wheeled vehicles to transport meat, hides, and other goods: ox-drawn carretas for the Comancheros, horse- or ox-pulled Red River carts for the Me´tis (Figure 5.14).148 Though they also engaged in small-scale farming, spring and autumn bison hunts became essential to their subsistence and to their sale of meat, pemmican, and robes to fur-trade outposts; Me´tis also followed Native Plains groups in using bison bones, horns, and skins as raw materials for many of their artefacts. How they

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Figure 5.14. Me´tis Red River carts. Copyright: Archives of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada (N1426).

procured and used bison testifies to the strength and attractiveness of equestrian-hunting adaptations on the Plains, while the ready acceptance among other Northern Plains-dwellers of the multicoloured floral motifs that the Me´tis favoured in their art underlines the close connections that they forged with Native peoples of longer standing on the Plains.149 The Me´tis too were part of the world that the horse helped to make.

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Notes 1. LaFarge (1971); Price (1980); Nichols (1982). 2. Brown (1981). I use these two events because they are so widely known. Incorporation within nation states affected all Plains societies, not just those who took part in these two fights, and happened as much in Canada (albeit more peacefully) as in the United States. Fowler (1996) discusses the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries on both sides of the border, while Binnema (2001) provides a detailed study of the northwestern area, and West (1998) one of Colorado. Numerous other studies exist for individual peoples. 3. As well as the Black Hills these include the Big Horn Mountains of eastern Wyoming and the Bear Paws of north-central Montana. Extensively eroded ‘badlands’ areas also exist, notably in South Dakota and around Drumheller, Alberta. 4. Binnema (2001: 15–16). 5. Bamforth (1988: 53–60). 6. Bamforth (1988: 70–2). 7. Binnema (2001: 117). 8. Brown (2001: 305); Darnell (2001: 640–1). 9. Hanson (1998: 466). 10. Calloway (2003: 307–8). 11. Hanson (1998: 463). 12. Fagan (2005: 156–7, 159–61); Mitchell (2012). 13. Henning (1998). 14. Wilson (1924); Ewers (1955). 15. Sometimes called elk, a term avoided here to prevent confusion with what North Americans call moose (Alces alces). 16. See, in particular, Wissler (1915) and the splendidly illustrated survey by Sage (2012). 17. Sage (2012: 63). 18. The two saddles found with the Canyon Creek (Texas) burial discussed in Chapter 4 are of this kind, but used cottonwood (and some mesquite) rather than the bent antler of the Northern Plains (Shafer et al. 1991). 19. Stirrups themselves were typically made of steamed and bent wood covered in rawhide, though carved wooden examples are also known (Sage 2012: 57). 20. Keyser and Mitchell (2001: 200). 21. Kelly (1967). 22. Keyser and Mitchell (2001: 201) with specific reference to the Crow. 23. Stands-in-Timber and Liberty (1998: 189–90). The Battle of the Rosebud preceded that of the Little Big Horn by a few days. They were the two

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24. 25.

26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

41.

horse nations largest engagements in the Great Sioux War of 1876–77, launched by the American Army to seize the Black Hills. Keyser and Mitchell (2001). Cowdrey et al. (2006); Sage (2012: 132–42). Catlin (1971) provides some of the earliest illustrations, in his case among the Mandan. Other images, such as that of a bison-horse-eagle creature seen and painted by the Sans Arc Lakota Black Hawk, also attest to the fusion of horses with the supernatural powers accredited to other animals (Taylor 1998: 30, cf. 59). Keyser (2012). Ewers (1955: 219–20). In general, on the Northern and Central Plains horses were only ever eaten in emergencies (Roe 1955: 276). Sage (2012: 144–53). Taylor (1998). Lakota: ˇsu´ŋka waka´ŋ (where waka´ŋ ‘mysterious’ conveys the ability to inspire awe and wonder); Arapaho: wo´xu·hoˆ·x; Blackfoot: ponoka´o´mita·wa; Cheyenne: mo?e´hno?ha; Sarsi: chistli (Roe 1955: 61; Goddard 2001). Fiedel (2005). Schwartz (1998) surveys the uses and symbolism of dogs across the Americas. Bozell (1988). Thurman (1988) discusses the use of dogs as food on a more regular basis, such as at the Vore site, Wyoming, which dates to between ad 1500 and 1800. According to Bozell (1988: 105), dog meat is more nutritious than bison and particularly rich in calcium, potassium, and other minerals. Henderson (1994). Emphasizing the lower trophic level that horses occupied because of their vegetarian diet, West (1998: 56) duly comments that, compared with dogs, they were ‘living one step closer to the sun’. Bozell (1988). Roe (1955: 20–3) provides a useful summary. Landals (2004: 246). Cymbaluk (1999). Landals (2004). The large numbers of dogs kept by some eighteenth-century groups, such as the 300 animals used by a party of 1,100 Kansas to move their goods and the dried meat and skins from a bison hunt, can be put down to a shortage, or absence, of horses. But even in the mid-1800s, Pawnees, Cheyennes, Blackfeet, and Lakotas were still using dog travois (Swagerty 2001: 258). Landals (2004). Discussing a model of southern Piegan seasonal movements developed by Graspointner (1981), who suggested that their extent doubled after the acquisition of horses to 640–800 km per year, Oetelaar (2004) makes a comparable point since this assumes that everyone rode (which was not always the case and certainly not early on) and that dogs could now travel significantly further and faster than before (also very

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56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

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unlikely). In South Dakota, Sundstrom (1989: 101–2) has also noted a changed use of the landscape after the acquisition of horses, in this case more specialized and seasonal use of higher elevations in the interior of the Black Hills because of the need to ensure year-round grazing. Ewers (1955: 129). Binnema (2001: 44–5). Ewers (1955: 102). Ewers (1955: 102–7). Ewers (1955: 131–4, 138–47). Ewers (1955: 307–8). Quigg (1979). Wilson (1924: 272); Ewers (1955: 341–2). Powell (1981 II: 545). Ewers (1955: 150–1). Fagan (2005: 127–36). Hunters sometimes also stalked bison disguised as bison or wolves. Ewers (1949). Brink (2004); cf. Speth (1983). Prince and Steckel (2003). The men in the sample studied had a mean height of 172.6  6.2 cm compared to today’s means of 175 cm in the United Kingdom and 176 cm in the United States. Further anthropological analyses of the same sample, including stable isotope studies of the kind undertaken in Argentina (e.g. Go´mez-Otero 2007) would doubtless provide more information on diet and overall health. However, Steckel’s (2010) subsequent exploration of inter-population nutritional (height) differences begs several questions, for example the specific life histories of the individuals measured, while a more recent study suggests that Plains populations were not, in fact, taller than their rural contemporaries in North America (Komlos and Carlson 2012). Kaye and Moodie (1978). Many other plant foods were also consumed, for example gooseberries, elkberries, raspberries, currants, plums, and chokecherries among the Cheyenne (Grinnell 1923 II: 166–91). Hanson (1986). Hanson (1986: 99). Boyd (1998). Around 1803/04 Arikaras did this at the foot of the grass-rich Black Hills. Groups as diverse as Kiowas, Naishans, Comanches, Cheyennes, and Arapahos joined them there (Ewers 1955: 9). Over-hunting of beaver and changes in European fashion were also important. Metal tools, weapons, and kettles were not the only items traded. Blankets, glass beads, tobacco, and foodstuffs such as sugar, coffee, and flour were also of considerable interest. However, along the Middle and Upper Missouri this transition only really gathered pace from the 1820s (Isenberg 2000: 97).

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63. Isenberg (2000: 86–8). 64. Isenberg (2000: 109). Isenberg (2000: 122–63) gives a detailed account of the overall process by which bison numbers were reduced, and the rest of this paragraph draws heavily from it. 65. The eponymous Colonel Dodge advised: ‘kill every buffalo you can; every buffalo dead is an Indian gone’ (Isenberg 2000: 155, note 93). West (1998: 278–81) also stresses the importance in the Euro-American conquest of the Plains of the seizure of key overwintering resources. 66. Klein (1983: 157). 67. Wilson (1924: 175). 68. Wilson (1917: 26, 110, 116). 69. One woman might produce ten to twenty robes per year (Lewis 1942). 70. Owsley and Bruwelheide (1996). 71. Vehik et al. (2010). 72. Habicht-Mauche (2011). 73. Liberty (1982); Kidston (2005); Keyser et al. (2006). Papers in Albers and Medicine (1983) discuss gender relations on the Plains in depth. Roe (1955: 323–4) notes additional instances of women hunting. 74. The classic treatment is that by Secoy (1953). 75. Bamforth (1994). 76. Secoy (1953: 34–5), detailing the Piegan (originally Cree) elder Saahko´maapi’s (Young Man’s) recollection of a fight between the Piegan and the Shoshone around 1725; Ewers (1975), reporting a Cree/Assiniboin attack on the Lakota in 1742. 77. Keyser (1979). 78. Cha´vez (1990). 79. Taylor (1998: 11, 37–49). 80. Ewers (1955: 197). 81. According to Major Marcus Reno, the second highest-ranking US Cavalry officer at the Little Big Horn and a survivor of the battle, as reported in the New York Herald Tribune, 8 August 1876. 82. Biolsi (1988). 83. Biolsi (1988). The Piegan elder Saahko´maapi considered horse theft a far greater exploit than warfare precisely because of the risks of taking horses from right under an enemy’s nose (McGinnis 1990: 11). 84. Atwood Lawrence (1985: 21). 85. Just as human hair might decorate men’s garments to commemorate slain enemies, so too could horsehair signal the successful capture of horses (Taylor 1998: 75). 86. Keyser (1979): scenes showing acts such as an unarmed or lightly armed man striking a better armed opponent are restricted to the Biographic tradition of Plains rock art and are missing from scenes without horses or those in which armoured horses appear. Such actions constituted highly esteemed war honours among the Blackfeet, Atsina, Assiniboin, and Cree, the groups likely responsible for the art at Writing-on-Stone.

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87. Ewers (1955: 28–31). 88. Horses were given to the bride’s kin among sedentary groups like the Mandan and Hidatsa, as much as among nomadic ones such as the Blackfeet (Roe 1955: 271). 89. Biolsi (1988: 159), citing reports for the Assiniboin and the Oglala Lakota. 90. Lewis (1942: 57) with specific reference to the Blackfeet. 91. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2003: 850). 92. Lehmer and Jones (1968) with reference to the Arikara. 93. With minor variations horse sacrifice is attested for many Plains groups, sedentary and mobile alike, including Blackfeet, Cheyennes, Iowas, Kansas, Omahas, and Sarsis. Presumably echoing pre-equestrian practice, among the Lakota (and also the Assiniboin) a man’s favourite dogs might be killed instead (DeMallie 2001: 810). 94. Fowler (1987: 36). 95. Hoxie (1997: 138). 96. From hundreds in the first half of the 1880s to scores in 1886 and 1887, and just two in 1889 (McGinnis 1990: 149–93). 97. Keyser (2007). 98. Keyser and Klassen (2001: 224–56). 99. Turpin (1989). 100. Scott et al. (1997). Specifically, the carbines and cartridge belt shown and the absence of sabres suggest a date after 1870/74. 101. Keyser and Klassen (2001: 186–9). 102. Sites at Saddle Butte near Alberta’s Milk River and in the North Cave Hills of South Dakota exemplify the link with bison kills (Keyser and Klassen 2001: 188). Medicine Rocks in North Dakota was—and is— sacred to both Hidatsas and Mandans (Porsche and Loendorf 1987). 103. Keyser (1996); Keyser and Klassen (2001: 274–5). Examples from one of the longest such records (1700–1880), that of Battiste Good, a Sic¸angu (Brule´) Lakota, include ‘Brought home Omaha horses’ (1708–09), ‘Found many horses’ (1739–40), and ‘Brought home Pawnee horses with iron shoes on’ (1802–03) (). 104. Keyser and Klassen (2001: 191–223). 105. The almost complete absence of horses in the Dinwoody Tradition of Wyoming’s Wind River and Big Horn Basins reinforces this interpretation. Probably the work of the Shoshone, this art is mainly concerned with the spirit journeys of shamans and their encounters with beings that were often hostile to people. Horses were unlikely to find a home in such beliefs (Keyser and Klassen 2001: 123–4). 106. Keyser and Klassen (2001: 219), who note that incisions on several horse images at Writing-on-Stone have had sacred red ochre rubbed into them. 107. Penney (1992). 108. Ewers (1955: 291–8).

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109. Keyser and Klassen (2001: 37). 110. His name, Thˆasˇu´ŋke Witko´, more accurately translates as His-Horse-isSpirited. Born around 1840, its bearer gained early fame as a warrior and was a major participant in the wars fought by the Lakota and Cheyenne against the United States in 1864–66 and 1876–77. Surrendering early in that year Crazy Horse was detained and killed in a struggle on 5 September 1877. He remains an iconic figure of Native resistance (Ambrose 2011). 111. Stands-in-Timber and Liberty (1998: 104–5); Atwood Lawrence (1985: 18–19). 112. Black Elk (2000: 16–36, 124–35). 113. Black Elk (2000: 19). 114. Wissler (1912); Rice (1985); Taylor (1998: 79–83). 115. Denmore (1972: 159). 116. Mayor (2007: 309–13). 117. Penney and Stouffer 1986: 20). 118. Wissler (1912: 96). 119. In the Assiniboin case, for instance, around 1840 its founder, Badger Cap, dreamt that he saw a tipi with a horsetail flag and a horse painted on it and that he was given horse medicine and a war medicine. The cult’s leadership subsequently passed to his son Medicine Cloud (Ewers 1956). 120. Including ground fir needles (?Abies lasiocarpa), baneberry (Actaea eburnia), and sagebrush (Artemisia) (Ewers 1955: 275). 121. Ewers (1955: 270–4); cf. Wissler (1912: 108–11); Stands-in-Timber and Liberty (1998: 108). 122. Atwood Lawrence (1998). In other cases the remedy was used for different purposes in the two species. Thus, Lakotas placed hairy clematis in a horse’s nostril as a stimulant (it contains a skin-blistering agent), while Flatheads—a Plateau group (see Chapter 6)—used it to treat itches and headaches in people (Kern and Cardellina 1983). Knowledge of veterinary medicine extended to remedies for injuries such as sore feet or saddle sores, and broken bones might also be set (Ewers 1955: 47–9). 123. Grinnell (1923 II: 139). 124. Ewers (1955: 279). 125. White (1988). 126. Roper (1991). 127. Wissler (1914: 20) noted that Pawnees were already using cottonwood as winter fodder in 1704, indicating a rapid acknowledgement (and spread?) of its importance for keeping horses alive on the Plains. 128. Rollings (1992). The only known equestrian rock art motif in Arkansas, a horse and rider in red ochre resembling early Biographic art, may be of Osage origin (Hilliard 1989). 129. Forbis (1977), who records the presence of two horse bones at the site. 130. Hanson (1986).

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131. Holder (1974: 104–5). A similar Ponca experiment with a fully equestrian life in the 1830s/40s also proved short-lived (McGinnis 1990: 79). 132. Binnema (2001: 80–1, 93). Diverse accounts explain the acquisition: raiding (possibly from Shoshones) or trade with the Nez Perce´ of the Columbia Plateau (Calloway 2003: 303). 133. Hanson (1998: 461–2); Johnson (1998: 329). Reconciling these two possibilities, Hoxie (1997: 37–42) argues for a second ‘wave of disaffected Hidatsa farmers’ moving west c.1700, some two hundred years after an initial relocation from the Upper Missouri towards the Bighorn Basin. 134. Marriott and Rachlin (1975: 96–7). 135. For example, Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2003). 136. Rinn (1975). 137. Osborn (1983: 384). 138. Binnema (2001: 141). 139. Albers and James (1986). 140. They were not unique: with few other economic or military options remaining, Pawnees, Arikaras, and Hidatsas also assisted the American army against the Lakota and their allies in the 1860s and 1870s (Fowler 1996: 38). 141. Albers (1993). 142. The years 1779–80 and 1780–81 were remembered by the Sic¸angu (Brule´) Lakota as ‘Used them up with smallpox winters’ (). 143. Fenn (2002); Hodge (2012). La Nin˜a is a coupled ocean-atmosphere climatic phenomenon with effects opposite to those of the betterknown El Nin˜o, marked by lower sea temperatures over the eastern Pacific Ocean and drought on the North American Plains. 144. Binnema (2001: 124–7). 145. Holder (1974: 85). 146. Archaeological excavations of the Larson site, an Arikara village in South Dakota, which dates to 1750–85, uncovered the results of a massacre that was probably the work of Lakota (Owsley et al. 1977). 147. White (1978); Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2003: 862). 148. Hanson and Kurtz (2007), though their focus lies more on the Spanishacculturated Native-descended Genı´zaro population of colonial New Mexico as a whole than on the Comancheros in particular. 149. Wood (1998: 7). Scott (1998) references several archaeological investigations of Me´tis sites. For their art see Brasser (1985).

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6 North America III West of the Rockies ‘Have the Spaniards any such horses? No, they are too poor. Such as these we have in our country by the thousand’ (Lechat, a Ute chief, 1822; Blackhawk 2006: 124)

‘All the best horses are being stolen’ (Father Mariano Payeras, Father-President of the Franciscan missions in California, 1819; Layton 1981)

Introduction This chapter looks at three more regions of North America: the Columbia Plateau and adjacent areas of the Pacific Northwest Coast; the Great Basin; and California (Figure 6.1). It also focuses on three main themes: the development of new identities as many groups adapted aspects of the lifestyle and customs of those on the Plains and more coherent tribal entities emerged; raiding for captives; and raiding for horses. A fourth topic, which casts these into relief, is why some groups rejected the horse, or chose to adopt it very late in their history. The Great Basin was the first of the three areas to receive the horse. It is an arid region of desert, salt lakes, and mountains where rainfall is unpredictable and low, but increases eastward (Plate 15). Except for the Colorado along its southern edge and the headwaters in the Rockies of streams draining towards the Missouri, none of its rivers reach the sea. Fremont farmers had once made a living across Utah, but by the 1600s cultivation was restricted to a few groups in the south and

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Figure 6.1. Map of North America west of the Rockies showing sites and localities mentioned in Chapter 6. 1 45-BN-3 (Washington); 2 45-BN-6 (Washington); 3 The Dalles (Oregon); 4 Rattlesnake Canyon (Idaho); 5 Spokane (Washington); 6 Welqa´mex (British Columbia). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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west.1 Elsewhere, the Basin’s inhabitants depended entirely on hunting and gathering, though strategies like burning enhanced the productivity of wild plants and game. Very broadly, two subsistence patterns were followed: one emphasized fish and waterfowl around wetlands, the other a more mobile, broadly based foraging economy in deserts and mountains in which pine nuts (pin˜ons), grass seeds, rabbits, and larger game were important.2 Except for the Washoe near Lake Tahoe in eastern California, all the region’s historic inhabitants spoke Numic languages. Major groups included Utes in the southeast, Shoshones in the north and centre, and Paiutes in the west and southwest. To the north of the Great Basin lies the Plateau, centred on the Columbia River and its tributaries, which collectively send their waters into the Pacific Ocean (Plate 16). Coniferous forest covers its northern and eastern parts (including several ranges running parallel to but west of the Rockies), but the drier, hilly country of Oregon and eastern Washington is more steppe-like, with sagebrush common and trees more localized. As on the Plains, climate is strongly seasonal with contrasting warm summers and cold winters. A wider variety of languages existed here than in the Great Basin, broadly dividing between a Sahaptian group in the south (including Nez Perce´ and Yakama) and an Interior Salish one in the north (including Kalispel, Flathead, and Coeur d’Alene); other languages, such as Cayuse, have no discernible connections at all.3 None of the Plateau groups farmed, but living in a more bounteous environment than the Great Basin they moved less often and lived in larger communities. Wild plant foods such as camas roots were important, as was hunting, but migrating salmon provided a particularly rich resource for many, especially along the Columbia River. Seasonal trade fairs there at sites like The Dalles attracted thousands of people and were major exchange centres for goods and people from across the region. Chinook traders along the lower Columbia were particularly important in these networks. Along with some Coast Salish groups around Puget Sound, they too had acquired horses by around 1800. The third cultural area covered is California, which is virtually synonymous with the modern state. Framed by the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada, central California is occupied by the valleys of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, which once merged into an inland delta (partly formed by the now dry Tulare Lake; see Figure 6.7) before reaching San Francisco Bay. Intensely forested in its far north

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but semi-arid in its extreme south, most of California has a mild, Mediterranean-like climate that offered people abundant resources. Salmon, acorns, deer, and—along the coast—other kinds of fish, shellfish, and seals featured prominently in subsistence strategies, but often required substantial investments of time and labour to obtain and process them. Nevertheless, their richness frequently supported permanent villages, complex exchange networks, and some of preColumbian North America’s densest populations. Particularly relevant here are the Miwok and Yokuts, who dominated the Central Valley, and the Mojave and others who farmed along the lower Colorado River just beyond the region’s southeastern corner.

Have horses, will raid: horses and slaves in the Great Basin Of all the peoples discussed in this chapter, Utes were the first to acquire the horse, probably as early as the 1630s (Figure 6.2). Within less than two decades they were using them as pack animals and to pull travois,4 though riding developed later, accelerated by the increased

Figure 6.2. Utes on horseback. Ute warrior and bride, photographed by W. H. Jackson in 1874. Copyright: National Anthropological Archives (BAE GN 01512A 06687300).

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access to horses associated with the temporary collapse of Spanish authority during the Pueblo Revolt (1680–92). From the Ute, horses passed into the hands of Northern and Eastern Shoshones, one branch of whom split off before the end of the seventeenth century, moving east and then south onto the Plains to become the Comanche (Chapter 4). As we have already seen, Shoshones were instrumental in introducing horses to the Northern Plains and the Columbia Plateau. Pioneering a choice made by many of their cousins, especially the Comanche, with whom they were allied from before 1706 until around 1750, Utes living in Colorado employed horses to hunt bison on the eastern flanks of the Rockies, but also found a ready use for them in raiding Spanish-ruled New Mexico.5 Only as Comanches relocated entirely onto the horse-favouring Southern Plains and dominated the trade routes crossing them, did Utes seek an alternative means of guaranteeing their own security. Choosing to remain in the mountains, they did this by replacing their Comanche alliance with a Spanish one that endured into the early 1800s and facilitated Spanish exploration of the Great Basin and entrance to California from New Mexico. In return, Utes obtained access to trade and a degree of protection from Apache and Comanche attacks. They also found a ready market for captives who could be exchanged for food, but also for metal tools and weapons and yet more horses with which to take more prisoners—a perfect unvirtuous circle.6 Whether in raiding, hunting, or defending themselves, horses meant that ‘the scale of Ute life had exploded’, and bands grew in size for selfprotection and to make bison-hunting more effective.7 But it was raiding that impacted most heavily on the wider region as hundreds of enslaved women and children—many of them Southern Paiute— were delivered to New Mexico as household servants and labourers. Ultimately, this trade and the contemporary sale of captives by Comanches resulted in a discernible shift in that territory’s demographic profile and the emergence of distinctive Genı´zaro communities of mixed Native and Spanish descent who were ancestral to the Comancheros discussed in Chapter 4.8 In what is now Utah, Western Utes only acquired horses in number in the late 1700s. Their history shows how horses helped knit the Great Basin’s ecologies and its trading and raiding networks together within an even larger fabric. Though closer to New Mexico than their eastern

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cousins, Western Utes faced very harsh winters (down to -30˚C) and had few opportunities to hunt bison or trade for horses because of aridity to their west and southeast and Shoshone enemies along their other frontiers. Such horses as they acquired they tended to eat or trade away.9 But after 1776 a strengthening trade in captives and beaver pelts with New Mexico made it easier to acquire horses, while from the 1820s the arrival of American trappers eager to exploit the Great Basin’s rich beaver populations massively expanded access to guns. At exactly the same time Mexican independence removed the subsidies Utes had previously received from Spain, rendering Mexico’s northern frontier significantly more vulnerable.10 Though profiting from all these changes, by 1840 Western Utes found themselves locked into an ever more precarious cycle of intensifying equestrianism as the fur trade declined, small, local bison herds disappeared because of over-hunting (soon exacerbated by American emigrants to Oregon), and owning horses became necessary for conferring status and prestige. For one group, led by Waccara, the solution involved expanding their regular movements as far as the milder winters of southern California. Selling pelts and captives to friendly traders and ranchers with whom they left their families, warriors raided for horses and cattle elsewhere. They then used beef jerky made from stolen cattle to help them return to Utah via the desert, arriving in spring in time to fish in Lake Utah and then move on to the Plains to hunt bison before turning back west in autumn to begin the cycle anew. They burnt grass en route to promote fresh growth and better pasture for the following spring. By using horses to spread themselves across such a wide range of environments Waccara’s people lifted the constraints of living only in Utah and acquired material wealth (guns, blankets, high-quality hide bags, and tipis) that differentiated them from other Western Utes.11 Mormon arrival in Utah in 1847 initially provided an extra market for bison meat, hides, horses, and captives, while offering new sources of firearms, livestock, and blankets. Soon, however, the Mormons’ growing numbers and their alteration of Utah’s ecology through irrigation and grazing led to conflict, while raiding into California became significantly more difficult after its annexation by the United States in 1846. Now having to winter their horses in Utah, Waccara’s group found raiding Mormon settlements their only viable option, but after a brief ‘war’ in 1853–54 suffered increasing fragmentation and

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population losses before having to settle on a reservation in the 1870s. Waccara’s own burial in 1855 accompanied by horses and Paiute slaves underlined the tightness of the connection between the two components of this short-lived, but, in its day, highly effective, equestrian economy within the ‘interior world’ of the American West.12 Only as epidemics and starvation reduced Indigenous numbers, white settlement increased, and the United States gradually strengthened its military presence did such raiding finally cease.13

Becoming like the Plains: the horse on the Columbia Plateau Archaeology indicates that Shoshones were present on the Northern Plains before they acquired horses,14 but there is no doubt that horses initially helped them in warfare against groups that were still pedestrian (Plate 17). The Piegan elder Saahko´maapi, whom I mentioned in Chapter 5, recalled the devastating nature of their initial impact: our enemies the Snake Indians and their allies had Misstutim (Big Dogs, that is Horses) on which they rode, as swift as the Deer, on which they dashed at the Peeagans, and with their stone Pukamoggan knocked them on the head, and they had thus lost several of their best men. This news we did not comprehend well and it alarmed us, for we had no idea of Horses and could not make out what they were.15

By the 1730s at the very latest Shoshones were exploiting their new status as equestrian warriors to mount full-scale attacks on villages for captives who could then be traded south to the Spanish. Such attacks ceased to be one-sided as Shoshone enemies found their large horse herds irresistible and as some, like the Piegan in the sequel to Saahko´maapi’s account,16 secured firearms from Hudson’s Bay Company traders or other Northern Plains groups. Though they were still formidable in the 1770s, lack of guns (access to which was interdicted in the north by the Blackfeet and forbidden in the south by the Spanish) and smallpox-induced population losses eventually forced Shoshones to retreat behind the Rocky Mountains (Figure 6.3). Shoshone allies—notably the Flathead and Kutenai—also had to relocate. More positively, the Bannock, a Northern Paiute group from eastern Oregon, migrated to the upper reaches of southern Idaho’s Snake

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Figure 6.3. A Shoshone Indian and his pet horse as painted by Alfred Jacob Miller. The painting (37.1940.62), commissioned by W. T. Walters in 1858, is based on a sketch made in western Wyoming in 1837. Copyright: The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

River after acquiring horses in the early 1700s. There, they integrated with the Northern Shoshone, though retaining their own language.17 Many of these groups received their first horses from Shoshones and oral traditions explain how this sometimes occurred. For example, in the 1860s an aged Walla-Walla man remembered how his grandfather had, as a young boy (thus likely before 1750), accompanied a group of warriors intent on attacking the Shoshone; he was astonished to find them riding ‘some strange-looking animals [that] looked like elk or deer, only they had no horns’. Preferring to satisfy their curiosity by peace rather than war, the Walla-Walla traded all their clothes and weapons for a stallion and a mare. Returning home, the mare was given to their Yakama neighbours, but brought back each year so that it could be bred with the stallion.18 Other Plateau groups probably secured horses in similar ways and by the time American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark reached the area in 1805 the horse was wholly integrated into, indeed even a dominant feature of,

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Figure 6.4. A Shoshone woman’s saddle said to have belonged to Sacajawea, who accompanied explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their 1804-06 expedition across the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean and back. Copyright: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (E418483-0).

Native lives (Figure 6.4). Archaeological excavations of sites now drowned beneath dams along the Columbia River are relevant here: horse bones were described as ‘almost commonplace’ at 45-BN-3, a mid/late eighteenth-century settlement with evidence of Europeanderived trade goods in the form of glass beads and iron. They also occurred nearby at a smaller site, 45-BN-6, which was definitely occupied in 1812.19 By the 1860s, Smohalla, founding prophet of the Washat (Seven Drums) religion, which vehemently rejected all EuroAmerican influences, claimed that horses had always been present in the region.20 If horses expanded the horizons of those who acquired them, perhaps they did so most on the Columbia Plateau, where many groups followed the Ute example in altering their annual subsistence cycle to cross the Continental Divide and spend the summer hunting bison on the Plains. Flatheads, Cayuses, Kalispels, Nez Perce´s, and Northern and Eastern Shoshones all did this. To hunt bison successfully, however, required not just greater mobility but also more

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effective co-ordination between those taking part: the horse thus required larger groups just as much as its use sustained them. Out of earlier, diffuse clusters of families, more tightly defined bands emerged, with new leaders able to organize hunts, maintain internal order, and ensure their common defence while on the Plains. Indeed, among Northern Shoshones, trips there were kept to a minimum to guard against attack, only becoming longer and involving more people as bison died out along the Snake River in the 1830s.21 While they lacked coercive power and their followers could easily swap allegiance, the leaders of such bands often found supernatural sanctions for their position and later used their abilities as intermediaries with the United States authorities to the same end.22 Across the interior of the Columbia Basin archaeology documents an increasing presence of bison in people’s diets after they adopted horses,23 with a corresponding decrease in the numbers of pronghorn antelope. Because the two species competed directly for the same water-rich and grass-rich riverine environments, keeping horses may have contributed to local bison extinctions of the kind just mentioned, but whether wapiti and pronghorn numbers fell for similar reasons, or because of over-hunting, climate change, or the introduction of firearms is unclear. Nez Perce´s definitely hunted both deer and pronghorn from horseback,24 and people also burned sections of the landscape so that horses could eat the new grass that then sprang up, though the long-term effects of burning on vegetation and game are uncertain. In any event it likely tailed off as the 1780–82 smallpox pandemic and subsequent disease outbreaks reduced human populations. Horses, though, were certainly kept in large numbers: Lewis and Clark reported that some individual Nez Perce´s had as many as fifty to a hundred and that a few families owned several hundred, even some thousand, animals (Figure 6.5). Only a few years after their visit, another early observer, William Price Hunt, noted two thousand horses among thirty-four families at a camp on the Umatilla River, giving each family an average of about sixty animals.25 A degree of ecological degradation does not seem unlikely with so many animals being kept. Keeping horses and hunting bison, many Plateau groups adopted aspects of the material culture of Northern Plains equestrians, though the fact that some (such as Shoshones, Flatheads, and Kutenais) had once lived on the Plains needs to be borne in mind when assessing such

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Figure 6.5. A group of mounted Nez Perce´ warriors on the Columbia Plateau, photographed by the Burns Brothers. Copyright: Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane, Washington (L94-53-30; Burns Brothers).

similarities. Examples of shared cultural practices include bison hide tipis (instead of brush-covered huts), travois,26 Plains-style clothing, parfleches for carrying and storing food, counting coup, and scalptaking. Raiding for horses became common and the songs associated with it are still remembered.27 Horse medicine cults similar to those of the Plains developed among some groups, notably Flatheads, Eastern Shoshones, and Nez Perce´s, and horses were sacrificed when men died. Indeed, in striking parallel with behaviour in Patagonia that I discuss in Chapter 8, the Coeur d’Alene then hung the skins of the dead horses at the grave, while Nez Perce´s sometimes stuffed them to serve as grave markers.28 Again duplicating instances on the Plains, horses were thought of as supernaturally powerful: they participated, for example, in the Horse Dance of the Eastern Shoshone Yellow Brow warrior society and could be a source of omens: three rapid pawings of the ground with a front hoof that left a column of halfmoon marks predicted the death of the horse’s owner.29

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The horse gear used on the Plateau likewise shared many details with that found on the Plains, especially among the Crow (Plate 18). High-pommelled and cantled saddle frames are one instance of this,30 but these items and others, such as breast collars, were also decorated with beads in a common ‘Transmontane style’ that emphasized a greater colour range and the use of colours to accentuate background over image; Nez Perce´s, Umatillas, Cayuses, Yakamas, and Flatheads were among the Plateau peoples who participated in its development.31 Plains influences also appear in how horses were shown in rock art: paintings of horses—some with riders—were clearly influenced by the Biographic tradition,32 and in at least one case may even show a mounted individual (a trader?) from the Plains. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, equestrian motifs concentrate in the area between The Dalles and Spokane, homeland of the Cayuse and Nez Perce´ (Figure 6.6). A more distinctive aspect of Plateau horse-keeping was Nez Perce´ development of a particular breed of horses—the Appaloosa (Plate 19).33 Already in 1806, Lewis noted how some Nez Perce´ horses

Figure 6.6. The Dalles, Oregon, showing Native fishing platforms along the bank of the Columbia River. The Dalles was a long-standing trading centre to which people came from across the Plateau and Northwest, attracted in part by its rich salmon fishing runs. Horses significantly enhanced this trade from the mid-eighteenth century. Copyright and courtesy: Rick Schulting.

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were ‘pided [sic] with large spots of white irregularly scattered and intermixed with the black brown bay or some other dark colour’, though he also commented that most were uniformly pigmented.34 His description captures the essence of the Appaloosa leopard pattern, but selective breeding to produce it probably only began in earnest during the nineteenth century: by its end such animals were so prized that Euro-American owners would turn down offers of as much as US $600 at a time when ordinary horses might be acquired for as little as US$15.35 Almost forgotten after the Nez Perce´ War of 1877, which removed the Nez Perce´s from their homeland, the breed—the most famous perhaps of all Native American-developed horses—revived in the 1930s, eventually becoming the state horse of Idaho. The Nez Perce´ themselves began developing a new breed—the Nez Perce´ horse—based in part on the Appaloosa, in the 1990s. Excelling at long rides and jumping, it is a buckskin or palomino horse with a spotted coat.36 Much of what I have just described—though not the breeding of Appaloosas—extended even beyond the limits of the Plateau. On the Pacific Northwest Coast the Puyallup and Nisqually of the upper Puget Sound area were particularly noted for keeping horses in numbers large enough for their owners to be described, by the 1850s, as ‘equestrian in their habits’.37 Indeed, where pasture was sufficient, horses were raised even further north than this.38 Alternatively, they might be acquired from nearby trading outposts and (later) EuroAmerican farms, as was probably the case for those eaten, principally by richer individuals, at the nineteenth-century Sto´:loˆ village of Welqa´mex in southern British Columbia.39 Trade had linked all these areas before the horse and it continued to do so after the horse arrived. Horses were, of course, valued items of exchange themselves, trading for two bearskins or ten sheepskins, or four bags of salmon an animal, for example, in exchanges between Nez Perce´s and Northern Shoshones.40 But they also increased the scale on which such exchanges could take place, the volumes that could be moved, and the distances over which they could be carried, especially for large, bulky goods like camas roots or dried salmon. As a result, trade routes underwent considerable redirection, away from rivers where—in a pre-horse era—canoes had been the principal means of carriage and towards land-based routes, including those reaching east of the Bitterroot Mountains and onto the Plains.41 Good evidence of

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the intensification of trade that the horse facilitated comes from cremation burials in Rattlesnake Canyon, southwestern Idaho, which probably pre-date 1820 because of the absence of glass beads: the many Olivella biplicata (purple olive shell) and Dentalium pretiosum (precious dentalium) beads found instead all came from Puget Sound or the west coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California.42

Horse-raiders of California California (Figure 6.7) was virtually the last addition to Spain’s North American empire, its acquisition delayed by the difficulties of direct travel overland (through hostile Mojave territory) and by sea (given unfavourable ocean currents). Colonization only began in 1769 as part of a broader initiative to consolidate the northwestern frontier of New Spain in the face of Russian incursions from Alaska.43 Consistent with practice elsewhere, missionary orders took a leading role in the process, gathering often scattered Indigenous groups together in concentrated settlements where they could be converted to Catholicism and made to adopt a European lifestyle. A total of twenty-one such reducciones were established, reaching from San Diego (1769–1832) in the south to San Francisco de Solano (1823–32) in Sonoma County in the north. Fortified and garrisoned presidios added to the network of Spanish control. The number of ordinary settlers nevertheless long remained low, even though cattle and horse ranches became an ever

Figure 6.7. California as mapped in 1854, showing the location and size of the former Tulare Lake. The image is reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons ().

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more important aspect of the region’s economy in the quarter-century between Mexican independence (1821) and California’s annexation by the United States (1846). Native experience of Spanish (and later Mexican) rule was almost invariably negative. Putting to one side individual instances of ill treatment, the forcible suppression of Indigenous religious and ceremonial life, confinement to mission stations, and exposure to new infectious diseases all wrought havoc. Many fled or avoided mission life, but, whether seeking escapees or replacements for those dying because of disease, the typical response by the Spanish or Mexicans was to mount punitive expeditions in order to round up more recruits for the labour force on which the colonial economy depended. Loss of land and disruption of fragile Californian ecosystems by European-introduced plants and animals posed additional problems. Annexation did not improve matters. By the time the famous Gold Rush ended in 1855 the Indigenous population had probably shrunk by over 80 per cent from its pre-colonization levels less than a century before. The speed with which they had to contend with all these issues set California apart from the experience of Indigenous peoples in the Southwest, on the Plains, or on the Plateau. Here, for many, there was no long period of accommodation or independence on the borderlands of empire, but rather a sudden and never-ending set of intrusions that might be better compared with the experience of Bushmen in southern Africa’s Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains (Chapter 9). As there, one response was the emergence of a raiding lifestyle in which the seizure and consumption of stolen livestock was key. And key to that was the acquisition and use of the horse. Horses entered California with the first Spanish settlement in 1769 and were disappearing from mission stations as early as 1783.44 By the last decade of Spanish rule raiding was an established fact of life, as one of this chapter’s epigraphs indicates. Most of this activity concentrated in the valley of the San Joaquin River from where Yokuts and Miwoks, the two groups principally responsible, could readily target almost all the Spanish settlements (Plate 20). In discussing these raids I look at several topics: how and why horse raids were conducted; how horses were used; the extent to which stolen horses fed into the wider raiding and trading networks of Zappa’s ‘interior world’; and what horses meant to Native Californians.

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Working in the 1920s Anna Gayton obtained accounts of two Yokuts raids.45 One, led by a man named Xoisˇin, involved at least seven individuals who departed on foot for six to seven months. Having stolen clothes and horses on which to ride, the raiders then took a herd they later used for food. The other raid lasted for no more than a month: targets were spied out in daylight, but stolen under cover of darkness, the raiders keeping some horses for riding and using the rest as meat. Gayton’s informants, who strongly desired to have horses of their own, told her that raids were a summer, possibly also a spring, activity. Raids proved an increasingly significant problem for California’s economy. In 1815, for example, a Spanish expedition entering the San Joaquin Valley from the mission station of San Juan Bautista encountered over 500 dead and butchered horses in the course of a month, 238 of them recently killed at a single village, along with 16 live animals and a large quantity of dried meat. Matters got worse after Mexico secularized the missions in the mid-1830s to the point that several ranches were abandoned and the operations of others crippled; in 1840 even the town of Monterrey itself came under threat.46 Just as those fleeing the mission system had previously provided raiders with inside information, so now did Native ranch hands. This was true, for example, of the raid against Rancho Santa Manuela near San Luis Obispo in May 1851, in which fifty horses were taken, ten of them never recovered. Interestingly, on this occasion when they left the ranch the raiders placed a plume of crow feathers on the road to ensure their pursuers had bad luck.47 Two aspects of these raids are worth stressing. First, cattle, though abundant, were often completely ignored, probably because they were slower and more difficult to move. Indeed, a clear Indigenous preference for eating horsemeat is repeatedly stressed in nineteenth-century sources and long survived the ending of the raids themselves in the mid-1850s; both of Gayton’s informants, for example, had eaten it, though born around 1855 and 1870 respectively. Second, the feral horse populations reported by some nineteenth-century observers of the San Joaquin Valley seem to have been neglected in favour of taking those owned by missions and ranchers.48 The explanation for the raids cannot, therefore, be wholly dietary. Rather, their focus was on alienating property, on waging a ‘guerrilla campaign of mainly economic and nuisance value’ directed at the two primary physical manifestations of European colonialism in California: Catholic missions and

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secular ranches.49 In fostering raids that had this, as much as securing food, as their motive, the horse’s arrival redirected earlier hunting strategies and revenge killings. Along with retreat into less accessible mountainous areas and thick, difficult-to-penetrate tule reed swamps, seizing horses thus formed part of a policy of ‘defensive resistance’ to colonization.50 Raiding did, however, unquestionably convert Spanish/Mexican horses into Yokuts/Miwok meals. In many instances stolen horses were kept for some time, being shot with bow and arrow when needed, as observed by Sebastian Rodrı´guez, commander of a punitive expedition sent into the San Joaquin Valley in April 1838. In many instances horsemeat was dried for long-term storage, something that, in the 1840s at least, was also practised with the flesh of feral animals.51 Horse bones from archaeological sites such as Mad-153, in what is now the Buchanan Reservoir north of Fresno, presumably attest to such consumption, though without identifying the source of the animals in question.52 Whether Native peoples opted to eat horsemeat because of limited access to large game is difficult to ascertain for, while Northern Yokuts informants thought that wapiti had been ‘unavailable’, leaving squirrels, rabbits, gophers (burrowing rodents), and deer as the principal sources of meat, and those living further south in the wetlands of the Tulare Basin claimed that pronghorn antelope were the only accessible large animal, Yokuts society had endured decades of disruption and demographic collapse by the time these data were obtained.53 Spanish records do not mention the killing and eating of either pronghorn or wapiti,54 but several later observers did see Native riders hunting wapiti and deer, suggesting that horses, once acquired, allowed large game to be taken more easily and perhaps in greater numbers than had previously been possible.55 Conversely, the spread of feral horses (and cattle) and the growth in their own horse herds impacted negatively on Yokuts’ subsistence. This was partly because livestock ate many of the acorns, roots, and grasses that the Yokuts themselves consumed, but also because they helped disperse and spread the exotic plants that were already effecting a radical transformation of California’s ecology. Increasing raiding to find substitute resources in the form of horsemeat was an obvious response.56 Spanish and then Mexican expeditions to obtain labour or exact revenge for horse raids encouraged the Native communities of central California to co-operate on a previously unknown scale. In the Sacramento/San Joaquin Inland Delta area archaeology documents

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a number of cultural changes: collectively, larger villages and new kinds of shell jewellery, fishing spears, obsidian projectile points, and burial styles are interpreted as the emergence of a more mixed material culture reflecting the disturbance to aboriginal political and social order brought about by colonization.57 Villages were also fortified with wooden stockades or relocated into impenetrable thickets to avoid reprisal raids by Mexican cavalry.58 In addition, by the 1830s some Yokuts and Miwok leaders had clearly built up substantial herds of horses, numbering up to one hundred or more, suggesting a process of personal aggrandizement not dissimilar to those evident on the Plains or Plateau. Many of these leaders appear to have been refugees from mission settlements, especially at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley to judge from the many Spanish names among those signing a treaty in 1851 with the United States.59 Three decades earlier, a Yokuts called Cucunuchi, but better known by the Spanish name of Estanislao, had led a succession of raids between 1828 and 1834 that contributed to the development of the legend of Zorro, the famous masked bandit.60 Horse riding spread quickly. In 1819, for example, Father Payeras complained that ‘Gentiles [i.e. free Natives in the area of Tulare Lake] make their journeys on horseback. Even the women are learning to ride’,61 while eleven years later a Mexican official, Francisco Jime´nez, observed that ‘there is not a village which does not have horses’.62 The recruitment—or return—into Miwok and Yokuts communities of people who had fled the mission system provided a means of spreading knowledge of horse riding, but it did more than this. A wide range of Spanish terms for horses (Miwok: kaba’yu; Yokuts: qawayu, both from Spanish caballo) and the equipment used with them was imported, along with new concepts of food, clothing, and music, as well as skills in metallurgy and the use of stolen firearms (Table 6.1).63 Horses themselves were recruited into religious practice, at least on a small scale. Among the Northern Yokuts, for example, a horse was killed, the meat eaten, and the carcass left to divert Condor from eating the sun during a solar eclipse, while among the Tulare Lake Yokuts horses were rejuvenated in the Horse Dance that marked the end of the revivalist Ghost Dance ceremonies of 1870; horses had also been incorporated into this group’s social structure, being tabooed as food by the Nutuwich moiety, but eaten by the Tokeluwich.64 Rock art, however, though a rich part of California’s Indigenous heritage in

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some areas, shows next to no horses: a few images made by Numic speakers seeking visions in the Coso Range in the east (Figure 6.8), and a line of mounted riders that may record one of the earliest Spanish expeditions (of Gaspar de Portola´ in the initial colonization of 1769) in Table 6.1. Spanish-derived terms for horses and horsemanship in selected Native Californian languages English term

Spanish term

Language(s) borrowed into

Bridle Cattle Cinch Corral Hackamore Horse Lariat Mare Mule Saddle Spurs Stallion

Freno Ganado Cincho Corral Ja´quima Caballo Reata Yegua Mula Silla Espuelas Garan˜o´n

Miwok; Nisenan Miwok; Monache; Yokuts Miwok Nisenan Miwok Miwok; Monache; Yokuts Nisenan Miwok Miwok; Monache; Nisenan; Yokuts Miwok; Nisenan Miwok; Nisenan Miwok

(after Shipley 1962; Broadbent 1964; Uldall and Shipley 1966)

Figure 6.8. Rock engraving of a horse and rider from the Coso Range, eastern California. Copyright and courtesy: Dave Whitley.

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the Santa Monica Mountains southeast of Los Angeles virtually exhaust the roll-call.65 Extensive exchange networks had linked California’s Central Valley and coast to the eastern Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin long before the Spanish arrival, creating an Indigenous base for Zappia’s ‘interior world’ (Figure 6.9). Yokuts played a prominent role in these networks, both as traders and in hosting trade fairs to which people came from hundreds of kilometres away.66 Deerskins, baskets, steatite, acorn flour, and marine shell jewellery moved east, while obsidian, bows, moccasins, salt, pine nuts, dried deer meat, and the skins of foxes and bighorn sheep went west.67 Glass beads quickly joined this system from the 1770s, rapidly replacing traditional shell jewellery. Horses facilitated their redistribution and that of other exchange items, including metal tools, blankets, and European clothing. Along with mules, horses also increasingly became core commodities themselves; Yokuts exchanged them for beads, textiles, and baskets.68 Giving a more avowedly offensive character to the horse raids that continued to plague European settlers into the early years of Californian statehood, this development was inextricably linked to the emergence of a much larger regional raiding and trading economy in which New Mexican traders, American fur-trappers, and the Mojave and Ute inhabitants of the Great Basin were the other key players. At the supply end of the equation, Californian rancheros kept large numbers of horses because ranches were extensive, stock strayed, and horses, which were rarely fed hay or grain, easily lost condition in winter. A single ranch might thus contain as many as 3,000 horses,69 and by 1820 the scale of ranching was enormous, with over 200,000 cattle and some 50,000 horses in total, most of the latter allowed to fend for themselves until needed seasonally to gather in the cattle.70 At the demand end, the growth in use from 1829 of the Old Spanish Trail linking Santa Fe to Los Angeles and the increasing commercial connections between Santa Fe and the western United States massively expanded the market for the mules and horses that were prized over feral animals because they were already broken in and trained, while sailing ships conveyed California’s hides and tallow to east coast markets. New Mexican sheep, wool, and blankets moved the other way. Increased trade and movement along this trail attracted raids from Mojaves as well as Utes (especially those led by Waccara),71 but both peoples also worked with Yokuts, and even Mexicans and Americans, to seize dozens, sometimes hundreds, and

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Figure 6.9. Map of the ‘interior world’ of western North America (after Zappia 2008, 2012). 1 Arches National Park (Utah); 2 Fort Bidwell (California); 3 Little High Rock Canyon (Nevada); 4 Monterrey (California); 5 San Francisco de Solano Mission (California); 6 San Juan Bautista Mission (California); 7 San Luis Obispo (California); 8 Sego Canyon (Utah). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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occasionally thousands, of horses in sweeps into southern California. The San Bernardino and San Gabriel Valleys near Los Angeles were frequent targets. Other groups like the Cahuilla, Kumeyaay, and Quechan also embraced horse-raiding, in this case in the San Diego area, from the 1830s into the 1850s.72 Overall—and paralleling the devastation of northern Mexico wrought by Comanches at broadly the same time— repeated raids against California’s ranches undermined not just the region’s economy, but also its support for a Mexican government clearly incapable of defending ranchero interests and property. In both regions— but in California much more obviously, of course—this helped pave the way for American seizure of one-third of Mexico’s territory in the war of 1846–48.73 Horses did not, however, only leave California through the east door. They also moved north, in part towards American and British traders on the Columbia River, who offered alcohol, guns, and other goods in return. Captives destined for slavery in the Pacific Northwest or the Plateau were also on the move. On California’s border with Oregon, Klamaths and Modocs were initially victims of slave-raiding by equestrian Cayuse and Nez Perce´, against whom they built hidden, fortified settlements for protection. But they quickly became middlemen, conducting annual raids further south for captives whom they either kept for their own use or sold for horses at The Dalles. They also adopted Plateau-mediated features of Plains nomadism such as the use of parfleches, buckskin clothing, and the practice of ritual sweating in sweat huts rather than pit houses. One response to their raids was to get out of the way: after an intense prehistoric occupation the Surprise Valley in California’s far northeast, for example, was almost wholly abandoned in the early 1800s; its Northern Paiute inhabitants only returned after the United States Army established Fort Bidwell in 1865.74 Another strategy was to follow Klamath example and build fortified settlements able to withstand attack; Apwaruge communities in the Pit River Basin constructed at least two stone ‘forts’ in which the women and children whom raiders sought could hide.75 Further south, ethnically mixed raiding bands that drew on horses for their sustenance emerged across the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The limited evidence of Native settlement in the 1820s in areas such as northern Nevada’s Humboldt River or eastern California’s Honey Lake suggests that abandonment and depopulation as a result of slave-raiding were also felt there.76

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‘Do not trust the horse’ Virgil’s admonition to the Trojans who confronted the famous wooden horse is not inappropriate to the Great Basin.77 For while Bannocks, Northern and Eastern Shoshones, and most Utes took to horses with alacrity, others did not. Developing the points I made earlier about Waccara’s Utes, a quick glance at why some groups rejected them, or took to them only belatedly, gives us additional material with which to understand Equus’s overall impact on North America’s Native peoples. Within the Great Basin it was the bands living in the western half of the region who showed little interest in the returning horse, ironically so given that today Nevada is home to more feral horses than any other American state.78 Gosiute Shoshones living around Utah’s Great Salt Lake, for instance, depended heavily upon plants, not animals, for their subsistence, and thus found no ecological niche within their economy that could accommodate horses.79 Most Western Shoshones, as well as Southern and Northern Paiutes (except the Bannock), similarly rejected them: aridity (which significantly limited the possibilities of keeping horses in any number), the vulnerability of wild plants, sometimes growing in irrigated plots, and the likelihood that horses would have eaten some of the same grasses that people needed for themselves all contributed to this decision.80 And fears of environmental degradation were not misplaced. Ecological studies in the Great Basin show that horses are directly or indirectly responsible for reducing grass and shrub cover, impoverishing reptile, rodent, and ant populations, and diminishing soil organic matter content, shade, and precipitation interception.81 The fact that Federal law prohibits them from being hunted and mandates the use of minimal management techniques renders attempts to control the ecological problems now posed by tens of thousands of feral horses and mules difficult, controversial, and, quite likely, insoluble.82 For the Native peoples of the Great Basin the decision to acquire or reject horses had consequences that reached far beyond mere issues of riding, hunting, or the adoption of Plains-derived forms of material culture and social organization. Most tellingly, the lack of horses exposed those who did not have them to the slave raids of those who did. Consistent with this, the rare representations of horses and

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Figure 6.10. An unfired clay figurine of a horse with twig limbs collected from the Ute by American explorer John Wesley Powell in 1872. This is similar to the clay toys found after Mike Daggett and his family were attacked at Little High Rock Canyon, Nevada, in 1911. Copyright: (E11297-0), Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution.

riders in Great Basin rock art likely record phenomena or events considered unusual and dangerous.83 Only in the 1850s and 1860s, after Euro-American migration to the Pacific coast had significantly damaged the water, plant, and firewood resources on which they depended,84 and Mormon settlers had expropriated some of the best grazing and horticultural lands, did Northern and Southern Paiutes—for want of other options—start employing horses to raid Euro-American settlements, use as food, and increase their own foraging radii.85 Fairly quickly, however, confinement to reservations or attachment to ranches and towns as dispossessed labourers became the lot of all the Great Basin’s Indigenous peoples.86 Lacking horses, or adopting them very late, non-equestrians also lacked the military power, as well as the numbers, that might have dealt them a stronger hand in negotiating with the authorities of the advancing United States.87 In perhaps the very last episode of North America’s ‘Indian Wars’, the handmade clay toy horses (Figure 6.10), willow-stake horse corral, and Plains-style feathered headdress retrieved after Shoshone Mike Daggett and several

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of his family were killed for supposed horse-rustling at Little High Rock Canyon in northwestern Nevada in 1911 poignantly underscore this point, as well as the horse’s temporal, spatial, and cultural reach after its return to its North American home.88

Notes 1. Fagan (2005: 289–94). 2. Fagan (2005: 268–72). 3. The North American English term ‘cayuse’ for a Native American pony comes not from this group’s name, but from the Spanish caballo plus the -s ending used to mark nouns in Sahaptian languages (Kiddle 1952). Interestingly, the Sahaptian word for horse, kusi, initially meant dog, which in turn led to the invention of a new term for the latter, kusiku´si, meaning ‘little horse’! (Aoki 1994: 20). 4. Blackhawk (2006: 30). 5. Blackhawk (2006: 35–54). 6. Blackhawk (2006). 7. The quote is from Elizabeth John (1975: 119). Like many other Native Americans, Utes incorporated horses into their art: scenes with riders, sometimes hunting and often in association with bighorn sheep, occur at several sites, including Sego Canyon and Arches National Park, Utah (Schaafsma and Scott 2002). Occasional clay figurines, some with string for bridles and twigs for legs, were probably children’s toys (Touhy 1986). 8. Hanson and Kurtz (2007). 9. Van Hoak (1999: 315–16) 10. Blackhawk (2006: 86–175). 11. Van Hoak (1999: 324). 12. Blackhawk (2006: 244); Zappia (2008, 2012). 13. In the early 1850s Southern Paiutes were still being sold in Santa Fe: US $200 for a girl, US$150 for an adult woman, and US$100 for a boy. Prices in Los Angeles, where there was less demand, were lower (Zappia 2012: 211). 14. Binnema (2001). 15. Tyrell (1916: 328–30). 16. Tyrell (1916: 328–30). 17. Smoak (2006). 18. Painter (1946). 19. Osborne (1953). 20. Hunn (1990). 21. Smoak (2006). 22. Smoak (2006).

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216 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37.

38. 39. 40.

41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54.

h or se nat ions Osborne (1953). Osborne (1953); Ewers (1955: 170); Dixon and Lyman (1996). Langston (1995). Though not universally; Kutenais, for example, found it of little use because of the rugged terrain where they lived (Boas and Teit 1996). Liljeblad (1986: 650). Spinden (1908: 252); Teit (1930: 173). Shimkin (1986b). Sage (2012: 63). Grafe (2004). Keyser and Klassen (2001: 101, 300). Haines (1937). Moulton (2003: 333). Ciarloni (2011: 83). Robbins (1996). Gibbs (1877: 178). Southwest of Portland, and thus on the opposite side of Washington, horses were killed on the grave of their deceased owner by at least two Kalapuya groups, another clear instance of how far such equestrian ‘habits’ had spread from the Plains and Plateau (Zenk 1990: 551). Smith (1941). Graesch et al. (2010). Lowie (1909: 191). The value attached to horses is also indicated by the fact that Plateau groups did not generally eat them; Nez Perce´ provision of horses for food to the starving members of the Lewis and Clark expedition was thus a profound signal of hospitality and goodwill (Moulton 2003). Stern (1998: 645). Bonnischen (1964); Galm (1994: 288) discusses the sources of these two shell species. Weber (2005: 122–6); David Whitley (pers. comm. 7 October 2013). Heizer (1941). Gayton (1948a). Broadbent (1974). Broadbent (1974: 92). Hurtado (1990: 5), but note that the region’s swampy nature may have limited the size of such populations (David Whitley, pers. comm. 7 October 2013). Broadbent (1974: 97). Phillips (1993: 158). Phillips (1993: 105). Moratto (1984: 324). Gayton (1948a, 1948b). Wallace (1978: 464).

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north ame rica iii : we st of the roc k ie s 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68.

69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80.

81. 82. 83.

217

Phillips (1993: 105); Schneider (2010: 99). Preston (1981). Heizer (1941). Arkush (1993). Phillips (1993: 97). Gray (1993). Phillips (1993: 60). Cook (1960: 187). Bates (1993); Phillips (1993). Gayton (1948b: 162, 1948a: 45). Reinhardt (1981); Whitley (1996). Such fairs continued until at least 1857 (Zappia 2008: 64). Arkush (1993); Zappia (2008: 29–73). Zappia (2008: 90). Pedestrian traders nevertheless remained important: Mojave runners distributed preciosities like shell beads, finished obsidian tools, and textiles well into the nineteenth century (Zappia 2008: 152, note 250). Phillips (1993: 108). Zappia (2008: 138). I am grateful to David Whitley for clarifying the operations of early Californian horse and cattle-ranching for me. An excellent description of Mojave society at this time comes from Olive Oatman, captured in a raid against a Euro-American emigrant party in 1851, who lived with them for six years (Mifflin 2009). Zappia (2012). Phillips (1993). Layton (1981). Dick-Bissonette (1998: 64). Layton (1981). Virgil (1982 II: 1.48). Beever (2003). Shimkin (1986a: 521). Shimkin and Reid (1970: 174); Hurst Thomas et al. (1986). Note, however, that responses varied even between immediately adjacent groups. Thus, in the Colorado/Gila River area immediately north of the Gulf of California Cocopas took to horses eagerly and used them to raid for slaves, while Quechans, who also practised agriculture, were far more wary of the ecological competition that horses posed to their crops. Specific, perhaps now irrecoverable, historical circumstances may have influenced such decisions (Zappia 2008: 90). Beever (2003); Beever and Brussard (2004); Beever and Herrick (2006). Levy (2011: 140–5). Quinlan and Woody (2003). As no ethnographic explanation of such images was recorded, memory of their production and meaning may have disappeared early in Euro-American settlement of the region.

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84. Such ecological devastation reached back at least into the 1820s and in wetland and montane areas was further fuelled by extermination of the beaver (Blackhawk 2006: 136–7, 147). Trans-continental migration greatly exacerbated it. 85. To be fair, Mormons did take a stance against slave-raiding, ransoming Paiute captives from Utes, though whether the individuals thus ‘freed’ had any other option than to remain with and work for their rescuers may be doubted (Blackhawk 2006: 240–2). 86. Steward and Wheeler-Voegel (1974); Layton (1978); d’Azevedo (1986). 87. Blackhawk (2006: 229–31). 88. Layton (1977); Blackhawk (2006: 283–7).

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7 South America I Caribbean Deserts and Tropical Savannahs ‘They are enthusiastic about horse-riding and . . . greatly esteem cattle and all animals’ (Don Antonio de Are´valo writing in 1773; Polo Acu~ na 1999: 14)

‘Their only care is that of their horses and arms, in the management of which their skill is admirable’ (Dobrizhoffer 1822 I: 97; first published in 1784)

T

hese two quotations, dating to within almost a decade of each other, refer to very different parts of South America, the first the La Guajira Peninsula at its northern tip, the second the savannahs of the Gran Chaco at its very heart. The Wayu´u, dwelling in the first, had no direct connection with the Mbaya´ of whom Dobrizhoffer wrote here (though he is more famous for his work on their cousins, the Abipones). Nevertheless, both regions shared aspects of their respective experiences of colonial intrusion and settlement: the frequent adoption not just of horses but also of other exotic species like cattle and sheep; Spanish use of missionaries to try and pacify their Indigenous inhabitants; and the fact that the latter could play off one European power, or Spanish province, against another, thereby maintaining their own freedom of action. Aiding the Native peoples in this was their geographically, politically, and economically marginal position with respect to the main foci of colonial power in the Andes and along the Atlantic.

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Spain began exploiting Venezuela’s pearl fisheries as early as 1508, even settling on the mainland from 1522, but the real impetus to conquest in South America came only with Francisco Pizarro’s invasion of the Inka Empire in 1533. The highlands of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia (the latter never part of Inka domains), the lowlands between them and the Pacific Ocean, the northern half of Chile, and the northwestern corner of Argentina all passed quickly—if not always easily—under Spanish control. So too did parts of Paraguay, settled by following rivers inland from the Atlantic. Portugal, on the other hand, secured for herself the coast of Brazil, eventually expanding her reach across virtually the entire Amazon Basin. Horses were as much a part of the conquistadores’ repertoire in South America as in Mexico. They sowed panic when Pizarro first confronted Inka troops at Cajamarca in 1533, but Native American surprise and fear did not last. Inka armies quickly devised tactics to neutralize the effects of horses on the battlefield in vain efforts to expel the invader. Further south the Araucanians of central Chile were almost as fast and much more successful. I look at them and their neighbours in Chapter 8, devoting this chapter to the comparably rapid acquisition of horses that marked both La Guajira and the Gran Chaco. In sharp contrast, in the third region discussed, the Llanos grasslands of Colombia and Venezuela, Indigenous peoples found surprisingly little use for the horse.

La Guajira: introducing the Wayu´u La Guajira is a relatively narrow (~40–100 km) spit of land projecting northeast into the Caribbean (Figure 7.1). Its southern limit runs from the slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta across to the mouth of the Rı´o Limon. Along with a narrow stretch of land further north, the latter now forms part of Venezuela, while the rest of La Guajira is Colombian territory. The bulk of the peninsula, or Guajira Baja, is almost entirely flat and covered by dry forest in its south, cactus-rich steppe in the north. In the peninsula’s more arid northern extremity (Guajira Alta) vegetation is sometimes almost entirely absent, though distinctly richer in mountainous areas like the Serranı´as de Macuira and Jarara. With only one permanent river, the Rancherı´a, La Guajira’s climate is harsh, its aridity exacerbated by constant winds (Plate 21). Such rain as does fall is highly seasonal and punctuated by long droughts and violent downpours.

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Figure 7.1. Map of Colombia and Venezuela showing localities mentioned in the text. Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

Sixteenth-century Spaniards called Native Americans of importance ‘guajiros’. Later, the term was specifically applied to those of the peninsula’s inhabitants who kept livestock.1 Today they are known by their own self-designation, Wayu´u. Other groups recorded in colonial sources, including the Cocinas or Kusi’na (who spoke the same language as the Wayu´u), Guanabukanes (Wanebukan), A~ nu´, and Kaketı´os, are extinct.2 Wayu´u traditions assert that their ancestors displaced the region’s original inhabitants: distinctive polychrome ceramics from relatively permanent village settlements where people cultivated manioc, a carbohydrate-rich tuber of Amazonian origin, suggest that they were already present by the mid-first millennium bc.3

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The Spanish first saw La Guajira in 1499 when Alonso de Ojeda collected pearls, slaves, and a little gold from it. Pearls long remained a Spanish interest, especially along the west coast, but apart from having to defend their water resources Wayu´u and Cocinas were generally left unmolested. Other Indigenous groups, however, like the Kaketı´os, were raided for slaves and all suffered European-introduced epidemics to which they had little immunity. Formal Spanish settlement of the wider region centred at Santa Marta on the Colombian coast and Maracaibo on the Venezuelan, producing a situation of partially competing colonial jurisdictions from which the Wayu´u profited. Riohacha, at the mouth of the Rı´o Rancherı´a, long marked the effective limit of Spanish incursion into the peninsula itself.4 When first encountered by Europeans La Guajira’s inhabitants practised multiple subsistence strategies: fishing, shellfish-gathering, hunting, and some small-scale agriculture. How some—the ancestors of today’s Wayu´u—adopted pastoralism remains virtually unstudied by archaeologists: the frequent conflation of recent and much older materials in a largely active, erosional environment, the presence of drug gangs, enmities between Wayu´u clans, and the inaccessibility of parts of the landscape regarded as sacred have all acted as constraints. Nevertheless, bones of cattle, goats, and pigs in the upper levels at La Pitia near the mouth of the Rı´o Limon may relate to a very early stage in the process, perhaps involving theft or hunting of Spanish-owned stock.5 Documentary sources offer more information, but mostly date to the eighteenth century, by which time the transition was essentially complete.6 What we do know is that livestock were present in ‘great quantity’ on La Guajira’s west coast as early as 1550, and were supplied to Spanish pearl fisheries,7 and that by the 1690s they were well established in Wayu´u hands. Both the animals and the knowledge of how to raise them probably came directly from Spanish sources, most likely during the period of relatively peaceful (and thus largely undocumented) relations between the late 1500s and late 1600s.8

Smugglers of the Caribbean La Guajira held a strategic position within the Caribbean—adjacent to Spanish-ruled territories, but offering, in its north, safe harbours to ships operating out of islands like Curacao and Jamaica. At the same

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time, winds and currents isolated it from Cartagena, the nearest Spanish port of importance. La Guajira’s livestock interested both pirates and more legitimate Dutch and British traders; the Royal Navy sought 600 head for its Havana base in 1762 alone.9 Cattle raided from Spanish settlements and funnelled north from Guajira Baja to Guajira Alta supplemented animals raised by the Wayu´u themselves,10 but mules, slaves, pearls, and the fruits of the divi divi tree also fed into the Caribbean market.11 In return Wayu´u obtained firearms—and the powder, bullets, and instruction needed to operate them—liquor, and tobacco. From a Spanish standpoint, such exchanges were illegal, but lack of control over La Guajira was only one reason why they persisted: the other was simply that the poor pay of Spanish officials and troops and the rarity of legitimate shipping at Riohacha made smuggling a necessity for the colonial population to La Guajira’s south.12 By the late eighteenth century contraband traffic was worth 3 million pesos a year and exports of livestock were tightly bound up with the political and socio-economic power of Wayu´u clans and their leaders.13 Confronting an unsubdued population that traded with its European rivals, dominated valuable pearling sites, and lived immediately next to territories that she had settled and was exploiting agriculturally, Spain repeatedly tried to bring La Guajira under control, despite its lack of attractive metals or farming possibilities. Urging her on was the fact that Wayu´u were far from unique: Kuna in eastern Panama, Miskito in Honduras and Nicaragua, Chimila in the coastal lowlands west of Riohacha, and escaped slave communities almost everywhere likewise imperilled Spanish control of the western Caribbean.14 Early attempts at pacification involved the use of Capuchin missionaries, but their failure to reduce Wayu´u to Spanish obedience saw military efforts—including attempts to co-opt local leaders and implant settlements at locations like Bahia Honda—increase after 1760. Ultimately, however, armed resistance, the segmented nature of Wayu´u society (which made comprehensive agreements impossible), a physical climate hostile to European settlement, and the absence of a sustained, co-ordinated, and well-resourced Spanish response saw such efforts fail; all the newly founded towns were abandoned before the eighteenth century closed.15 Nevertheless, Wayu´u mostly supported Spanish forces against those fighting for independence between 1810 and 1821.16 Once that goal was achieved, La Guajira was still very

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much at the margins, so much so that in the 1820s both a member of Colombia’s government and the British consul in Maracaibo argued that it was legally independent and thus not subject to Colombian laws.17 Using the same strategies as their Spanish predecessors— fortified towns, missionaries, co-option of local leaders, and efforts to halt smuggling—Colombia and Venezuela only gained control over the peninsula at the end of the 1800s.18 Even today, however, it remains a major smuggling centre (between Venezuela and Colombia, but also of drugs destined for North America).19

Horses and other livestock Wayu´u adopted the full suite of domestic animals that the sixteenthcentury arrival of Europeans in La Guajira made available (Figure 7.2).20 Cattle and horses were most important early on, but sheep and goats became more significant with time, partly because they (particularly goats) can subsist on poorer-quality vegetation and survive droughts better, partly because overgrazing means that cattle can now only be kept in number in the Serranı´as and parts of Guajira Baja. Symbolically equated with humans, livestock remain at the heart of Wayu´u social relations.21 Sacrificed to the dead, they also provide the traditional store of wealth, the means of compensating for injuries and killings to forestall further bloodshed, and a vehicle for sealing marriages; unusually for an Amazonian-derived Arawak-speaking society Wayu´u pay bridewealth to the wife’s kin, rather than offering labour (bride service). To explain why livestock were adopted we therefore need to consider the social and ideological spheres,22 even if their dietary role is substantial. For example, goats and sheep are exploited for both meat and milk, though beef is only eaten on special occasions, such as funerals or when people are feasted after working on collective projects like digging wells.23 Wayu´u consumption of milk also warrants investigation since humans must produce the enzyme lactase to digest it and this is rare past infancy except in European, Middle Eastern, and some African populations; genetic analyses might detect whether Wayu´u acquired the capacity through intermarriage with individuals of European or African descent. More generally, in a semi-arid environment where crops cannot be relied upon, the opportunity to broaden the economic

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Figure 7.2. Wayu´u rancherı´a, La Guajira, Colombia. Today, goats are the most characteristic animal of La Guajira, a reflection of environmental degradation and of being better adapted to the region’s aridity and generally sparse pasture. This photograph, taken by Petruss, is reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License ().

base by using animals that could be moved around as droughts or episodic flooding dictated must have seemed particularly attractive. Expressed in an African archaeological context as ‘cattle before crops’ (the chronological pattern found in the prehistoric Sahara), for the Wayu´u livestock meant that they could partly dispense with cultivation, replacing uncertain harvests with meat and milk. The material and social gains (including foodstuffs) to be made from trading animals completed the motivation.24 What role did horses play in this newly emerging economy? Just as in North America, enhanced mobility was one of their most prized attributes, facilitating the control and movement of livestock, but also making it easier to take them from Spanish farms or other Wayu´u. Horses also made an important military contribution, and in the

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‘revolt’ of 1769 the majority of some 14,000 Wayu´u warriors were mounted.25 As now, they were also valued for the prestige and status they conferred on their owners, something recognized by their employment in bridewealth and compensation payments from at least as early as 1730.26 Though no longer practised, the serving of horsemeat at the kaa’€ ulayawaa (Goat Dance) ceremonies associated with collective horticultural tasks suggests that horses were sometimes also killed and eaten in acts of conspicuous consumption.27 We can now better understand one of the curious features of Wayu´u history: the disappearance of their fellow Wayuunaiki speakers, the Cocinas. Perhaps because of their location in the east of Guajira Baja, further from most pearl-fishing stations and the anchorages favourable to European ships, perhaps because of historical circumstances and choices that are no longer recoverable, Cocinas mostly opted not to acquire horses or other livestock. Instead of integrating domestic animals into their way of life as a means of resisting colonization, they retained a hunting/gathering/horticultural economy only to find themselves increasingly cut off from regional contraband networks, without new subsistence resources or firearms, and deprived of the opportunities for alliance (however temporary) with Spanish society that intermarriage provided to many Wayu´u. Raided by Wayu´u and Spaniards alike and sold onward to Jamaica or North America, survivors sought refuge in the hills of the peninsula’s north, but by the late nineteenth century no longer existed as a separate group.28

Explaining horses the Wayu´u way Unlike other domestic animals, whose names derive from Spanish, Wayu´u call horses ama, most likely from irama, meaning ‘white-tailed deer’ (Odocoileus virginianus). The two animals are thought to run in similar fashion and one myth recalls how a deer transformed itself into a horse.29 In another a horse appeared one day and asked to be domesticated, while in a third horses had once been people whose calabashes turned into hooves. Yet a fourth has a woman gathering algarrobo beans becoming a horse and then the ancestress of both horses and mules, the exchange of which brought her husband/ owner many cattle. Common to all is the emphasis on the antiquity

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of domestic animals in La Guajira and a rejection of European claims that they had them first.30 Horses and their fellow travellers nevertheless posed a major classificatory dilemma because, while the female spirit Pulo´wi is normally the mistress of animals, her male counterpart Juya´ (Rain) is the master of vegetation. Domestic animals sit comfortably in neither category, for being tame they are similı¯i~ n wayu´ or ‘animals of men’, animal and cultivated at the same time. The contradiction is resolved by assigning them to Sun in a myth that is probably quite old because it has been recorded in four different versions from different areas of La Guajira.31 Tellingly, the ambivalent status of horses, donkeys, and mules also allows them to detect the advent of evil spirits (wanı¨lı¨) and warn people of them by their cries or the movement of their ears. Probably for this reason horse and donkey (but also sheep and goat) skulls are placed outside houses or on corrals to deter illness. Interestingly, white people .. .. are the personification par excellence of the wan ıl ı, an understanding that finds its historical basis in the firearms and epidemics that Europeans brought to La Guajira from the sixteenth century.32

The Llanos: going without the horse? Several hundred kilometres south of La Guajira, the grasslands of the Llanos stretch from the foothills of the Andes in the west to the Guyana Plateau in the east. Bounded on the south by the forests of Amazonia, they cover more than 500,000 km2. Their climate is both highly seasonal and highly variable, with years of heavy rains alternating with extended droughts. Growing on nutrient-poor soils, the mostly treeless savannahs that dominate the Llanos are largely devoid of game, which concentrates instead in gallery forest along rivers; other forest patches occur on higher land to the west, known in Colombia as llanos arriba. The numerous rivers running through the plains drain ultimately into the Caribbean. When they flood in the wet season (April to November), vast inland seas form, leaving animals to congregate on remaining pockets of dry land. Seasonal extremes of climate and hordes of insects (some now carrying diseases like malaria) mean that the Llanos are no tropical paradise, but archaeology shows they once supported relatively dense Indigenous populations. Indeed, in the 1500s the first Spanish entradas

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encountered substantial chiefdoms centred on fortified villages, linked by long-distance exchange networks that employed shell beads as currency, and fed by maize and manioc grown using systems of irrigation and raised fields that significantly modified the local landscape. Such chiefdoms had probably formed and collapsed more than once in the centuries before the Spanish arrival, perhaps in processes connected to changes in climate.33 Conversely, historians and anthropologists have tended to see Llanos societies as much smaller and more egalitarian in scale, something that probably reflects the demographic losses and violence wrought by European colonization. Spanish interest in the Llanos began in the 1530s, initially focused on seeking the mythical golden treasures of El Dorado and then on establishing secure links between the Caribbean coast and the Colombian highlands. Settlements created in the course of these expeditions introduced horses and cattle that were often left to graze on their own. Though the climate, pronounced seasonal shortages in the abundance and quality of forage, diseases, and predators all constrained their growth, they nevertheless endured.34 As in La Guajira, without material resources to tempt colonists missions were in the vanguard of Spanish advance, seeking to ‘reduce’ Native Americans to the practice of Christianity and a European way of life. In many cases they achieved notable success, helped by the growth of slave-raiding across the region, which encouraged weaker groups to seek refuge at them. From the late 1600s, missions, as well as private individuals, also began exploiting the feral cattle that had taken root on the grasslands. Leather and tallow (for candle grease) were the principal exports, and on the eve of independence the numbers of animals on these ranches (hatos) were enormous, especially in Venezuela: one estimate (for 1812) is of as many as 4.5 million cattle, horses, and mules (Figure 7.3).35 Those Native Americans incorporated into missions or ranches often learned to tend livestock, but not all surrendered peacefully to the new order. Seventeenth-century documents, for instance, record thefts of horses by the Achagua of the llanos arriba, but it was those groups collectively termed Guahibo who put up greatest resistance to Spanish settlement. Living in the less productive regions between major rivers and practising an economy that depended wholly or in large part on hunting and gathering, Guahibo had traded with, and raided, more settled, horticultural groups in pre-Columbian times.36

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Figure 7.3. Cattle on the Llanos, Rancho Hato El Frı´o, Venezuela. This image, taken by Anagoria, is reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (< http:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cowboys_in_Venezuela.JPG >).

As European demand for slaves grew (especially in the West Indies), they massively expanded the latter activity, selling captives, often via Carib intermediaries, to British, Dutch, French, and Spanish buyers. By the early 1800s Guahibos dominated the savannahs from which they took their name.37 Though never becoming pastoralists like the Wayu´u, they raided and hunted Spanish cattle—whose growing numbers were already transforming the local ecology and depleting game stocks38—and posed an existential threat to several missions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Like the equestrian nomads of North America’s Plains, their greater mobility and smaller community size may have significantly insulated them from the effects of recurrent epidemics (though the effects of these can be exaggerated)39 while rendering them less susceptible to missionary ‘reduction’. Gradually adopting cultivation and a more sedentary existence, Guahibo independence lasted into the twentieth century.40

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But while Guahibo used horses to seize cattle and attack Spanish outposts and travellers, scholarly opinion emphasizes that ‘llanos societies were slow to avail themselves of these new animal resources’,41 at least compared to other parts of the Americas. No single factor easily explains this. Alfred Crosby, writing about the ecological effects of Europe’s global expansion, suggests that the local ecology was so unfavourable that it made the biological expansion of European livestock (horses included) impossible.42 But this cannot be so since commercially oriented ranching did develop in the colonial era, and flourishes today. Likewise, to blame an absence of large game or cattle ranches (and thus no opportunity to hunt or raid from horseback) is patently flawed. Rather, the very limited emergence of Horse Nations on the Llanos must be explained in terms of how ecology intersected with Indigenous choice. One possibility is that the constraints of annual and longer-term flood and drought cycles, the lack of a horticultural or capital base that could buffer fluctuations in livestock numbers (such as missions and hatos possessed), and the desirability of remaining highly mobile to exploit wild food resources and resist enemy attacks, collectively meant that horses could find no more than a sporadic, tightly demarcated role in Guahibo life. More fundamentally, however, we need to turn to the work of anthropologist Philippe Descola, who points out that while Native peoples in Lowland South America tame and rear in captivity many species of birds and mammals, they make no attempt to breed them, nor (except on rare ritual occasions) do they eat them. This is true even of the pig-like collared peccary (Pecari tajacu), perhaps the most domesticable of all Amazonian mammals. The reason why such animals are not domesticated is social: treated conceptually as preadolescent children, that is, as consanguineal kin, they are far too close to be eaten. Wild game, on the other hand, is owned and ‘bred’ by spirits, which makes it impossible for control of its protection or reproduction to be handed over to people.43 Moreover, while predation (on game or human enemies) is essential for symbolically reproducing the self, Native Amazonians ‘could not conceive of animals as being subordinated to humans’.44 Domesticating horses would have required, then, a truly profound transformation of Guahibo thought and culture. These possibilities require more rigorous analysis of documentary, ethnographic, and—if they exist—archaeological data than I can offer

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here, not least because the Amazonian-derived Wayu´u did adopt livestock as a fundamental part of their way of life, establishing, in Descola’s words, ‘an entirely novel way of objectifying animals, no longer as persons and collective subjects of a social relationship but as mere signifiers of social status and detachable objects of generalized exchange’.45 Even so, with regard to the Llanos, it is clear that Native Americans made a substantial contribution, genetically and materially, to the emergence of the llaneros, the region’s horse-riding, cattlerearing professional herders (Plate 22). More so even than with Argentina’s gauchos, whose origins also lay on the frontier between European settlement and Native resistance, the llaneros remain a key symbol of national identity in both Colombia and Venezuela, famed for their role in the decisive battle (at Boyaca´ in 1819) of the War of Independence against Spain.46

Jesuits and Horse Nations at the heart of South America First encountering horses in the mid-1500s, the Guaykuru´-speaking peoples of the savannahs of Paraguay and northern Argentina made themselves at home on horseback as much as the Plains nomads of North America,47 hunting feral cattle, raiding the Spanish who had introduced them, and even keeping livestock of their own (Figure 7.4). In a politically fast-changing situation, and confronting environmental changes that began to undercut a successful hunting and gathering economy, many Guaykuru´ eventually entered Jesuitrun missions, continuing to live there even after the Jesuits were expelled in 1767. For us, a happy result of that expulsion was that several acute observers of Guaykuru´ life then wrote extensively of their experiences once back in Europe: Martin Dobrizhoffer on the Abipo´n, Floria´n Paucke on the Mocovı´, and Jose´ Sa´nchez Labrador and Jose´ Jolı´s on the Mbaya´. Collectively, their books, along with other colonial-era records, provide a wealth of evidence for the horse’s incorporation into Guaykuru´ lives.48 The Guaykuru´ homeland, the Gran Chaco, is a vast alluvial plain stretching from the Rı´o Salado in northern Argentina to the border between Paraguay and Bolivia and from the Andean foothills in the west to the Rı´o Parana´/Rı´o Paraguay in the east. Lower-lying areas are extensively flooded between October and April, but water is often

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Figure 7.4. Map of the Gran Chaco (shaded) showing sites and localities mentioned in the text. 1 Asuncio´n (Paraguay); 2 Concepcio´n (Paraguay); 3 Coimbra (Brazil); 4 Cuiaba´ (Brazil); 5 Nossa Senhora do Bom Conselho do Mato Grande Mission (Brazil); 6 Porto Murtinho (Brazil); 7 San Xavier Mission (Argentina); 8 Santa Fe (Argentina). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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Figure 7.5. The Gran Chaco landscape, Campo Marı´a Reserve, east of Filadelfia, Paraguay. Courtesy and copyright: Esther Breithoff.

scarce for the rest of the year. Thorn forest and cacti, grasslands, and— along eastern rivers—palm groves reflect this situation (Figure 7.5). These savannahs, marshes, and forests once supported a rich wildlife, hence the region’s name, which derives from the Quechua chacu, meaning ‘great hunting ground’.49 On the eve of the first Spanish incursions, it was dominated by Guaykuru´ speakers: Abipo´n and Mocovı´ in the south between the Rı´os Salado and Bermejo, Toba and Pilaga´ where Argentina meets Bolivia and Paraguay, Mbaya´ in the north beyond the Rı´o Pilcomayo and on both sides of the Paraguay, and Payagua´ along that river and as far north as the beginning of the Pantanal wetlands of southern Brazil. Representing other language families were the Arawakan-speaking Guana´ in the north and Chane´ in the Andean foothills, the Vilela and Lule in the southwest, and two more linguistic stocks, Lengua and Mataco, on the upper Bermejo and Pilcomayo. Influenced from both the Andes and Amazonia, some of the Chaco’s inhabitants also grew maize, manioc, sweet potatoes, and other crops, but Guaykuru´ supported themselves principally from hunting deer,

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capybara, and other game, fishing, and gathering wild plants.50 In the south the most important of these were the pods and beans of wild algarrobo trees (Prosopis sp.), while, further north, palm trees (notably the eyugua´, Copernicia cerifera, and the macaw palm, Acrocomia aculeata) provided staple carbohydrates;51 dried meat (charqui), fruits, locusts, and algarrobo bean flour were preserved for future use. As a result, existence was typically far from hand to mouth nor movements ceaseless and unplanned. Instead, in classic hunter-gatherer style, people aggregated together seasonally to enjoy each other’s company when resources, such as algarrobo, were sufficiently abundant to sustain such gatherings.52 Anthropologists and archaeologists typically assume that mobile hunter-gatherers like the sixteenth-century Guaykuru´ were largely egalitarian, with frequent movement precluding the accumulation of stored wealth in material objects or foodstuffs that could serve as the basis for permanent social distinctions beyond those of age and gender.53 Where communities that base their subsistence on non-domesticated plants and animals do have such distinctions, it is at least partly because those resources exist in such quantity within a relatively small area that they can dispense with mobility and create permanent settlements: the Native peoples of North America’s Pacific Northwest Coast, who drew on annual runs of salmon and abundant other marine resources, are the classic instance of this.54 But distinctions between people need not exist in material form. Within some Guaykuru´ societies, birth, dress, body painting, and language served just as well to define and distinguish one group from another.55 The level of available information varies, and some groups (like the Toba and Pilaga´) probably approximated more closely to the egalitarian, mobile forager model, but separate noble and commoner groups are, for example, reported among the Mocovı´, with nobles, who were addressed using special grammatical forms, tending to marry among themselves.56 Abipones likely had a more flexible version of - gained that this system, since their ‘nobles’, the h€echeri or nelereycat e, status by their prowess in war. They too used distinctive forms of speech and address. Mbaya´, on the other hand, had a much more pronounced class structure in which the top rank was held by nobles by birth, followed by those who held noble status by achievement or because they were born on the same day as a chief ’s son. Nobles by descent were further

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differentiated into senior lineage leaders and the chiefs of large bands versus lesser chiefs and the descendants of the former group. A still lower aristocratic group with neither followings nor houses of their own could not transmit their status to their children. Below all these groupings came ordinary warriors, while slaves (war captives and their descendants) formed the very bottom of the pyramid, treated as family members, but used for all kinds of heavy work, such as collecting firewood, cooking, and tending horses. Manumission was possible, though rare, punishment restricted to shaming and deprivation of property. Off to one side in a serf-like condition were the Arawakan-speaking Guana´, agriculturalists who owed subservience to specific Mbaya´ chiefs as a result of the latter marrying senior Guana´ women. Protected from raids by other Chaco residents, Guana´ paid tribute to their Mbaya´ chief once a year in the form of blankets and red urucu´ pigment, which was used for body painting. In historic times they received iron tools and glass beads in return and also kept horses of their own. While some Guana´ lived independently, those who resided in Mbaya´ villages were required to work in fields or make pottery and cotton textiles. A range of prohibitions maintained social separation and it is likely that Mbaya´/Guana´ kinship ties at the chiefly level actually camouflaged a more violent reality.57 Relatively speaking, however, Guana´ still had a privileged standing within the Chaco’s social landscape, while supported by the villages of their Guana´ wives Mbaya´ chiefs had greater authority and more freedom of action than other Guaykuru´ leaders.58 Moreover—and contrary to many overviews of the issue59—Guana´ were reported as early as the mid-1500s as being obliged to provide their Mbaya´ overlords with labour and blankets in return for protection and limited access to the ‘profits’ of Mbaya´ trade and raids.60 While very likely intensified and encouraged after the adoption of the horse,61 the distinctions just described thus almost certainly trace back before its arrival, grounded in part in the hierarchical social patterns and intensive agriculture with surplus production that characterize Arawak societies like the Guana´.62

Enter, the horse Curiously, the first Spaniard to introduce Guaykuru´ to horses, Nu´n ~ez Cabeza de Vaca, had previously met the ancestors of some of the future

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Horse Nations of North America when journeying through Texas and the Southwest.63 His presence on the Gran Chaco was neither peaceful nor, for Guaykuru´, pleasant, since metal weapons wielded from horseback quickly put them to flight. As the sixteenth century progressed, Spanish towns developed along the Chaco’s western and southern peripheries, while Franciscan and then Jesuit missions were established among Guaranı´ horticulturalists east of the Rı´o Paraguay. Guaykuru´ raided this expanding zone of Spanish settlement, but their Chaco heartland remained inviolate, lacking the minerals, fertile land, or large populations to attract Spaniards and alternately flooded or stricken with drought.64 Not all Chaco peoples became equestrian: those on its northern and western margins hardly took up horses at all, probably because of a lack of suitable pasture or prior commitments to settled horticulture (as among the Mataco) or fishing (along the middle Rı´o Pilcomayo).65 Possession of horses by those closer to major trading centres like Asuncio´n and Santa Fe may also have reduced the ability of these northern and western groups to integrate themselves into evolving trade networks, thus making horses less attractive,66 but even among the Guaykuru´, the Pilaga´ and the river-living Payagua´ found no use for them. For those who did adopt horses, however, they brought revolutionary change. The first to do so were Abipones around Santa Fe in northern Argentina, probably even before 1600. Half a century later Mbaya´ too were appropriating both horses and cattle, crossing the Rı´o Paraguay near the Paraguayan capital, Asuncio´n, to do so.67 Mounted, Guaykuru´ could raid over greater distances than ever before, taking what they wished from Guaranı´ to the east, horticultural Chaco populations that remained afoot, and Spanish settlements alike, while readily avoiding pursuit (Figure 7.6). If the Chaco can be likened to a waterless inland sea, then they were its ‘feared and unpredictable pirates’.68 But horses did not render warlike those Guaykuru´ who adopted them. Rather, they simply made it easier to do what they were already doing before Spanish arrival.69 Now better equipped, Guaykuru´ raids impeded the Spanish advance into the Chaco and up the Paraguay, forcing it into retreat at times,70 and making overland communication between Buenos Aires and Peru difficult in the extreme; as a result we have an almost complete lack of documentation for most of the 1600s.71 From the late seventeenth century Guaykuru´ also stalled the inland movement of Portuguese slavers and traders

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Figure 7.6. A Pampas warrior on horseback confronting a Spanish soldier at Fort Pergamino, Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Guaykuru´ also frequently used lances in battle and this watercolour is one of many illustrating the narrative of his time among the Mocovı´ by Jesuit missionary Florian Paucke. Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (M.95.D00634, vol. 1, Pl. vii (Facsimile)).

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operating out of Sa˜o Paulo (Paulistas), sometimes allying with the Spanish to do so. At other times they joined with the Paulistas—or even with other Spanish officials—to raid missions for captives whom Europeans could then use as slaves or ranch hands. After 1650 especially, captives were also taken to maintain Guaykuru´ numbers. Such compensation was needed to offset successive epidemics and the widespread use of abortion and infanticide, leftovers of the difficulty of moving small children in the pre-horse era, but also practised to maintain ideals of female beauty and independence, especially among nobles.72 Raiding for people and animals was not, however, the whole story, since, like Comanches in North America, Guaykuru´ found it eminently possible to remove livestock from one Spanish jurisdiction and trade them to another. Captives were trafficked in the same way, while honey, animal skins (such as jaguar pelts), feathers, wax, and salt—all Chaco products—found a market in Asuncio´n and other towns. In return Guaykuru´ sought cloth, glass beads, tobacco, and yerba mate (an herbal tea), but above all iron tools and weapons, doubly attractive for their novelty and efficiency and because the Chaco lacked the raw materials needed to make tools of stone.73 Lacking the large bison herds of North America, horses were of limited use for hunting the Chaco’s more dispersed game, which could also flee into virtually impenetrable swamps or forest thickets; Toba, in particular, maintained a tradition of hunting on foot.74 Nevertheless, hunters wielding spears or bows did use horses to surround deer and the ostrich-like rhea, albeit often killing just one animal at a time between them. Mbaya´ also trained their horses to ride abreast of fleeing deer until they could be clubbed or speared to the ground.75 In all cases horses meant that meat could be transported more easily than before, while riding also extended the radius over which women could gather: on both scores greater food security probably facilitated increased group size.76 The one resource whose capture horses enabled above all were the feral cattle that began establishing themselves on the Chaco within decades of Spanish arrival. Indeed, free-ranging cattle may have been a prerequisite for Guaykuru´ to become equestrian nomads.77 With few competitors or predators cattle numbers grew explosively. Guaykuru´ hunted them for meat and also captured them to trade with Spaniards, the distinction between feral animals and stolen livestock mattering little. In addition, from the 1600s Mbaya´ began keeping

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sheep, though these animals never acquired the prestige associations of horses or cattle. Even so, Mbaya´ women and children ate their meat, while blankets made from their wool were both used and traded.78 For hunting and fighting Guaykuru´ drastically lengthened their lances (by up to two or three times relative to those of groups who did not acquire horses), leaving them with a wooden point or equipping them with one made from antler, bone, or iron.79 Lassoes and bolas (spherical stones tied to straps and thrown in order to stun or bring down game) were also sometimes employed, the former technique perhaps borrowed from the Spanish, the latter from the Pampas to the south.80 Guaykuru´ skill in swiftly manoeuvring their steeds, whether on the chase or in war, was widely admired, as was the care they extended to them.81 Guaykuru´ developed their own versions of the riding equipment brought to the New World by the Spanish, just like their counterparts in North America or further south in Chile and on the grasslands of the Pampas and Patagonia. Men sometimes rode bareback, but more often riders used saddles made by placing a reed-stuffed rawhide over two poles tied together over the horse’s back. On top of this Mbaya´ placed rush mats covering a deerskin or bead-decorated blankets. Only Mocovı´ and Pilaga´ used stirrups and spurs. The former consisted of either a simple wooden ring, into which the rider inserted just one toe, or a stick or dish onto which he placed two. Otherwise, men mounted by gripping the mane or using their lance to support themselves while jumping up, but women placed their left foot on the horse’s knee, grabbed the mane, and swung up onto the neck and thence the back. The single spur was a simple forked branch, attached to the heel by leather straps, its projecting end sharpened to a point.82 In both cases we see Native adaptations being made to a situation in which metal was unobtainable, or too precious for such uses. To direct their horse riders used leather reins, sometimes decorated with feathers.83 Bits were made from cow’s horn, fastened to pieces of wood and leather that then served as the bridle; metal bits were rare and invariably traded from Europeans.84 To transport their belongings Guaykuru´ packed them into hide bags suspended from the saddle. The mats and poles used to make shelters and a bull’s hide that served as a boat when crossing rivers were also attached in this way. Descriptions leave no doubt that pack horses were heavily laden, nor that they were used to move necessities like

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firewood and water over even the shortest distances.85 Since horse numbers did not necessarily allow all to ride, riding itself could reinforce social distinctions: among the late eighteenth-century Kadiwe´u, for instance, while nobles rode as a matter of course, older women and children—and presumably also slaves—typically walked.86 This is just one example of how horses provided new sources of prestige in societies that were already far from egalitarian. More generally, warriors retained ownership of the animals, goods, and captives taken on raids, but might also gain status by giving them away to others.87 In other areas of social life, horses gradually replaced jaguar skins in bridewealth payments,88 and they were also sacrificed on the graves of chiefs and notable warriors to provide mounts for the hereafter;89 that practice, along with the deposition of the deceased’s slain dogs and broken bows and arrows, was still current in the eastern Chaco in the 1940s.90 Seen in shamanic visions as harbingers of impending death among the Mocovı´,91 at least some Toba believed that the souls of the dead entered into horses, from which they could offer their descendants protection and help.92 Horses thus helped constitute Guaykuru´ social relations, something emphasized by their being treated in ways that likened them to people. One example linked a newly broken colt to a youth entering manhood: the colt’s mane was shaved off, just as the latter’s eyebrows, eyelashes, and the front part of his hair were removed; manes were also cut in a symbolic representation of taking enemy scalps in Mocovı´ rites surrounding the birth of a chief ’s son.93 The connection between enemies, captives, and horses was developed furthest among the Mbaya´ (and their Kadiwe´u descendants) for whom body painting was—and is—essential for differentiating humans from animals. The abstract designs used to brand horses (or to paint them in vermillion or urucu´ dye)94 are/were virtually identical to those used to mark horses or decorate women. But their significance is not one of property ownership in a modern, capitalist sense.95 Rather, the markings constitute, in part, a means of incorporating the captured alien, the Other. For horses and captives this meant taking something predated and transforming it into something Mbaya´ that could then be used in further raids to seize yet more horses and captives. The designs used had probably been employed on captives’ bodies before either horses or branding irons became available, while, as we saw with the absence of horse domestication among Native

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groups on the Llanos, the broader connection between predation and incorporation, hunting and war, is found in much of Amazonia. Indeed, Kadiwe´u perpetuate it today when taming feral horses on their reserve in Brazil. In such ways, horses gained a place within Guaykuru´ cosmologies even as they became increasingly important in their everyday lives. By the second quarter of the 1700s, however, it was increasingly evident that that importance had come at a price, one that for many Guaykuru´ now demanded even more radical innovation.

The missions and after In the early eighteenth century Guaykuru´ experienced several accelerating and interlinked changes. First, and notwithstanding several major retaliatory raids, Spain’s military posture on the Chaco became more vigorous and effective and Spanish ranches gradually nibbled away at the edges of the frontier, fomenting increased conflict between Guaykuru´ bands over resources in that part of the Chaco that remained free. Having survived earlier epidemics, albeit with reduced numbers, Chaco populations then experienced further major disease outbreaks, notably of smallpox in the 1730s. It also became harder to hunt feral cattle after Spanish ranchers gained ownership rights over them in the 1720s and started asserting these by employing armed herdsmen. Finally, as Guaykuru´ accumulated wealth in animals they also presented ever more appealing targets to each other, creating increasing conflicts within and between bands as a result. Ecological changes may also have begun to kick in, even if their impact was more strongly felt in the nineteenth century: cattle and sheep likely degraded the Chaco’s natural vegetation; algarrobo trees, a major dietary resource, were cut down for Spanish buildings and furniture; deer were hunted for skins that could be traded; and more effective iron tools encouraged overharvesting of palms, another staple. Military setbacks, subsistence problems, and demographic change together created a crisis of confidence and belief.96 For an increasing number of Guaykuru´ the solution came wearing black cassocks and bearing livestock, sugared sweets, and a new spiritual force. The Jesuit missions constructed between 1743 and 1763 provided enhanced access to European goods and offered protection

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from enemies, Spanish and Guaykuru´ alike. Their success, compared to the short-lived failure of earlier missions in the first half of the 1600s, attests how far the balance of advantage had shifted to the point at which ‘Spanish artefacts had become economic requirements, and Spanish clothing and jewellery were social necessities’.97 Underlining this point, for Spain—as with Comanches in North America or Wayu´u in La Guajira—it was significantly cheaper to buy security through subsidies of livestock and material goods (including exemptions from taxes and labour dues) than to try gaining it in a never-ending cycle of violence. For Guaykuru´, missions provided the economic and social benefits of aggregation and enhanced opportunities for trade, while missionaries mediated between them and Spanish power structures.98 Finally, for Spanish towns and their associated ranches the missions brought protection from Guaykuru´ raids, though many cities may have kept ration supplies deliberately low to encourage raids on other jurisdictions, while retaining the benefits of self-defence and trade in animals stolen elsewhere.99 Not all Guaykuru´ settled at missions after 1743, when the Mocovı´ band led by Araicaiquin initiated the process at San Xavier (Figure 7.7). Relative to Mocovı´, Abipones showed little inclination to adopt cultivation, Toba and Pilaga´ even less,100 and for much of the time mission populations everywhere were inherently unstable as individuals and groups arrived, left, and returned.101 However, the system grew rapidly and most missions survived the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, albeit in reduced circumstances. By 1800 the majority of Guaykuru´ were living at them, notwithstanding an initial lack of enthusiasm for agriculture (largely despised as work for women or, worse, Guaranı´), the lack of status opportunities available to young men as raiding gradually became unavailable, and the attractiveness of smuggling or mobility as alternative lifestyles. Among missionized Guaykuru´ one important social change was the emergence of stronger chieftainship structures as elite men gained further power and influence. They did this through the increased access to desirable material goods that missionaries offered them, as well as the opportunities for gaining prestige by controlling their subsequent redistribution to others, acting as mediators with Spaniards, and having knowledge of the Spanish world. Being able to acquire— and keep safe—greater numbers of livestock that could be owned, traded, and, increasingly, inherited, further consolidated their

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Figure 7.7. The mission station of San Xavier, Argentina, established among the Mocovı´ in the eastern part of the Gran Chaco in 1743. The watercolour, which shows a parade by Guaykuru´ men (some mounted) to the mission’s church in honour of its patron saint, is again taken from the narrative of Jesuit priest Florian Paucke’s time among the Mocovı´. Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (M.95.D00636, vol. 3 (Part 1), Pl. cxiii (Facsimile)).

position.102 At the same time, other social distinctions tended to level out, something encouraged by the need to compensate for population losses caused by warfare and disease; by the late 1700s, even Mbaya´ allowed commoners to marry slaves or Guana´ serfs, while their chiefs wed women from other groups, such as the Payagua´.103 Socially, economically, and politically, then, the growth of the mission system worked still further change to the point that, on the eve of independence in the early 1800s, many Guaykuru´ were firmly integrated into the colonial economy.104 This situation was not, however, universal, and Argentina only subjected the last independent Toba, Mocovı´, and Pilaga´ in the 1880s, with acts of resistance continuing even later; their descendants now live on the margins of society.105 Other Guaykuru´ survive in southern Brazil; they have a reputation for horsemanship and fighting that is still strong.

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The Kadiwe´u, Brazil’s ‘Indios cavaleiros’ The Native peoples of Brazil are generally associated today with the Amazonian rainforest and the struggle to preserve it, but in 2000 the release of Brava Gente Brasileira (in English, Brave New Land) highlighted a very different aspect of them.106 Receiving considerable critical acclaim, the film dramatized the relationship between Europeans and Guaykuru´ around 1778, when an Mbaya´ attack on Fort Coimbra in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul resulted in the death of fifty-four Portuguese soldiers. More generally, the film celebrated— and starred—the Kadiwe´u, the ‘equestrian Indians’ of Brazil and last descendants of the Mbaya´. Portugal’s expansion into the Mato Grosso region was greatly encouraged by the discovery of gold near Cuiaba´ in 1719. Three decades later she established a separate captaincy-general to consolidate her position, but the annual convoys of canoes (monc¸~oes or ‘monsoons’) that supplied Cuiaba´ remained vulnerable to attacks from Mbaya´ and Payagua´, who frequently disposed of both captives and loot in Spanish-ruled Asuncio´n. Following the Treaty of Madrid of 1750, Spain and Portugal competed to demarcate and reinforce their control of opposite sides of the Rı´o Paraguay by building a series of forts between 1775 and 1797. Mbaya´ settlement east of the river was intensifying at the same time, encouraged by its rich macaw palm groves and opportunities for trade with Portuguese settlers.107 That process drew Mbaya´ northeast into the Pantanal, a seasonally flooded alluvial plain rich in fish, game, and—following the abandonment of earlier efforts at missionary activity—cattle (Figure 7.8).108 The region’s distinctive Pantaneiro horses—hardy, calm, and mostly dark in colour—partly derive from those the Mbaya´ introduced.109 Spanish expansion up the Paraguay beyond Asuncio´n, the rupture of the Mbaya´/Payagua´ alliance, Portuguese need to find local supplies for their forts, and continuing geopolitical competition between Spain and Portugal collectively laid the foundations for an agreement between Portugal and the Mbaya´ in 1791. The only such treaty ever signed with Native Brazilians, to the Portuguese this incorporated Mbaya´ as vassals of the Crown, though the latter undoubtedly viewed it more as a strategic accord between equals,110 a reality that, to some degree, persisted well into the nineteenth century.

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Figure 7.8. The wetlands of the southern Pantanal, taken at Refu´gio Ecolo´gico Caiman, north of the town of Miranda, some 200 km from today’s Kadiwe´u Indigenous Territory. Copyright: Peter Mitchell.

Mbaya´ control of their Guana´ dependents assured the Portuguese of a secure food base. Mbaya´ horses, which could be acquired for as little as a piece of cloth, a sickle, an axe, or a knife apiece, were also high on Portugal’s shopping list, given their scarcity in Mato Grosso and their importance for enhancing her military capacity on the ground. Mbaya´ responded by raiding Spanish territory to acquire the necessary mounts, which Portugal wanted in large numbers—400 mares in 1795 alone. Though abandoning large swathes of Paraguay as a result, Spain also raided Mbaya´ in return, strengthening their ties with the Portuguese. Gradually, these Mbaya´ became recognized as a separate group, termed Kadiwe´u from the ethnonym for one Mbaya´ division, Cadigegodi or People of the Rı´o Cadigigi.111 By the early 1800s several thousand Kadiwe´u and their Guana´ dependents and slaves were living in what is now Brazil, although Guana´ seized every opportunity to secure their independence by establishing direct relations with Portuguese/Brazilian officialdom.112 As they did so, Kadiwe´u raided newly contacted groups like the Bororo for children and female captives.113

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Kadiwe´u continued plundering Paraguay for slaves, horses, and other loot both before and after its independence in 1813, menacing towns like Concepcio´n, trading stolen horses and livestock for textiles, liquor, and metal tools at Portuguese forts, and securing honorary ranks in the Portuguese army for their leaders. Following Brazil’s own independence in 1822 they served as soldiers and spies along its Paraguayan and Bolivian frontiers,114 above all in the war of 1864–70 against Paraguay. Though no documents support the claim, the assertion that Brazil’s emperor, Pedro II (reigned 1831–89), recognized their land rights in return for this help is deeply embedded in Kadiwe´u historical tradition. Today, Kadiwe´u share a reserve of 538,000 hectares near the town of Porto Murtinho and retain a division into an upper class of nobles (Otagodepodi), who still speak their own language, and a lower class of mixed or slave descent (Niotagipe), whose members understand it when addressed but speak only Portuguese. The Kadiwe´u also maintain strong traditions of elaborate body painting which recall those described by Sa´nchez Labrador in the mid-1700s and find parallels in their highly decorated ceramics.115 As raiding ceased, Kadiwe´u began growing crops, and their cattle (which were also ridden) joined horses as sources of wealth and a means of transportation. A view of themselves as successful mounted raiders continues to be an important resource for them when dealing with outsiders.116 Thus far I have discussed the Guaykuru´ without making any reference at all to archaeology. The reason is simple: very little systematic research has yet been done on the Gran Chaco,117 though the situation is slowly changing in the Pantanal where fieldwork has confirmed historical accounts that Guaranı´ horticulturalists were present before Guaykuru´/Guana´ settlement. In addition, several sites near Corumba´ have been linked to Guaykuru´ based on similarities between their pottery and nineteenth/twentieth-century Kadiwe´u ceramics.118 The mission station of Nossa Senhora do Bom Conselho do Mato Grande, at which some Guana´ settled in the second half of the nineteenth century, has also been investigated.119 Work continues on the Pantanal’s western edge to explore the settlement pattern, subsistence economy, material culture, and intergroup relations of the region’s ethnohistorically known groups.120 Preliminary as all this is, it nevertheless demonstrates that the ephemeral nature of mobile campsites, the effects of torrential rain and acidic soils, and

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problems in procuring archaeologically durable stone tools have not removed all opportunities for excavation to contribute to the history of South America’s tropical savannah equestrians. Research in Argentina’s Pampas and Patagonian regions, to be discussed in Chapter 8, illustrates even more forcefully the value that such work can have.

Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

21. 22. 23. 24.

Picon (1983: 39). Polo Acu~ na (1999). Oliver (1991). Picon (1983: 188–202). Gallagher (1976). Polo Acu~ na (1999). Picon (1983) provides the most detailed attempt at studying how pastoralism emerged. Perrin (1976: 227). Picon (1983: 294–5). Polo Acu~ na (1999: 16). Picon (1983: 254). Caesalpinia coriara. The fruits were prized for tanning skins (Picon 1983: 139). Polo Acu~ na (2005); Gutie´rrez Meza (2011). Gutie´rrez Meza (2011). Weber (2005); Polo Acu~ na and Gutie´rrez Meza (2011). na (2005). Barrera Monroy (2000); Polo Acu~ Polo Acu~ na (2011a). Polo Acu~ na (2011a: 31). Note that between 1821 and 1830 ‘Colombia’ also included modern Ecuador and Venezuela. Polo Acu~ na (2011b). Burin des Roziers (1995). These included donkeys, now the major riding animal (for women) and beast of burden (e.g. for carrying firewood and water), mules, which held higher status and were ridden by men when horses were unavailable, pigs, and chickens (Picon 1983: 144–8). Perrin (1987). Polo Acu~ na (1999). Picon (1983). The phrase comes from Marshall and Hildebrand (2002). Picon (1983) notes that the matrilineal basis of Wayu´u society (which reaches back at least as far as the mid-1700s) probably derives from a time when cultivation was more important; matrilineality is statistically rare among pastoralists since control and care of livestock is typically a male affair, though

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25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.

31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42.

43. 44. 45. 46. 47.

h or se nat ions among the Wayu´u milking is done by women. Keeping livestock was at odds with cultivation since caring for them probably made it more difficult to devote adequate time and male labour to preparing fields for the next season’s crops. Picon (1983: 66); Polo Acu~ na (1999: 19). Picon (1983: 257). Grahn (1999). Polo Acu~ na (1999). Picon (1983: 154). Other horse-related vocabulary is of Spanish origin, for example siia (from silla) for ‘saddle’ and paaruuta, meaning ‘stallion’, from the Venezuelan dialect term padrote (Picon 1983: 158). Perrin (1976: 226, 1985, 1986: 823–5). Perhaps reflecting their ultimately European origin, livestock were nevertheless thought to come from the sea, with turtles moving on to land to become cattle (Guerra Curvelo 1990: 186–7). Their symbolic power is also seen in Wayu´u conceptualization of the sea as a corral and of marine creatures as the herd of Pulo´wi, the mistress of animals (Guerra Curvelo 2004). Perrin (1976: 227–38, 1985). Perrin (1976: 238–40). Gasso´n (2002). Rausch (1983: 36–8); Gasso´n (2007). Brito Figueroa (1975: 221). Morey and Morey (1975). Some Guahibo engaged in horticulture in the eighteenth century. This may also have been true, perhaps to an even greater extent, before Spanish arrival (Morey 1970). Wayapopihiwi (‘People of the Savannah’) (Morey 1970: 76). Cf. Go´mez Lopez (1987: 146–56, 1998). Cattle remain a major Guahibo meat source and a frequent cause of conflict with local ranchers (Gasso´n 2007). Whitehead (1993). Morey (1970); Go´mez Lopez (1987). Rausch (1983: 232). Crosby (2003: 88, 105). Morey (1970: 41) also emphasizes the difficulties that seasonal flooding and drought posed to livestock, but then notes that the nine Jesuit missions along the Rı´o Meta kept 104,000 cattle and 9,000 horses! Ticks, insect-borne diseases like equine encephalitis and equine trypanosomiasis, and predators are, however, well-known threats to horses on the Llanos (Otto and Anderson 1986; Moreno et al. 2013). Descola (2013: 365–90). Descola (2001: 95, 111). Descola (2001: 113). Loy (1981); Slatta (1990). ‘Guaykuru´’ is a general term of Guaranı´ origin used by the Spanish to designate all ‘savage’ groups south of the Paraguay River. Only later did it

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48. 49. 50. 51.

52. 53. 54. 55.

56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63.

64. 65.

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become the name of a particular language family, the sense in which I employ it here, along with the commonly employed names for that family’s individual members. Dobrizhoffer (1822) exists in English translation, the others only in Spanish (Sa´nchez Labrador 1910; Jolı´s 1972; Paucke 2010). The Inka language Quechua spread widely as part of their domination of the Andes before the Spanish conquest (Weber 2005: 68). Susˇnik (1978) is a key source for the region’s ethnography. Saeger (1999, 2000). The name of one Mbaya´ subdivision, Eyiguayegi (People of the Eyugua´ Palm), attests to its dietary importance and (as Ejiwajegı´ ) remains the autonym of their descendants, the Kadiwe´u of Brazil (da Silva 2004). Nuts were eaten raw or cooked and turned into flour, while fruits and hearts of palm were also consumed. Fibres were used for rope, the spines as pins, the oil for lighting, the husks as jewellery, and the fermented pulp to make wine (Lopes de Carvalho 2006: 14). Nacuzzi et al. (2008). Cf. Santamarı´a (1999) and Saeger (2000). Kelly (2013). Testart (1982) is one of several anthropologists to emphasize the role of storage in promoting the emergence of social inequalities. Ames and Maschner (1999). Notably among the Mbaya´, for whose Kadiwe´u descendants Claude Le´vi-Strauss’s (1961: 162–4) anthropological classic Tristes Tropiques provides a brief discussion. I am grateful to Diego Villar for clarifying for me the diversity among Guaykuru´-speaking groups. Me´traux (1946: 304). Me´traux (1946: 305–9); Saeger (2000: 77–9). Ribeiro (1950). For example, Galva˜o (1963: 227). Santos-Granero (2009: 38), who also discusses Mbaya´/Guana´ tributary relations at length. Oberg (1949: 3). Lopes de Carvalho (2006: 11, note 49); Diego Villar (pers. comm. 1 October 2013). Cabeza de Vaca served as treasurer in the 1527 600-strong Narva´ez expedition to colonize Florida. Moving west to return to Mexico, he was enslaved by Native Americans on the Texas Gulf Coast. Eventually, he and the other three survivors escaped, wandering across the Southwest until meeting a Spanish party in northwestern Mexico in 1537. He was appointed governor of Rı´o de la Plata in 1540, but was arrested and sent back to Spain four years later, dying in 1558 (Howard 1996). Saeger (2000: 7). Me´traux (1946). Spanish sources repeatedly distinguish ‘indios de a caballo’ from ‘indios de a pie’. A few non-Guaykuru´ groups also acquired horses, notably the Lengua (Schindler 1985; Saeger 1999). Reviewing the

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66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74.

75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81.

82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92.

h or se nat ions region’s ethnography, Combe`s et al. (2009) forcefully articulate the relevance of Gran Chaco societies as a unit of study on their own as well as for comparative research. Palermo (1986: 170). Saeger (2000: 7). Combe`s et al. (2009: 78). Schindler (1985: 455–7). For example, Concepcio´n in Paraguay was abandoned in 1632 and Santa Fe had to be relocated nearer the Rı´o Parana´ in 1651. Schindler (1985: 458); Saeger (1999); Combe`s et al. (2009: 70). Saeger (2000: 85–6). Conversely, having horses may have encouraged population growth by making it easier to transport children. Saeger (2000: 57). Interestingly, Toba, for whom horses were perhaps therefore less important, called them cavayo from the Spanish caballo. Other Guaykuru´ used non-Spanish terms: agipec or ahepega´k for Abipones, asaipiga among Mocovı´, and abolikranere, meaning ‘tapir’, for the Kadiwe´u (Nordenskiold 1922). Me´traux (1946: 258); Oberg (1949: 10); Schindler (1985). Schindler (1985). Schindler (1985: 457). Saeger (2000: 55). Me´traux (1946: 297). Herberts (1998: 236–7). Thus Dobrizhoffer (1822 II: 379): ‘They can suspend their bodies from the horse’s back, and twist them about like a tumbler, or, to prevent themselves from being wounded, conceal them entirely under the horse’s belly.’ For care, see Sa´nchez Labrador (1910–17 II: 298) and Hemming (1978: 387). Paucke (2010: 283). Me´traux (1946: 266–7). Dobrizhoffer (1822 II: 113). Dobrizhoffer (1822 II: 114, 152). Soares Pechincha (1994: 51). The 7–8,000 Mbaya´ of the mid-1700s probably owned around 6–8,000 horses, roughly one per person. North American Comanches kept up to four times as many. Dobrizhoffer (1822 II: 426). Specifically among Mocovı´ and Abipones (Lucaioli 2005; Nacuzzi 2005). Dobrizhoffer (1822 II: 269); Sa´nchez Labrador (1910 II: 46–7). Mocovı´, at least, also killed a woman’s favourite horse at her grave, cutting the tails and manes of those of other family members (Paucke 2010: 339). Belaieff (1946: 379). Sa´nchez-Labrador (1910 II: 40–9). Koch-Gr€ unberg (1902).

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south am e rica i 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115.

116. 117. 118. 119. 120.

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Sa´nchez Labrador (1910 II: 15). Boggiani (1895: 308). Petschelies (2013: 221–39). Saeger (2000: 22–5). Saeger (2000: 29). Lucaioli and Nesis (2007). Nesis (2005). Nacuzzi et al. (2008: 71). Saeger (2000: 31). Lucaioli (2005), with specific reference to Abipones. Saeger (2000: 87–8, 122–30). Saeger (2000: 74–6). Gordillo and Hirsch (2003). . The Brazilian name, meaning ‘Brave Brazilian People’ comes from a line in the country’s first national anthem. Herberts (1998: 331). Esselin (2011: 75). Santos et al. (1992). Weber (2005). Da Silva (2004). In response, Kadiwe´u laid ever-greater stress on their kinship link with Guana´ leaders (Vangelista 1993; Cordeiro Ferreira 2009). Santos-Granero (2009: 41). Lopes (2008). Da Silva (2007). Kadiwe´u art has attracted much anthropological attention (Ribeiro 1950; Le´vi-Strauss 1961). One of the earliest accounts is by Italian traveller Guido Boggiani (1895), whose extensive collections are now mostly in Rome’s Museo Pigorini (Vangelista 2002). Art also features in a Kadiwe´u explanation of how they first obtained horses: having stolen one, they were shown a design painted on the moon so that they could understand how to make saddles and ride the animal (Ribeiro 1950: 34). Boggiani (1895); da Silva (2011). Combe`s et al. (2009: 71). One site also produced a few stone tools and traces of plants with known culinary or medicinal uses (Bespalez 2009, 2010). Peixoto and Schmitz (1998). Peixoto (2009).

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8 South America II The Southern Cone ‘Araucanı´a and Pampas: two worlds united by a mountain range’ (Lazaro 2003: 213)

‘When I asked how their people travelled before horses came into the country, they could not realize the fact that such was ever the case’ (Musters: 1873: 181)

T

aking in the Andean cordillera, the Pampas grasslands of Argentina and Uruguay, the desert steppes of southern Patagonia, and the temperate lowlands of south-central Chile (Araucanı´a), this chapter explores the horse’s arrival and impact in South America’s Southern Cone (Figure 8.1). Convention divides the Cone along the spine of the mountains between Chile and Argentina. To their east it contrasts the Pampas in the north with Patagonia in the south. I follow most recent scholarship in stressing the historical connections that such boundaries obscure. Similarly, I emphasize not only the acquisition of horses, but also the significance of hunting, taking, and trading feral livestock and the adoption of elements of food production. Both developments formed part of the inclusion of ‘free’ Native Americans within broader international political and commercial systems. At the same time, the work of anthropologists and the comments of contemporary European observers make the Southern Cone one of the most richly documented regions of all for studying the emergence of Horse Nations post-1492.1

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Figure 8.1. Map of the Southern Cone of South America showing sites and localities mentioned in the text. 1 Amalia; 2 Arroyo Nieves 2; 3 Caepe Malal; 4 Choele Choel; 5 Don Isidoro 2; 6 El Puente; 7 Epulla´n Grande; 8 Gasco´n 1; 9 Las Lajitas; 10 Paredo´n Lanfre´; 11 Piedra Museo; 12 Salinas Grandes; 13 Santa Ine´s IV; 14 Tres Picos 1. Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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Geography and ethnography of the Southern Cone The Southern Cone is environmentally far more complex than a simple tripartite classification into Araucanı´a, Patagonia, and Pampas suggests.2 In the north the Pampas reach to the Parana´ and Salado drainages, to the south as far as the Rı´o Colorado and its tributaries. They extend east to include Uruguay and the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and in the west reach the Andean foothills. A basic division follows the 500 mm isohyet: to its west the Dry Pampa is increasingly water-deficient, while to the east the Humid Pampa ultimately benefits from as much as 800 mm of rain a year (Plate 23). The Uruguayan Savannah forms a third ecological subdivision that includes areas with palms and some forest enclaves. Generally, the Pampas comprise a gently sloping plain covered by extensive grasslands, but drier-adapted shrub occurs in the west and a wedge of forest penetrates their centre from the north. The Sierra de Tandilia and Sierra de la Ventana south of Buenos Aires are rare areas of higher relief. Climate is temperate, but surface water is often scarce, stone for tool-making rare, game dispersed. In contrast, Patagonia’s continental climate is generally cold and windy, albeit warmer in summer in the north. It is also mostly dry because the Andes let little moisture pass to their east. Trees are thus largely restricted to their foothills, to sheltered basins, and to areas around the Strait of Magellan. Particularly attractive for people was the piedmont zone, a 50–100 km-wide strip running north/south from the Rı´o Negro to Tierra del Fuego, the large island complex at South America’s foot. Here, water, firewood, and game are all abundant, with passage across the Andean cordillera easiest near the Rı´o Negro’s sources in the north and the Strait of Magellan in the south. Moving east, the landscape shifts to increasingly arid steppe as far as the Atlantic. Punctuating these steppelands several major rivers run broadly west/east into the ocean: the Colorado and Negro in the north, the Chubut and Deseado in the centre, and the Santa Cruz and Gallegos in the south. On the other side of the Andes Araucanı´a is quite different (Figure 8.2). Climate here in south-central Chile is temperate and humid, with particularly heavy winter rainfall. Rivers such as the ˜ uble, Bı´o-Bı´o, and Imperial course down from the Andes into the N Pacific Ocean, and in typical Andean fashion habitats defined largely

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Figure 8.2. The Mapuche homeland, Chile, looking along the Rı´o Bı´o-Bı´o, the long-time divide between Spanish-occupied territories to the north and the still free Araucanian lands to the south. This photograph, taken at Lonquimay by Roberto Araya Barckhahn, is reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License ().

by altitude are compressed between coast and volcanoes in a narrow band that nowhere measures more than 250 km across. Natural vegetation consists predominantly of temperate rainforest, with elements of drier forest in the north. Across the Southern Cone lived many different Indigenous peoples. For our purposes we can ignore the inhabitants of Chile’s far south and Tierra del Fuego, as they played no part in the story of the horse’s reintroduction. On the mainland the major Patagonian groups all spoke Chon languages: the Ao´nik’enk between the Strait of Magellan and the Rı´o Santa Cruz, the Teushen (P’enk’enk) in the submontane belt between that river and the Chubut, and the Gu¨nu¨na Ku¨ne (Gennakenk) around the Chubut, Negro, and Colorado Rivers.3 Relative to Tierra del Fuego and areas further north or west, and even allowing for the effects of successive epidemics, their numbers appear to have been astonishingly small: in the order of a few thousand with population densities of as little as one person for every 150 km2.4

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The Mapudungun-speaking inhabitants of central Chile and Patagonia’s far northwest entered the historical record under a variety of names that designated their location or diet: Picunche, Huilliche, Pehuenche, and Mapuche.5 Finally, on the Pampas lived those whom Mapudungun speakers called Puelche (‘People of the East’), and beyond them the Querandı´ in Argentina and the Charru´a and others in Uruguay (Plate 24). Neither Querandı´ nor Charru´a survived the colonial era intact, the former falling victim to disease and warfare as early as 1580.6 Moving into the Pampas from the south came the Gennakenk from Patagonia. In the west Mapudungun speakers contributed to the emergence of socially and economically more complex societies, though attributing this ‘Araucanization’ of the Pampas to population movement alone is oversimplistic.7 On the eve of the horse’s return almost all the inhabitants of Patagonia and the Pampas hunted and gathered for a living; only along the Rı´o Parana´ did some engage in horticulture.8 On the western Pampas the most important game was guanaco (Lama guanicoe, a relative of the llama), along with the ostrich-like rhea, which occurs in two forms: the larger n ~andu´ (Rhea americana) and the smaller choique (Rhea pennata). In the east pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) was the major prey. Further south, two other deer species, pudu´ (Pudu puda) and huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), overshadowed guanaco in forested areas of the Andean piedmont. Shellfish, seals, birds (especially cormorants and Magellanic penguins), and beached whales were eaten at various points along the Atlantic coast and freshwater fish were also taken in places. The importance of plant foods varied: algarrobo trees (Prosopis spp.) were the main carbohydrate source on the Pampas, while pine nuts (Araucaria araucana) were important in the piedmont between 37.5˚ and 40˚S; recent work shows that maize and other crops were consumed in parts of Neuque´n, probably after being obtained by trade from Chile.9 On the steppe and along the coast, however, plants were less significant.10 As we shall now see, the inhabitants of central Chile stood apart from all these generalizations.

The War of Arauco As we saw in Chapter 3, the native horses of the Southern Cone became extinct early in the Holocene.11 The horse’s reintroduction

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followed two routes, south from Peru and inland from Buenos Aires. It is the first of these that concerns us here. Northern Chile had formed part of the Inka Empire, but Inka control never extended beyond the Rı´o Maule. To its south, politically fragmented Mapudungun speakers practised a variable mix of hunting, gathering, fishing, and farming that included maize, beans, and squash alongside local crops, plus the herding of llamas for meat and wool. Between ad 1300 and 1500 they experienced social and political elaboration focused on a greater commitment to food production and the growth of more centralized chiefdom-like polities in favoured areas like the Lumaco, Pure´n, and Tolte´n Valleys.12 Though these people were ancestors of the Mapuche, who today number well over a million, that name only appears in Spanish sources from 1750. When discussing events before then I therefore use the more general term ‘Araucanian’.13 Moving south from Peru, Spanish colonization began in 1541, expanding beyond the Rı´o Maule within a decade. Strong Araucanian resistance crystallized in the conflicts known as the War of Arauco, after the Spanish settlement of that name founded south of the Rı´o Bı´o-Bı´o in 1552. Already in the 1550s two Araucanian leaders, Lautaro and Caupolica´n, appeared in battle on horseback, the latter immortalized in the epic poem La Araucana by Alonso de Ercilla, who fought in the war. Resistance was strongest precisely where pre-Columbian polities had been most centralized, and by the 1570s Araucanians were raising horses of their own. Before the century ended they could deploy hundreds, even thousands, of mounted warriors and were employing long sword-tipped pikes to withstand Spanish cavalry assaults, and lassoes, pitfalls, and traps to unhorse Spanish riders. Their own cavalry used lighter saddles and a simple wooden ring instead of difficult-to-obtain/make metal stirrups, and sometimes carried archers behind them on the same horse.14 All this formed just part of the strategies employed against repeated attempts by Spain to expand and consolidate its settlements. Most direct were those of a military kind: as well as becoming able riders, Araucanians adopted Spanish weaponry, tactics, and iron-working technology, assisted by captives, fugitives, and deserters able to provide relevant skills and information.15 They then deployed these new strengths in organized form through political structures that became more complex and hierarchical.16 Major changes also affected Araucanian subsistence. By 1700 llamas had given way almost entirely to

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livestock of European origin, especially sheep, which were better suited to the local climate. A century earlier wheat and barley were already being grown on a large scale.17 Together, these economic and military changes favoured resistance to Spanish domination while conserving Araucanian social and religious values. Fundamental to everything was a deep-seated understanding of war as a means of capturing and assimilating difference that now extended far beyond traditional captive-taking or using the body parts of defeated enemies as ceremonial trophies.18 And fundamental to warfare was the fact that—in the absence of innovations like repeating rifles, telegraphs, and railways—‘the horse gave to the Spanish rider and the native rider exactly the same technical ability and capacity to move about’.19 The defeat of a second major uprising in the 1560s left Spain in control of central Chile, but this was weakened by a much larger rebellion between 1598 and 1604 and several more decades of on/off fighting. Eventually, in 1641, the Treaty of Quillı´n recognized the Bı´o-Bı´o as the frontier, confirming the de facto situation achieved by the 1598 revolt. Spanish captives were released and missionaries were allowed to operate within Araucanian territory, but Spain’s presence beyond the Bı´o-Bı´o was restricted to the island of Chiloe´. Though conflicts erupted several times,20 developing trade ties and the institution of regular meetings (parlamentos) between Araucanian leaders and Spanish officials that were accompanied by substantial gifts from the Spanish side secured a long-term peace that endured into the nineteenth century.21

Making horses Mapuche Araucanians obtained horses from the Spanish and gave them a Castilian-derived name,22 but how they incorporated them into their beliefs and practices proved highly distinctive.23 Nowhere is this more apparent than in the horse’s continuing role as the spirit animal of Mapuche shamans.24 Shamans, or machi, gain knowledge of the spirit world via their horsemanship and mastery of spirit animals. Moreover, riding is associated with values of masculinity, agility, warfare, and prestige, just as it was for those who fought for and against Araucanian independence in the past. Indeed, some machi deliberately mimic equestrian conquistadores and it is as them, or as Native mounted

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warriors, that they experience out-of-body travel in drumming-induced altered states of consciousness. Even Ngu¨nechan, the Mapuche deity who includes aspects of the Christian God and the Virgin Mary, may take on the guise of four warriors on horseback. Riding horses in their visions, machi use guns, knives, and war cries to drive away illness, killing enemy souls in a struggle between Mapuche and Spaniards that continues even after death and echoes the earlier practice of shamans conducting spiritual warfare on the sidelines of actual battlefields. Such battles manifest themselves on earth as thunder and lightning, and at least some aspects of these beliefs had already developed by the late 1600s.25 To strengthen themselves for combat machi drink the saliva and ear blood of their spirit animal and receive its breath on their face, hands, and back. Likewise, machi can identify what ails someone by getting him to exchange breath with a horse and then listening to the animal’s chest. And these horses actually exist because each shaman has his own living horse with which these rituals are carried out. Expected to protect the machi, even to the point of dying on his or her behalf, spirit horses are never ridden, worked, or slaughtered. Horses (and bulls) may sometimes be associated with colonialism and sorcery, but machi usually view them as indigenous, connecting them with ideas of wealth and abundance that reflect the rapid incorporation of livestock into Araucanian society in the late 1500s/early 1600s. But of all the domestic animals thus acquired, horses are the most important: a version of the Flood story in which only those who rode horses were saved neatly demonstrates this, while, in another myth, playing songs with a magical horse jawbone leads eventually to the creation of oats, barley, and other cereals.26 Significantly too, collective rituals to promote agricultural fertility (nguillatun) always include horses as warriors carrying lances and flags galloping anticlockwise around an altar to battle against the winds for control of the weather (Figure 8.3). So important are horses in such awun ceremonies that where they are scarce men may even ‘ride’ wooden ‘stick horses’, since the more horses that are involved the more effective the ritual.27 In similar fashion horsemen ride around a dead person’s house, hurling invective at the malign forces wishing to steal his spirit. In the past a man’s favourite horse might be sacrificed and eaten at funerals, its remains placed inside the tomb or its carcass stuffed and hung over poles by the graveside.28 Alive, horses were also important

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Figure 8.3. Mapuche horse riders taking part in a nguillatun ceremony, Neuque´n province, Argentina, in the mid-1940s, as photographed by Carlos Gonzalı´a senior and reproduced from Flickr.com under an Attribution License (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2879600505). Copyright and courtesy: Carlos Gonzalı´a.

in other ways, for example in ceremonial gift exchanges. Worth noting too is the significance attached to decorating both horse and rider with items of silver once horse ownership became so widespread that having the animal alone no longer sufficed as a marker of high prestige.29 Both associations also existed to the east of the Andes, as we shall see when discussing the horse’s socialization on the Patagonian steppes. First, however, let us see how horses were reintroduced there and to the Pampas only a few years after their arrival in Chile.

Free spirits: horses and cattle on the Pampas and in Patagonia Twenty years after the Spanish discovered the Rı´o de la Plata Estuary, Pedro de Mendoza established a settlement there at Buenos Aires in

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1536, only to abandon it the following year. Horses and conquistadores therefore first established a permanent presence in Argentina in the northwest, a by-product of their conquests in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Rock paintings in this remote corner of the former Inka Empire record some of the expeditions associated with the conquest (Figure 8.4).30 It was almost certainly from this direction—not from mythical mares abandoned by de Mendoza—that horses and cattle began populating the Pampas. Animals introduced to the Buenos Aires area after that town was refounded in 1580 then provided another source, their movement across the Andes from Chile a third.31 Rapidly settling grasslands that were virtually predator-free and had lost their large grazers thousands of years before (see Chapter 3), horses and cattle colonized a vacant and very inviting ecological niche. The Spanish word cimarron, meaning ‘wild’ or ‘untamed’, which is applied to these feral animals, neatly captures their free-spirited nature. As early

Figure 8.4. Engraving of an Indigenous warrior armed with bow and arrow defending himself from a mounted and lance-wielding Spaniard, Altos de Sapagua, Jujuy province, Argentina. This engraving, in the northwest of Argentina, dates to the earliest phase of Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. Copyright and courtesy: Mercedes Podesta´.

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as 1581 Juan de Garay noted both species in the vicinity of Buenos Aires,32 and, by 1609, Native prisoners working in that city’s slaughterhouses were described as better riders than the Spanish.33 Horses reached northern Patagonia little more than a decade later, Puerto Deseado before the end of the seventeenth century, and the Strait of Magellan by 1741. All told, they expanded over some 20˚ of latitude in less than two hundred years, aided by the wetter, if colder, conditions of the Little Ice Age.34 Today, herds of feral horses (baguales) persist in the cordilleran and foothill areas of Santa Cruz and Chubut provinces, as well as further north in Mendoza and San Juan, and in the Tornquist State Park near Buenos Aires.35 They were both hunted and tamed by late nineteenth-century Ao´nik’enk, who might own as many as twelve horses per person.36 Nevertheless, the number of horses needed socially likely remained insufficient in Patagonia’s south, necessitating a constant engagement in raids and exchange to compensate for the deficiency that cold and aridity produced.37 Cattle proliferated just as quickly as horses and, by the early 1600s, had spread into northern Patagonia, reaching as far as the Rı´o Chubut, though only a few ever ranged beyond it.38 Across the Pampas, on the other hand, they quickly became so common that any pretence at ‘normal’ cattle-raising operations was abandoned in favour of vaquerı´as—organized hunts of feral animals that were first officially licensed in 1609. Hides and salted beef went mostly to Brazil, though, before the end of the 1600s, live animals were being sold to Peru and Bolivia or used to stock local ranches. By then, however, cattle, horses, and the profits they could bring were far from confined to Spanish hands. Instead, the emergence was well underway of a broader regional economy that united the Southern Cone and had Native Americans at its core.

Uniting the Cone: a regional pastoral economy Webs of exchange linked the constituent parts of the Southern Cone long before Columbus, transmitting ideas and knowledge as well as desirable gifts and trade items. Pacific and Atlantic shell ornaments found far from the coast exemplify this, as does the consumption on the Pampas of cebil (Anadenanthera colubrina seeds), a hallucinogen coming from the Gran Chaco.39 Other evidence includes ceramics, clay pipes, and axes of Chile’s Pitre´n complex found in the Neuque´n

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area of Argentina’s piedmont zone,40 obsidian from that same area found west of the cordillera, and the bronze axe from Rawson at the mouth of the Rı´o Chubut, which had travelled over 2,000 km from its place of origin in northwestern Argentina.41 The conquistadores themselves observed woven blankets of Chilean origin in use near the Atlantic coast in 1580, while, some two decades previously, Puelche were crossing the Andes in the opposite direction to trade n ~andu´ 42 feathers and guanaco mantles in Chile. Long-distance movement of people is also observable in oxygen isotope analysis of their skeletons; two of those buried in the second-millennium ad cemetery of Chenque I in central Argentina’s La Pampa province came originally from the Andean cordillera and one was buried with a typically Araucanian copper earring, as well as other exotic objects.43 Such observations provide the background to the even stronger ties that emerged in and after the seventeenth century (Figure 8.5). They were initially propelled by Araucanian demand for men and horses with which to fight the Spanish, something that was already happening by 1563.44 Trade in livestock became feasible after peace was concluded in 1641. To acquire them three alternatives presented themselves: rounding up feral animals, raiding, and stock-rearing. All were pursued. Running from Mendoza in the west to Buenos Aires in the east, Spain’s Pampas frontier was long, permeable, and poorly defended. Having secured peace for themselves within Chile, Araucanians operating via and from Pehuenche communities resident around Lake Nahuel Huapi on the eastern side of the Andes raided for cattle across this other Spanish border. These raids, or malones, were particularly troublesome in the first half of the 1700s. Closer to Buenos Aires, Puelche launched others of their own. By the mid-eighteenth century the horse and cattle herds of the Pampas were the focus of intense competition by Puelche, Araucanians, Spanish ranchers, and their gaucho ranch hands alike, but the feral animals of former years had largely been killed or tamed, replaced by those living under human control. Demand for livestock that could be turned into hides, salted meat, and tallow (for candles) mushroomed further when Spain lifted trading restrictions on the newly created Viceroyalty of Rı´o de la Plata in 1778.45 While Buenos Aires’ exports went primarily to feed slaves in Brazil and the Caribbean, the Neuque´n-based Pehuenche axis fed Chile and, beyond this, Peru and the silver mines of Bolivia. Together, Buenos Aires and Pehuenche constituted the two poles around which an integrated regional economy emerged (Figure 8.6).

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Figure 8.5. Map showing sites and localities relevant to eighteenth/nineteenth-century trade in Araucanı´a, Patagonia, and the Pampas, and to the eventual Argentine ‘Conquest of the Desert’. The arrow marks the approximate direction of the 1833 Rosas Campaign against the Native inhabitants of Pampas. SG denotes Salinas Grandes. Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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Figure 8.6. Pampas Indians visiting Buenos Aires. This engraving, by Emeric Vidal (1943), is based on a sketch made between 1816 and 1819. It shows two Pampas individuals at the door of a store in the Indian market where ponchos, leather clothing, and rhea feathers were traded for alcohol, mate, sugar, foodstuffs, and metal tools. Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (2098 e. 65 following p. 88 (Facsimile)).

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Pehuenche held a critical position in this system because they controlled key trans-Andean passes and rich pasturelands where livestock could be overwintered and fattened before they moved on into Chile.46 Spanish sources also indicate that only Pehuenche made that move, leaving them in a powerful middleman position to receive livestock from Pampas-dwelling groups in return for textiles, salt, and other goods. Colonial traders also came to them, and eventually some Chilean ranchers were even paying Pehuenche to look after stock for them. Paralleling developments in Chile, as early as 1620 some Pehuenche were growing wheat (along with maize and potatoes) and keeping sheep and impressive numbers of horses; barley, beans, and peas came later, and in the eighteenth century several of these crops were also being grown in parts of the western Pampas by groups like the Ranquels.47 By then horses were an important source of Pehuenche food, ‘preferred to all other meats’ according to Abbot Juan de Molina and eaten roasted or stewed, fat, offal, and all.48 Alive, they helped move livestock around sources of water and pasture in a form of transhumance that minimized impacts on fragile Andean ecologies. In addition, their hides replaced traditional guanaco skins as the raw material for the tents (toldos) in which people lived. Horses were also traded. In 1795, for example, three Pehuenche groups, crossing into Chile via the pass of Antuco, exchanged 742 horses and 564 loads of salt (from their own territory and sources on the Pampas) for 641 loads of wheat and a further 8 of wine.49 Another key item in eighteenth-century trade was the poncho.50 These sleeveless shirts offered their wearers greater freedom of movement when mounted, but were particularly valued because they were so closely woven as to be almost impermeable to water. The first reference to them comes from a source probably completed in Chile in 1673–74 and the name likely derives from the Mapudungun ponthro (‘blanket’). The circumstances in which they were first observed on the Buenos Aires frontier forty years later also imply an Araucanian connection (Figure 8.7).51 Made exclusively by women, just like bison robes on the North American Plains, ponchos became a leading Araucanian export north of the Bı´o-Bı´o, taken there either by young men who went to trade or seek temporary work or by Chilean commercial traders (conchavadores). Livestock, wine, brandy (aguardiente), indigo (for dying ponchos), metal axes, and horse gear were the

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Figure 8.7. Poncho-wearing Araucanians as illustrated by Claudio Gay (1854). Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (Mason G 177, vol. 1, Pl. 5).

main items acquired in return, even though supplying alcohol, riding equipment, and weapons contravened Spanish law.52 Weaving and selling ponchos additionally became an important activity for Pehuenche, who also acquired them ready-made from Pampas-based groups. Both increasingly kept sheep for the wool needed to weave

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them and the animals’ fatness and the quality of their fleeces were highly prized, even to the point at which some Buenos Aires ranchers bought Pampas sheep to improve their own inferior stock.53 One estimate from late in the 1700s is that Pehuenche trade alone involved as many as 60,000 separate garments a year, more than enough inducement for Chilean traders to ignore official trading bans.54 In the face of such transactions, one can readily understand the despairing assessment of Francisco Joseph Maran, Bishop of Concepcio´n, in 1784, that, ‘the trade of these ponchos is the millstone of the Kingdom . . . Because of this the Indians have better horses and more favourable weapons than the Spanish.’55 Twelve years later the Viceroy of Rı´o de la Plata complained in much the same spirit that ‘a few annoying barbarians’ had kept that colony’s borders static for over two hundred years, though, to be fair its meagre population, Spanish trade restrictions, and a lack of economic incentives to expand had also played a part.56 South of Buenos Aires, the better-watered hills of the Sierra de Tandilia and Sierra de la Ventana provided a focus for the development of Indigenous livestock production, as well as a platform for launching raids against Spanish ranches. Those of 1737–40 were particularly serious, and neither the short-lived burst of Jesuit missionary activity that followed, nor the construction of forts later in the century, greatly changed matters. More effective were the supply of gifts to Native leaders and the emergence of a complementary set of trading relations forged around exchanging livestock for liquor, tobacco, firearms, and agricultural produce.57 Establishment of a fortified outpost (now Carmen de Patagones) at the mouth of the Rı´o Negro in 1779 extended this complementarity further south, though the livestock on which the fort’s occupants depended for food had frequently been stolen closer to Buenos Aires.58 To the west of that city, other Pampas groups likewise profited from combining horses with cattle. They also benefited from their crucial middleman function in the regional economy, exchanging horseleather reins and boots of their own making, rhea feathers (from Patagonia), ponchos, and mantles for Spanish liquor, tobacco, sugar, and other manufactures.59 As well as exporting livestock that they hunted, stole, or raised into both the Pehuenche circuit and that of Rı´o de la Plata, they produced the salt that was crucial for preserving meat for export. The Salinas Grandes deposits in question lay just north

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of the Rı´o Colorado and were an object of unsatisfied Spanish expansionary longing for many decades. Only to the east of the Plata estuary in modern Uruguay did Buenos Aires’ ranchers expand with ease and Indigenous populations (here the Charru´a) find it near impossible to resist Spanish advance.60

Becoming Araucanian, becoming Tehuelche Tangled up with the emergence of a broader regional economy and the adoption of the horse were changes in cultural identity. One aspect of this reflects Ao´nik’enk expansion into central and even northern Patagonia. This likely began around, or even before, 1500, but was probably made easier as horses enhanced mobility, and facilitated communication and access to desirable prestige goods of European origin. One consequence involved the increasingly widespread use of the Ao´nik’enk language, Ao´nik’aish, reversing several millennia of diversification and promoting a common Tehuelche material culture and forms of social organization among Ao´nik’enk, Teushen, and even Gennakenk alike.61 Some Tehuelche reached as far as the Buenos Aires sierras. Others can probably be recognized in the Poyas of the Lake Nahuel Huapi area (near the modern ski resort of San Carlos de Bariloche) whom the Jesuits tried to convert in the late 1600s. However, their cousins, the economically and geographically remote Ao´nik’enk, always remained ‘poor relations’ within the wider regional system.62 A much more extensively discussed topic is that of ‘Araucanization’.63 In broad terms this refers to the processes whereby Mapudungun as a language and aspects of Mapuche culture (such as ponchos, which had high value as trade items) were adopted east of the Andes, though the word was also once used by nationalist historians to justify Argentina’s annexation of the Pampas and Patagonia in opposition to Chile, the Araucanian homeland. Modern scholarship has unequivocally dispelled ideas of a mass movement of Mapudungun speakers who crossed the Andes only to abandon farming, take to the horse, and embark on murderous raiding sprees. One reason for this is the antiquity of trans-Andean connections I have already noted. Another is that adoption of items of Araucanian material culture could have proceeded via trade or to acquire prestige goods independently of

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large-scale movements of people.64 The growing linkage of Mapuche, Pehuenche, and the inhabitants of the Pampas as the Southern Cone’s regional economy grew surely promoted such changes, as much as it facilitated Mapudungun’s expansion as a lingua franca. Enhancing communication, the spread of goods and ideas, and the movement of individuals, horses undoubtedly ‘contributed to the homogenization and expansion of Araucanian culture’ and to the forging of new identities among people of diverse background on the eastern side of the Andean cordillera (Figure 8.8).65 Some degree of Araucanian demographic expansion nevertheless seems certain, facilitated by intermarriage with long-established Pampas residents. For much of the colonial period this expansion was probably seasonal, linked to trading and raiding, and focused along major rivers, especially at locations strategically placed for controlling the movement of animals or ensuring their secure winter pasturage, such as the island of Choele Choel in the middle of the Rı´o Negro. After 1820, however, settlement intensified as some of those Mapuche

Figure 8.8. ‘Araucanization’ of the Pampas and Patagonia occurred as much through increased trade and the spread of goods and ideas as actual settlement by Mapuche speakers from across the Andes. Here, Tehuelches and Araucanians encounter each other near the modern settlement of Jose´ de San Martı´n, Chubut province, Argentina (Musters 1873). Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford ((OC) 203 f. 400, facing p. 115).

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who had backed the losing side in Chile’s independence struggle sought new homes.66 Across this temporal breakpoint and continuing into the 1870s when their independence was brought to an end, Pampas societies experienced growing social differentiation and the emergence of more centralized, hierarchically structured forms of political organization of a kind that some historians and anthropologists have dubbed ‘chiefdoms’. I return to this theme after looking at the material culture associated with horse-keeping, beginning with the increasingly rich evidence that archaeological research now provides.

Archaeological perspectives on horses and other livestock Google Earth images, combined with ground surveys to pinpoint their exact locations and characteristics, have now mapped many of the drystone enclosures that the Native peoples of the Southern Cone used to keep animals.67 Some form part of a larger system stretching across the Pampas from Buenos Aires towards Chile along the routes (rastrilladas) used to move livestock, routes often tightly constrained by the scarcity of water.68 Others were clearly used for stock management on a local scale. In the nineteenth century at least, this often involved a degree of seasonal transhumance to cope with fluctuations in the availability of water and pasture.69 Particularly abundant in the pasture- and water-rich Sierra de Tandilia, such enclosures include smaller ones best suited for sheep and larger, often circular ones probably employed for cattle; additional enclosures were used to trap feral cattle and horses, define settlements, or serve as lookout sites, some of which were fortified.70 In central Tandilia most are on slopes and water is almost always nearby. Documentary sources directly associate some with Indigenous populations and emphasize their connection with the Feria de Chapaleofu´, a regular aggregation focus already in existence by 1742 to which Tehuelche, Pehuenche, Ranquels, and Araucanians all came to trade in salt, pelts, ponchos, and livestock.71 Several of these sites have been excavated (Figure 8.9).72 At Santa Ine´s IV, for example, all three enclosures have the very high soil phosphate levels expected if they were used to corral livestock. Here, sheep were the animals kept. Other sites, again with elevated phosphate concentrations, have also yielded horse and cattle remains and in

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Figure 8.9. General view of stone corrals at the site of Santa Ine´s IV, Sierra de Tandilia, Argentina. The archaeologists are standing within the smaller Structure C (56 m2), with the main enclosure (Structure A, 856 m2) to the right in front of them and Structure B (293 m2) to its left. Structures A and B were probably used to corral sheep, while Structure C is more likely to have been a living area. Copyright and courtesy: Victoria Pedrotta.

some cases horses were probably the primary animal present: at Corral de los Indios, for example, the largest enclosure measures 124 by 110 m and has walls up to 1.8 m high, precisely the right size for restraining horses. Glass from alcohol bottles is one of the most common finds at these sites. Santa Ine´s IV, for example, yielded remains of Dutch gin and French champagne and wine bottles, all of nineteenth-century date. Further northwest at Arroyo Nieves 2 glass and earthenware kitchen articles, smoking pipes, buttons, and glass beads amplify this list. Together, they date the site’s occupation to about 1850–75. Contemporary documents show that the local Indigenous group was regularly given alcohol and other gifts to buy peace. After 1867 this involved no less than 116 bottles of gin and 78 of Bordeaux, plus 216 flasks of Catalan wine, every 3 months! The variety of drink was much greater than on contemporary Argentine forts immediately to the north. The scale on which alcohol was handed over, as well as finds of perfume

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and French mustard bottles, neatly demonstrates the integration of Indigenous Pampa communities into the nineteenth-century international economy.73 Further insights into the use of these shelters come from the animal bones found at them. Amalia 1, 3, and 4 are located near each other in the Sierra de Tandilia, the inhabitants of which were particularly active in trading livestock and hides to settler communities. Site 1 produced remains of cow and coypu, a large semi-aquatic rodent (Myocastor coypus), which was both eaten and hunted for its fur. Site 2, on the other hand, yielded horse and dog, but without any sign of processing, while Site 4’s much larger assemblage mostly comprised horse and n ~andu´, along with armadillo and other native mammals. Historical records indicate that feral horses were captured in this area for their meat and hides and some of the horse bones from Site 4 do indeed have cut-marks from stone and metal tools. One area seems to have been devoted to their primary butchery, another to more intensive processing and consumption. Though many other sites have poor bone preservation or are stratigraphically disturbed, the arrival of European-introduced animals may have been welcomed by local huntergatherers confronting reduced numbers of guanaco and deer after the climate turned more arid during the Little Ice Age. Both species seem to be missing from local faunas after the sixteenth century, with people emphasizing first horses and cattle and then sheep as alternative sources of meat.74 On the western Pampas documentary sources and local place names have identified several sites associated with the Ranquel communities that lived there in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries.75 Located near sources of water, pasture, and firewood—all basic resources—they gave easy access to routes leading to Spanish/Argentine settlements, presumably for purposes of trade. Earlier sites have only produced glass beads by way of exotic finds, but later ones also have items of metal, glass, and European pottery. Access to metal is further signalled by a reduction in the frequency of flaked stone tools, though there is no evidence for the reworking of sheet copper and kitchen knives into spearheads reported by some nineteenth-century observers.76 At the only stratified site—Don Isidro 2—people continued making stone tools into the late 1800s. The same site again shows people eating a mixture of domestic and wild species: cattle, sheep, mara (Dolichotis patagonum, another rodent), and armadillo.77

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Burials have also been investigated. Caepe Malal, an eighteenthcentury Pehuenche cemetery in Neuque´n, has grave goods of exceptional quantity and quality. They include European pottery, iron weapons, glass beads that were used both as necklaces and in headdresses, brass bells, and metal bracelets, buckles, needles, and buttons. Horse and sheep bones were also found, as well as iron spurs and iron bits of a kind used for mules. Most spectacular of all were the remains of a metal cuirass, a leather helmet decorated with metal plates made using a gold/copper alloy, and an iron sword, all from a single grave (Figure 8.10).78 Though richer than most, Caepe Malal is not unique. At Gasco´n 1 on the Pampas southwest of Buenos Aires five individuals (two adult women and three infants) were buried on the same southwest/northeast axis accompanied by pottery, glass bead necklaces, metal jewellery, sheep bones, and elements of horse gear, in this case stirrups and bits made from silver; stone tools and Indigenous ceramics were also found. While the glass beads presumably substitute for earlier shell ones, the sheep and the riding gear probably carry status associations,79 something surely all the more true of the materials found at Caepe Malal and also described from the Chilean side of the Andes.80 At Las Lajitas, on the other hand, which is also located in Neuque´n, only textiles, hides, iron and copper jewellery, and a rich assemblage of glass beads were found. Since ethnohistoric observations suggest that sacrificing horses was specifically associated with adult men the lack of horse gear here could be because all the burials that could be aged and sexed belonged to children or adult women.81 At this stage, however, it is still difficult to explain the variation in how people were buried: cultural choice, date, and the status of the dead may all be involved. Also open to interpretation is physical evidence of interpersonal violence in the form of human skulls bearing lesions and wounds produced by metal swords and sabres of probable seventeenth/eighteenth-century date. Coming from the lower reaches of the Negro and Chubut Rivers, these injuries cannot be blamed on any particular group (Native and/or Spanish), but likely attest to the intensity with which participation in regional exchange networks was now sought.82 The archaeology of Neuque´n itself consists of more than just burials. Drystone-walled enclosures have also been explored, some probably constructed before Spanish arrival, but others definitely more recent. Those in elevated positions suggest a defensive role for small, dispersed

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Figure 8.10. Reconstructed helmet and associated pieces of armour from Caepe Malal, Neuque´n, Argentina. Made in leather and copper alloy, they were buried with a male individual, probably in the mid-eighteenth century; an iron sword was also found. The leather fragments have not survived and their exact relationship to the trapezoidal sheets (lower left) and caps (lower right) is thus uncertain since they were not recovered in controlled conditions, but during the digging of an irrigation canal with heavy machinery (Adam Hajduk, pers. comm. 9 February 2014). Copyright and courtesy: Adam Hajduk.

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groups, while others were more clearly intended for managing livestock. Names like Mamuil Malal (Tree Corral) and Malleo Malal (Fort or Hill of the Raid) support these interpretations. Glass beads give the more recent enclosures an eighteenth- to late nineteenth-century date and, at Tres Picos 1, are accompanied by others made from brass, as well as cut-marked and burnt horse bones. The rarity of stone tools suggests that those eating horsemeat here had ready access to metal.83 Several other sites in the same area have also yielded horse bones.84 Unusually, those from Paredo´n Lanfre´ to the south of Lake Nahuel Huapi come from a rockshelter that also preserves paintings of horses. Patagonia has a rich and varied tradition of rock art production, but horse images are less common than in North America. At Paredo´n Lanfre´ they belong to the forest Modalidad Regional (MALB) style, which is restricted to the sub-Andean lake region of western Argentina and also includes simple abstract motifs and other anthropomorphic or zoomorphic figures. Representations of horses and riders may date as far back as the beginnings of horse acquisition in the late 1500s.85 An interesting feature of one of the Paredo´n Lanfre´ images is that it started out as a guanaco and was subsequently altered to take on the appearance of a horse (Plate 25). This fits a broader pattern across the southern Andean world, notably in northwestern Argentina, in which some (early?) paintings and engravings of horses have camelid features, such as long necks and split feet. Conversely, some guanaco/llama images have the long tail, round or bulging feet, short neck, and ears of horses. Riders, if shown, may carry lances or swords and are sometimes clearly meant to depict Spaniards. Other images include lines of riders who may be taking part in religious ceremonies; recalling the links made by Pueblo societies in North America (Chapter 4), such equestrian figures may have been understood as depictions of Saint James (Santiago), assimilated here to the Inka deity of thunder and lightning, Illapa.86 Returning south, the abstract images often accompanying horses in Patagonia are also of interest since they recall the motifs found on a horse/cowhide recovered from a post-sixteenth-century grave at Epulla´n Grande in southern Neuque´n. Engravings of horse hoofprints (some of them with the U-shape that indicates the animals were shod) are also known. Scattered across much of Patagonia, they occur, for example, at the important site of Piedra Museo in Santa Cruz province.87 Unfortunately, by the time European observers

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travelled in Patagonia’s interior, such art traditions had ended, making it difficult to understand precisely what they meant even though individual motifs survived on engraved metalwork, pottery, playing cards (sometimes made of horseskin), and painted capes.88

Patagonian horses in life and death Those same visitors did, however, take careful note of the ways in which people rode and used their horses, building on Spanish observations that go back to the sixteenth century. One of the most detailed was George Musters, a former British naval officer, who travelled with a group of Ao´nik’enk for ten months in 1869–70 from Isla Pavo´n near the mouth of the Santa Cruz River to Carmen de Patagones, a distance of some 2,750 km. He describes in detail the saddles on which he and his companions rode (they used guanaco rawhide for sinew to tie the wooden frame together, with a poncho and animal skin below it and girths made from guanaco hide) and notes that hide shoes were used in lieu of metal ones over rocky terrain (Figure 8.11).89 Bridles were made from plaited or twisted hide, bits from wood, iron, or a simple thong. Stirrups were generally a piece of wood, sometimes bent into a triangular shape, with silver versions restricted to well-off individuals; another observer, the Chilean Guillermo Cox, noted that Pehuenche never used their metal, wood, or leather stirrups to mount, but only to rest the feet while riding.90 Unlike their northern neighbours, until the very end of the 1800s Ao´nik’enk did not keep sheep, yet there is good evidence that some wove textiles, using guanaco hair or fibres traded from Europeans. The earliest evidence comes from 1783, but the practice may well be older. Interestingly, the finely decorated, multicoloured textiles they produced were used as saddle blankets or as belts that formed part of the equipment used in riding, for example to form stirrups. They were specifically not used for clothing, which continued to be made almost entirely out of guanaco skins. This close connection of textiles and horses goes further, of course, because looms could only have been transported once people had horses. Moreover, weaving technology itself, like the horse, was introduced from further north, perhaps in the context of intermarriage, trade, and the Araucanian expansion east of the Andes I have already discussed.91

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Figure 8.11. Tehuelche arms and implements as recorded by Musters (1873: 177). Note, in particular, the three different kinds of bolas, the wooden saddle and other elements of horse harness, and the knee-length boots (potros) made generally from the skin of a horse’s lower leg. Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford ((OC) 203 f. 400, p. 177).

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Just as on the North American Plains, horses found one of their most important uses in transporting people and their housing (Figure 8.12), but the almost complete absence of records of dogs being used as pack animals implies that this was even more welcome in the Southern

Figure 8.12. ‘A Tehuelche squaw’ on horseback from The Gold Diggings of Cape Horn by John Spears (1895). Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (20990 e. 2, facing p. 158).

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Cone.92 Musters provides a good description of an Ao´nik’enk toldo or tent, made using several rows of forked posts placed into the ground at a slight angle with a ridgepole across them, each successive row being slightly taller than the one behind it. Covering the rear, sides, and top of this framework were some forty to fifty fat- and ochre-smeared guanaco hides sewn together and secured where needed by thongs attached to the poles; inner curtains separated off areas for sleeping, and a front cover could be attached in cold or foul weather. Overlapping the covers of two or three such toldos produced a multi-family dwelling (Figure 8.13).93 Toldos probably became larger once people had horses to move them, and having horses must certainly have made acquiring the poles needed for their construction much easier since the preferred material (canelo; Drimys winteri) only grew in forested areas towards the Andes.94 As well as transporting these shelters, horses also made them. Their hides were both larger and more weather-resistant than those of guanaco, and in the eighteenth century both Puelche and Pehuenche were already using horsehide shelters, while Charru´a employed them

Figure 8.13. A Tehuelche toldo pitched next to a grave marked by two stuffed horse carcasses, their heads ornamented with brass studs, near San Gregorio, on the north shore of the Strait of Magellan, Chile, in 1827, as recorded in the Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of HMS Adventure and Beagle between the Years 1826 and 1836 (King 1839: after 94).

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instead of traditional Chaco-like grass matting.95 Horses also provided leather for clothing, though it was less valued than guanaco or carnivore pelts. On the other hand, a distinctive form of footwear, the knee-high bota de potro, did come to be made principally from the skin of the lower legs of mares or colts.96 More so than perhaps anywhere else in the Americas horses (especially mares) also featured heavily on Southern Cone menus: Ao´nik’enk, for example, ate the meat, salted and drank the blood, and stored the fat in bladders.97 Archaeology shows that Patagonia’s Indigenous inhabitants had, for millennia, smashed open even the tiniest animal bones to extract the fat from them.98 This is not surprising since guanaco and huemul deer are both exceptionally lean, with most lipids concentrated in the bone marrow.99 Boiling (which increased the amount of fat recoverable from bones) was possible, but probably difficult until pottery was introduced around 1,200 years ago. The need for fat, however, was constant in order to help metabolize a high protein diet and provide energy in a cold climate lacking abundant carbohydrate staples.100 The situation becomes more complex when we realize that when human needs are greatest in late winter/spring guanaco fat content is at its lowest.101 More specifically, although guanaco meat has a higher saturated fat content, it has less than half the polyunsaturated fats of horse steak, and particularly low levels of the linoleic and Æ-linolenic fatty acids essential to human health.102 Just as horses may have had a key nutritional role in Upper Palaeolithic Europe, which was also dominated by ruminants poor in fatty acids,103 might they have appealed to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Patagonians for the same reason? Tehuelche preference for eating mares suggests as much. Differences in nutritional content between male and female horses are sometimes considered minimal (Tateo et al. 2008), but other studies do show a relatively slightly higher fat content in females (Dobranic´ et al. 2009), though I am unaware of any for Argentine baguales. Nevertheless, several late nineteenth/early twentieth-century observations of the Yakuts of Siberia go out of their way to emphasize how the meat of young mares, in particular, was rich in fat, how this gave it a particularly attractive flavour, and how such animals were preferred on ritual occasions; contemporary Kazakhs likewise prefer mare’s meat, considering it especially tender.104 At the very least, these data suggest that there is more to the preference for eating mares than a decision to consume those animals that Tehuelche did not ride.105

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The context for eating horse was often a ritual one, especially in southern Patagonia where horse numbers were always relatively low. Mares were killed and eaten as thanksgiving or propitiatory sacrifices when someone was injured, died, escaped from danger, or inadvertently named or enquired after the dead.106 Other instances involved girls’ entrance into puberty, marriage, and curing the sick. On these occasions the mare might be ceremonially painted, care had to be taken so that dogs did not eat the meat or offal (as this would produce bad luck), and some of the body parts had to be disposed of according to set rules: for a marriage the head, backbone, tail, heart, and liver were taken to a nearby hill and left for the evil spirit Gu dichu, though when curing someone this applied only to the head and spine, the heart, liver, and lungs being hung up on a lance.107 Horse races pitting a rider painted in the blood of a sacrificed mare, who represented the sick person, against another personifying the spirit causing the illness offered another means of curing the sick.108 If unsuccessful, horses also played a key part in rituals surrounding death, as we have already seen at Caepe Malal and among the Mapuche. Ao´nik’enk killed a person’s horses (and his dogs), dividing the meat between the maternal and paternal relatives. When a child died the horse that carried the body to the grave was strangled there with a lasso, whereas for everyone else it was hit on the head and the saddle gear burnt. Though some horses might be given to wives and children, often all were killed, sometimes as many as fourteen at a single funeral.109 Their remains could then be included within the grave. De La Vaulx, a curious if depressingly unethical French explorer, records ‘excavating’ the burial of a recently deceased chief ’s son near Trelew in southern Patagonia in 1896 and finding it contained four horses.110 Alternatively, the horses’ bodies might be placed on poles at the graveside. The crew of the Spanish frigate San Antonio famously came across such a tomb featuring five horses stuffed with grass and supported by three poles apiece at San Julian on the Patagonian coast in February 1746. Further investigation showed that the grave—of a man accompanied by two women—had been lined with sheepskins and ponchos, good evidence for how far south access to horses and sheep—and the symbolic importance of the former—had reached by the middle of the eighteenth century. Indeed, not only are such practices identical to those of the Mapuche, but this particular grave was thought at the time to have been that of an Araucanian,

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perhaps attracted that far south by the search for coastal salt deposits. The crew of HMS Beagle saw a very similar sight on the northern side of the Strait of Magellan in 1827 (Figure 8.13).111 The reasoning behind these practices was the belief that people reached the afterlife riding on the backs of their horses’ souls. Interestingly, the horses killed were mares, just as on sacrificial occasions, although in life mares were not ridden at all. In at least one case four horses were killed and aligned at intervals of 250–500 m, apparently to provide remounts when one of them got tired.112 Necessary in death, as much as in life, horses also entered Ao´nik’enk myth. They feature, for example, in an explanation of how people obtained fire, there clearly being nothing incongruous in their presence in such a primordial, chronologically remote context.113 More consistent with recorded history, another myth blames the singing of the fox for leaving Ao´nik’enk with just guanaco, rhea, foxes, and armadillo, domestic animals—the horse among them—having moved north to become the property of Europeans.114

The horse at war and at the chase It will be obvious by now that Tehuelche and the inhabitants of the Pampas employed horses extensively in both fighting and hunting. The shift from being afoot to being mounted altered the weapons that people used as well as the tactics they employed.115 Perhaps most strikingly, the bow and arrow, which was extensively used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, disappeared almost entirely, retained only in a diminutive fashion to hunt birds; a very late record from the Strait of Magellan in 1833–34 refers to a group whose members included people from Tierra del Fuego (where bows persisted and horses were absent). Instead of bows or spears (sometimes aided by dogs), mounted hunters and warriors mostly used lances and bolas, along with knives and—when available—firearms. Not as familiar as these other weapons, bolas merit a brief discussion.116 Four kinds are known and archaeology shows that their use reaches back into the late Pleistocene. The two-piece bola comprised a heavier stone (later sometimes metal) sphere and a smaller, lighter stone or wooden one that served as the handle when the weapon was launched. The balls were wrapped in rawhide or twisted leather,

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part of which became the straps that allowed the bola to be swung around the head before release.117 Known as n~anducara, avestrucara (from avestruz, ostrich), or laques, the two-piece bola was primarily used in hunting. Its three-piece counterpart (potreadora), which used two wooden, metal, or stone spheres of equal weight plus a third, lighter one, became the typical weapon of Argentina’s gauchos and of Araucanian-influenced and -descended groups from the 1600s. A third form, called bola perdida because after being thrown it was not retrieved, consisted of a single, hide-covered rounded but pointed stone. This variant was used to crush the skulls of pumas and foxes, which people hunted for their meat as well as their skins.118 Finally, a fourth type was used to capture wild cattle or horses by wrapping itself around their feet without inflicting further damage.119 More effective than bows when riding, bolas were formidable weapons, capable of reaching a precise target as far as 58 m away and bringing down horses, as de Mendoza’s unsuccessful expedition to the Rı´o de la Plata estuary found in 1535. Bolas were also highly effective against rheas, the pursuit of which horses themselves made considerably easier; significantly, perhaps, rhea seldom occur in pre-Hispanic faunas from northern and central Patagonia.120 Of the Southern Cone’s indigenous mammals it was guanaco that people hunted most (Figure 8.14). Horses made this much easier since groups of prey could readily be surrounded and driven in on themselves to the point at which hunters could kill or disable them with their bolas. Rheas were hunted in the same way, but, recalling North American Plains practice when hunting bison, some horses were also trained to run alongside young guanaco to ensure that the rider never missed a kill.121 For Tehuelche guanaco was, as Musters noted, ‘of use in every way’.122 As well as providing meat and fat, its back sinews gave thread, the skin of its neck lassoes and thongs for making bolas and bridles, the skin from its hock shoes and the covers in which bolas were kept, its thigh-bones dice and flutes. Such meat as was not eaten immediately could be salted, sundried, roasted, and then pounded before being mixed with grease to form storable charqui, a Patagonian equivalent of North American pemmican. Finally, while the hides of adult animals were used to cover toldos, those of newborn fawns were ideal for making skin cloaks. Hunting and manufacture were necessarily highly seasonal in nature, focused in November and December, just after guanaco give birth, and in the weeks immediately following.

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Figure 8.14. Tehuelche hunting guanaco and rhea from horseback with bolas in the valley of the Rı´o Chico, Argentine Patagonia (Musters 1873). Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford ((OC) 203 f. 400, Frontispiece).

Fried mare’s grease was sometimes used to treat the skins and another European introduction, bottle glass, found favour for making scrapers with which to dress them.123 Ao´nik’enk learned how to process guanaco hides in antiquity from their culture hero, Elal, and, in myth, capes made from them possessed magical properties.124 These quillangos were painted in a variety of geometric designs, the derivation of the pigments from sacred sites reaffirming their value as something more than mere clothing or shelter. Particular designs were associated with specific individuals, families, groups, and social statuses (such as man, woman, widow, married couple, etc.).125 Interestingly, those on the oldest surviving example, which is probably of fifteenth-century date and comes from southernmost Chile, resemble later examples made using horsehide, some of which were used as shrouds: another link between horses and the passage into the afterlife. In this life horses also affected how people co-ordinated their foodgetting activities with where they lived, what archaeologists term their ‘settlement-subsistence systems’. The need to find adequate pasture and shelter from cold winters drove some of these changes.126 Along

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the Rı´o Senguer in the southwestern part of Argentina’s Chubut province, sites post-dating European arrival in the Southern Cone concentrate a further 5–10 km upstream near fords across rivers and in areas that remain unflooded (and thus afford abundant pasture) when spring thaws occur.127 Further north along the Patagonian coast the extensive, in some cases year-round, occupation patterns focused on shellfish, seals, and sea lions, which had prevailed since the middle Holocene, changed radically. In the eighteenth century people still created archaeological sites, sometimes now including the bones of domestic animals, but shellfish and seal exploitation declined, matching historic accounts that coastal resources were now used little, if at all.128 Isotope analysis of human remains from the north of Chubut confirms that equestrian-era diets included a much higher percentage of terrestrial protein, suggesting that horses allowed people to relocate away from the coast, in part by expanding access to resources like guanaco.129 Wider-ranging movements are also likely elsewhere;130 they and accompanying increases in occupation intensity were likely facilitated by the wetter conditions of the Little Ice Age, which partially alleviated the constraints imposed by the restriction of water to the main valleys and to permanent lakes across much of Patagonia (Plate 26).131 How far horses directly altered the landscapes on which such movements took place is difficult to assess, partly because it is far from easy to disentangle their effects from those of other agents, such as livestock. Even so, in Patagonia’s extreme south pollen cores register the appearance of a European-derived weed, Rumex acetosella, in the seventeenth century, at least two hundred years before European ranchers settled the area.132 Forest fires seem to have become more frequent at the same time, both there and more generally in temperate forested areas of the Andean cordillera; clearance for crop cultivation around Lake Nahuel Huapi, maintaining open tracks through the forest, and encouraging the growth of fresh pasture may all have motivated people to burn sections of the landscape.133 More specifically, studies in a rare area of upland Pampas vegetation in Tornquist Park near Buenos Aires show that areas grazed heavily by feral horses have a lower richness and diversity of bird species (because groundcover is reduced), more erosion, and an increase in annual forbs and shrubs relative to grasses. Unpalatable or grazing-tolerant grasses like Briza subaristata and Piptochaetium napostaense also tend to replace taxa like

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Stipa sp. that horses prefer.134 Given the fragile nature of the Southern Cone’s grassland environments, some degree of ecological change therefore seems assured.135

Horses and hierarchies Did horses also change how people related to each other? There is little doubt that, among many equestrian societies in the Southern Cone, social hierarchies became more prominent and fixed over time, with owning horses in plenty a sign of wealth and killing them at funerals an exercise in conspicuous display. But the available evidence is more complex than this and directs us instead to how having horses connected with the other changes that European arrival helped precipitate. Archaeological evidence suggests that social complexity was growing on the Pampas and along their frontier with northern Patagonia even before this. Relevant trends include population growth and expansion, increased production of items of personal decoration, more intensive exploitation of local resources (using pottery and grindstones), reduced mobility as people settled into smaller areas, greater use of cemeteries (which may have helped assert rights to resources by developing claims based on ancestral ownership), more complex forms of burial, and increasing differentiation of individuals in terms of the goods buried with them. A connection with warmer, more productive climatic conditions between 1,200 and 800 years ago is suspected, and broadly contemporary changes in subsistence and technology are known in at least some areas of Patagonia.136 Though archaeological and environmental signatures vary regionally and we must be wary of oversimplification, the bottom line is that the societies to which the horse came were not necessarily egalitarian in nature. As we have seen, this was even truer of the Araucanians of central Chile.137 Araucanians’ trajectory clarifies how matters evolved after Spanish arrival. Long-term warfare undoubtedly encouraged the emergence of more powerful leaders, who increasingly combined the previously separate roles of war chief, religious mediator, and dispute settler. But since relations with the invaders were not just military in nature, power also came to be based on mobilizing economic, political, and intellectual resources to ensure success in trade, negotiations (formalized in parlamentos), and alliance-building. Redistribution of

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the proceeds of raids, commerce, and Spanish gifts enhanced leaders’ prestige and built networks of allegiance for them. At the same time, previously autonomous local groups gradually ceded power to emerging higher-level units, at least in matters of external policy. The emergence of such units (futumapu) in the late 1600s reinforced the trend to greater centralization since their spokesmen had to be able to commit all their constituents to avoid losing privileged access to Spanish trade and to forestall Spanish intervention in internal Araucanian disputes. By the mid-1700s, a new political system and a new ethnic identity had emerged, captured in the term ‘Mapuche’.138 At the risk of simplifying, broadly similar processes affected populations on the eastern side of the Andes.139 Raids against Spanish targets needed co-ordination, as did fighting off reprisal attacks. Trade, subsidies, and gifts provided new items of dress and consumption that could be used to create and display status or win prestige and followers when redistributed. Silver-decorated horse gear, such as the stirrups, reins, and bridle bosses belonging to Guillermo Cox’s Pehuenche friend Inacayal in the 1860s, neatly illustrate this and find similarities in the Gasco´n 1 cemetery as well as in horse equipment seen at Lake Nahuel Huapi by the Jesuit Nicola´s Mascardi in the 1670s.140 Even moving livestock or exchanging them required organization, while their inherent potential as future exchange items (including a use in bridewealth payments) established them as sources of wealth. Pampas and Patagonian societies may also have witnessed a gradual transition from an earlier system of dual leadership (in peace and war) to one in which leadership was concentrated within a single individual. Though there is little sign of leaders extracting resources from their followers, a tendency towards the development of chiefly lineages is definitely apparent, especially in the 1800s, both through intermarriage between leading families and the inheritance of leadership within the same family.141 Expecting societies to have clearly established rulers with whom they could negotiate reliably, Spaniards encouraged these trends by extending formal recognition and gifts. Sometimes some of those occupying such positions were female,142 though for most women increasing demand for processed hides, textiles, and charqui, and growing numbers of livestock to care for probably made life more arduous as these tasks all fell to them. Trade, on the other hand, and what could be obtained from it, lay largely in male hands.143

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Ranquel groups in the western and central Pampas show how far matters had developed by the mid-1800s. When one leader, Paine´Gu¨or, died, for example, in 1847, one of his wives, five horses, and many sheep were all killed to accompany him.144 Sacrificing wives as well as horses is also reported from the sierras south of Buenos Aires in the 1820s, though with the likely exception of the (Araucanian?) burial from San Julian on the central Patagonian coast it is unknown in eighteenth-century accounts.145 Its emergence may therefore indicate how far the differentiation of chiefly status had now come as a result of controlling key water and pasture sources and routes of movement through the landscape, as well as the wider intensive commercial and political relations connecting Pampas groups with first colonial and then Argentine society.146 Greater political centralization also took shape in the area around Lake Nahuel Huapi (Plate 27), where people of mixed Pehuenche, Huilliche (from Chile), and Tehuelche descent practising a mixed farming economy developed a new identity as Manzaneros (‘People of the Apples’, after the trees introduced by Jesuit missionaries in the 1600s).147 Much the same holds for another Pehuenche-focused group led by a chief named Calfucura´ that took root around the Salinas Grandes salt sources in the 1840s.148 Well into the nineteenth century, however, such trends found fewer echoes in the geographically and economically remoter southern half of Patagonia where cattle were virtually absent. Here, more than in northern Patagonia or the Pampas, the Southern Cone finds its closest direct parallel to the equestrian nomads of North America’s Plains. And, as there, even in the 1870s, an Ao´nik’enk chief ’s decisions often only had effect to the extent that others chose to adhere to them.149

They make a desert and call it peace Tacitus’ indictment of Roman policy in first-century Britain applies equally well to the Southern Cone.150 Known in Argentina as the ‘Conquest of the Desert’ and in Chile as the ‘Pacification of the Frontier’, the mid/late nineteenth-century expansion, consolidation, and self-definition of these two nation states brought with it the defeat and dispossession of Indigenous populations across Araucanı´a, Pampas, and Patagonia. At the century’s start those populations were in secure

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control of over half the Southern Cone, the frontiers of colonial expansion having changed little in over two hundred years: Spanish enclaves at Valdivia, Osorno, and Chiloe´ on the Pacific side and Carmen de Patagones on the Atlantic scarcely intruded. However, in 1810 seizures of power by local notables and the declarations of independence that then ensued began seriously to destabilize this situation. In Chile, Mapuche generally sided with royalist forces, remnants of which continued fighting until as late as 1832, well over a decade after Spanish troops had left: as in La Guajira (Chapter 7), the motivation seems to have been to preserve a status quo that worked for them against the threat of losing trade and subsidies. The triumph of republican forces effectively excluded Mapuche from citizenship and produced a massive increase in their presence east of the Andes, a marked feature of the so-called ‘Araucanization’ of Patagonia and the Pampas.151 A parlamento in 1825 initially reconfirmed the colonial frontier, but Chile established outposts along the Strait of Magellan from 1843 once steam navigation renewed its strategic importance as the connection between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. European settlement then gathered pace south of the Bı´o-Bı´o line from the 1850s. By 1879 the army had redrawn the frontier along the Malleco and Tolte´n Rivers, some 150 km to its south. Across the Andes revolutionary enthusiasm for Indigenous equality and autonomy in 1810 was replaced by expeditions south of the Rı´o Salado frontier in the 1820s that led to forts being established in the Tandilia region. A few years later the Campaign of 1833 launched to acquire more land for Argentina’s rancher establishment killed or captured thousands of Native people in a failed attempt to extend the frontier to the Rı´o Negro. Afterwards, its leader, Juan Manuel de Rosas, used his control of the Buenos Aires area to establish a series of treaty relationships founded on supplying rations, in the form of cattle and vicios (‘vices’, i.e. tobacco, sugar, liquor, yerba mate, etc.) to groups such as that led by Calfucura´. Though such payments arguably established ties of dependency, the very fact they were made emphasizes the power Indigenous groups still held, and likely enhanced further the power of leaders who could control their redistribution.152 Rosas’ overthrow in 1852 and Argentina’s reunification in 1862 were the work of a ‘liberal’ elite that saw massive European immigration and the removal/disappearance of Indigenous people as twin pillars of

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their efforts to create a ‘modern’ nation state. The sanctuary offered to those fleeing conscription and rancher domination of the economy by groups like the Ranquels, who became increasingly creolized as the nineteenth century proceeded, was a particular threat to their dominance. Taming the (Indigenously populated) ‘desert’ to the south, and thereby forestalling Chilean occupation of the lands east of the Andes, was essential for their strategy to succeed, but only after Argentina’s victory in its war (with Brazil and Uruguay) against Paraguay in 1870 could this be fully developed. Ahead of the expansion of European settlement Native peoples responded in diverse ways. In southern Chile’s Aise´n region one strategy involved a shift to a less mobile settlement pattern focused around the best pasturelands to support not just horses but also incipient sheep- and cattle-herding.153 Another involved intensifying exchange with settlers, collaborating with Argentine forces, and receiving rations in return for settling near military outposts as a buffer against hostile attacks.154 Still other groups, like the Ranquels, remained much more belligerent in defending their independence, while several, including the Manzaneros, sought accommodation and autonomy by acknowledging Argentine suzerainty, while undergoing further centralization of their own.155 Major raids in 1873 and 1875 led to Argentina’s government building a defended trench to protect the cattle ranches of Buenos Aires province from further losses. Further expansion of meat exports (the first frozen ones left in 1877) and the need to find new pastureland for the growing wool industry raised the stakes even higher, and in October 1878 funds were allocated to extend the frontier. Directed by Minister of War Julio Roca, Argentine forces quickly subdued the groups nearest Buenos Aires and in April 1879 moved to ‘clean up the Indians’ as far as the Rı´o Negro, which was reached within just two months. Successive campaigns targeted populations living in Neuque´n and the Andean foothills further south, and by January 1885 the last major Indigenous leaders, Sayhueque of the Manzaneros and Calfucura´’s son and successor Namuncura´, had surrendered.156 With Roca now president, the rest of Patagonia and remaining Guaykuru´ groups in the northern Chaco were also subjugated, though resistance persisted there for a generation (notably in 1911 and 1916).157 Not to be outdone, after defeating Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific (1879–83) Chilean forces ‘pacified’ the rest of Araucanı´a by building forts through Mapuche territory in 1881 and 1882.158

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Though largely confined to reserves, Mapuche survived the conquest in large numbers and are today increasingly active politically. Ao´nik’enk were less fortunate. Both before and after Argentine annexation, major elements of their subsistence economy were undergoing transformation. For example, rhea feathers obtained from them became a major export of the Welsh settlers who colonized parts of Chubut province after 1865.159 Guanaco hides and capes (Figure 8.15) were also much sought after: in 1904 (a generation after the conquest) 3,142 kg of hides, 1,060 kg of quillangos, and 68 kg of guanaco wool exited Rı´o Gallegos alone! Since each quillango demanded the killing of as many as thirteen baby guanaco, this suggests hunting on a scale large enough to compromise Ao´nik’enk ability to maintain a hunting-based lifestyle. Of the goods they received in return from nineteenth-century traders alcohol was particularly favoured, leading to accelerating

Figure 8.15. A Tehuelche man wrapped in a geometrically patterned guanaco skin robe (quillango), probably photographed before 1910. Copyright: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (NAA INV 00967300).

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violence, addiction, and death. Few to begin with and vulnerable to intermarriage and the ravages of disease, Ao´nik’enk numbers dwindled inexorably.160 Some changed identity and ‘became’ Mapuche, others sought refuge in isolated parts of the landscape as their lands were handed over to sheep farmers after 1885. Still others found work on ranches or short-lived sanctuary in the small reserves created between 1898 and 1940, generally on poor-quality land and always subject to invasion by settlers of European descent. With guanaco-hunting no longer feasible, horse-rearing became important and horses continued to be sacrificed at rituals and valued as sources of prestige.161 Archaeological work at twentieth-century sites in the Lake Strobel and Rı´o Coyle areas of Santa Cruz province shows that traditions of making stone tools (including bolas) and others of glass (often from alcohol bottles and especially used to make scrapers for working skins) also persisted for some time.162 Today, few Ao´nik’enk survive.

Notes 1. For Patagonia Pero (2002) gives a useful synthesis, Martinic´ (1995) a vastly more detailed account for the Ao´nik’enk of its south. Nacuzzi et al. (2008) discuss both Patagonia and the Pampas, Cooper (1946) the Mapuche of Chile. The bibliographical essays accompanying Jones (1999) and Bandieri (2011) are particularly helpful. Key eighteenth/nineteenth-century accounts include those by Falkner (1774), de la Cruz y Golyeneche (1953), Cox (1863), and Musters (1873). However, the quality and quantity of historical evidence varies: documentary sources for Patagonia, for instance, are almost entirely coastal until the later 1800s and, even then, shipping’s lack of use of Cape Horn between 1600 and 1750 means that for this period even the coast went almost wholly unremarked (Mandrini 1999). 2. Environmental variation and resources are summarized by Orquera (1987) and Barcelo´ et al. (2009). 3. Viegas Barros (2005). 4. Musters (1873) gauged the Ao´nik’enk population at just 3,000 in 1869–70. ˜ uble, Picunche ended up within Spanish-con5. Living north of the Rı´o N trolled territory after the peace agreement of 1641. Mapuche occupied the zone to their south as far as Valdivia, Huilliche that from Valdivia to about 43˚S, including the island of Chiloe´. Pehuenche, on the other hand, inhabited the Andean cordillera, with groups on its eastern flank north of Lake Nahuel Huapi being pulled increasingly into the Araucanian orbit after the Spanish arrival (Jones 1999: 143–4).

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12. 13.

14. 15.

16. 17.

18. 19.

20. 21.

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Jones (1999: 150–1); Ramos et al. (2008). Mandrini and Ortelli (2002). Politis (2002: 41). Lema et al. (2012). Prates (2009). Whittall’s (2012) claims to the contrary, which belong in the realm of poorquality fantasy fiction, depend upon idiosyncratic interpretations of undated rock engravings and a failure to comprehend the radiocarbon dating technique. Dillehay (2002, 2007). Cf. Boccara (1999). ‘Mapuche’ means ‘People of the Land’ and replaced the earlier term ‘Reche’, signifying ‘True People’. The common Argentine term che, meaning ‘man’ or ‘guy’ and best known as the nom de guerre of Che (Ernesto) Guevara, probably has Mapuche origins: it is recorded at least as early as 1845, well before Italian emigration to Argentina, its other potential source (Garavaglia 2002: 196). Padden (1957); Jara (1961: 62). Cf. Zavala Cepeda (2008: 309–10). Captives’ memoirs provide important information on seventeenth-century Araucanian life, notably that of Francisco Nu~ nez de Pineda y Bascu~ na´n (1989), who was held for seven months in 1629. Boccara (1999). Torrejo´n and Cisternas (2003). Wheat and barley can grow in cooler conditions and on poorer soils than maize. Spanish raids mostly took place in summer, but being winter-sown crops these cereals, unlike maize, were harvested in spring, i.e. before fighting commenced. Boccara (1999: 439–40). As discussed in Chapter 7, a similar ideology influenced Mbaya´ attitudes to captives and horses on the Gran Chaco. Zavala Cepeda (2008: 194; my italics). Other key factors in forestalling a Spanish victory were Araucanian numbers, their lack of political centralization (which meant that seizing and replacing a single ruler was impossible), the rugged terrain, and a climate whose eight month-long wet season limited Spanish military activity and frequently made firearms useless (Weber 2005: 58). In 1655, 1694, 1723, 1759, 1766, and 1769. Boccara (2002) takes a more negative view of the parlamentos than some (e.g. Leo´n Solis 1990), arguing that Spain used them to promote other groups like the Pehuenche as potential partners and to favour political centralization in the hope of eventual annexation. On balance, however, the benefits of trade and the costs of war led Spain to adhere to the 1641 treaty, the territorial limits of which were only marginally infringed by reoccupation of the port of Valdivia in 1745 and of Osorno, about 300 km south of the Bı´o-Bı´o, in 1796.

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22. Kawellu or kawell from caballo (horse). Other livestock also took Spanish names (Villagra´n et al. 1999). 23. Ca´rcamo-Huechante (2011). 24. Bacigalupo (2004a, 2004b). 25. Zavala Cepeda (2008: 314). 26. Koessler-Ilg (2006). 27. Faron (1963: 148). 28. Cooper (1946: 735); Faron (1963: 138–44). Dillehay (2007: 394) reports excavating part of a horse skeleton from the TrenTrenkuel burial mound in the Pure´n and Lumaco Valley. 29. Leiva (1981/82). 30. Lafaille (2011). 31. Palermo (1999). 32. Tapson (1962: 5). 33. Palermo (2000: 352). 34. Palermo (1988: 55); Haberzettl et al. (2005); Moreno and Videla (2005); Morales et al. (2009). 35. Novillo and Ojeda (2008). 36. Martinic´ (1995: 265–6, 274). 37. Barcelo´ et al. (2009: 55). Metal weapons were also highly desired in such exchanges, where they could not be obtained from Europeans along the Patagonian coast (Martinic´ 1995: 209). For horses, the parallel with Crees and Assiniboins in the far north of the North American Plains is obvious (Chapter 5). 38. Palermo (1999). 39. Pe´rez Go´llon and Gordillo (1993: 56); Silveira et al. (2010). 40. Hajduk and Cu´neo (1997/98). 41. Go´mez-Otero and Dahinten (1999a, 1999b). 42. Mandrini and Ortelli (2002); Zavala Cepeda (2008: 57). 43. Bero´n et al. (2013). 44. Palermo (1999). 45. As part of its late eighteenth-century colonial reforms, Spain converted several former dependencies of the Viceroyalty of Peru into the new Viceroyalty of Rı´o de la Plata in 1776. The area concerned roughly equates to modern Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. 46. Varela and Biset (1992); Torrejo´n (2001). 47. Palermo (1986, 1988); Ferna´ndez (2006). 48. Torrejo´n (2001: 228). 49. Zavala Cepeda (2008: 251–2). 50. Zavala Cepeda (2008: 247) argues that between trade and parlamentos Spanish Chile was a net exporter of livestock to the Mapuche and that textual support for the reverse position advocated by Mandrini (1999) and Leo´n Solı´s (1991) is not abundant, even allowing for the fact that the illegal nature of much trans-Andean trade means that Spanish sources

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56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.

62. 63. 64.

65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72.

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almost certainly understate the scale on which livestock were moved into Chile from across the cordillera (Varela and Biset 1992). Garavaglia (2002). Zavala Cepeda (2008: 243). Palermo (1986: 166, 1999). Torrejo´n (2001: 234–5). Boccara (1999: 446). As on other Spanish frontiers in the Americas, a semi-legal trade in captives (especially children) also played out along the Bı´o-Bı´o, with wine, horse gear, and weapons again the major (illegal) items for which they were exchanged (Zavala Cepeda 2008). Tapson (1962: 1). Mandrini (1997). Luiz (2005). Zavala Cepeda (2008: 249). Weber (2005: 142, 176–7). Escalada (1949); Barcelo´ et al. (2011). Casamiquela (1988) extends ‘Tehuelche’ to include the linguistically similar Selk’nam and Haush of Tierra del Fuego and—less plausibly—the Querandı´ of the Pampas, of whom much less is known. The discreteness of any of the groups mentioned here and elsewhere should not be overstated since our sources reflect varying levels of knowledge, and identities were probably quite malleable for the entire time covered by this chapter (Nacuzzi et al. 2008). Precisely how a more uniform Tehuelche identity—and with it the spread of Ao´nik’aish—took shape has yet to be addressed in detail by archaeologists. Palermo (1999). Discussion here largely follows Palermo (1986) and Mandrini and Ortelli (2002). See also Nacuzzi et al. (2008). Relevant archaeological finds include Valdivia pottery from sixteenth/ seventeenth-century sites in Argentina’s Andean foothills and other ceramics with possible Chilean associations from as far east as Amalia in Buenos Aires province (Bero´n 1999; Mazzanti 1999; cf. Hajduk et al. 2011). Boccara (1996: 671). As an example, in the mid-1700s some groups in the sierras south of Buenos Aires were led by men wearing Araucanian-style clothing and speaking Mapudungun (Palermo 1999). Mandrini and Ortelli (2002). Bognanni (2010). Bero´n (2006). Palermo (1986: 162) with reference to the Sierra de la Ventana, for instance. Ferrar and Pedrotta (2006). Pedrotta (2009, 2011, 2013). Carrascosa Estenoz and Pedrotta (2010).

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73. Pedrotta and Bagaloni (2005). Note that the use of wooden barrels as containers, along with glass bottles, means that archaeological finds must underestimate the availability of alcohol (Pineau 2012). 74. Mazzanti and Quintana (2010). Cut-marked horse and cattle bones also occur in the uppermost levels at El Puente in the Arroyo Tapalque´ area of Buenos Aires province (Messineo 2011). 75. Tapia (2005). 76. De la Cruz y Goyeneche (1953). 77. Mazzanti and Quintana (2010: 165). 78. Varela and Biset (1987); Hajduk et al. (2000). 79. Oliva and Lisboa (2009). 80. Aldunate (1989). 81. Podesta´ and Pereda (1979). 82. Barrientos and Gordon (2004). 83. Go~ ni (1986/87). 84. Silveira et al. (2010). 85. Sa´nchez Albornoz (1958); Aschero (2000); Hajduk et al. (2011). 86. Arenas and Martı´nez (2009). 87. Podesta´ et al. (2005). 88. Molden (1999). 89. Musters (1873: 137, 175–8). 90. Cox (1863: 161). 91. Martinic´ (1995: 80); Me´ndez (2010). 92. Note, though, that de Viedma (1837: 68) saw a group that had lost all its horses using dogs in this way south of the Rı´o Santa Cruz in 1780. 93. Musters (1873: 71–2). 94. Me´ndez (2010: 74). Casamiquela (2000) discusses Tehuelche and Pampas toldos at length. 95. Serrano (1944: 191–2); Casamiquela (2000); Ferna´ndez (2006: 60). 96. Martinic´ (1995: 197). Puma and guanaco were also used. 97. Pero (2002: 110). 98. Ferna´ndez (2008). 99. De Nigris (2004). It would be worth ascertaining if the Ao´nik’enk preference for rhea over guanaco was linked to fat; certainly the former’s marrow and thigh and eye fat were ‘eaten with great gusto’ (Musters 1873: 77). 100. Musters (1873: 77) explicitly noted how, for the Ao´nik’enk, ‘owing to the absence of farinaceous food, fat becomes a necessary of article of diet’. 101. Bourlot (2006). 102. Saadoun and Cabrera (2008). 103. Cf. Levine (1998). 104. Ferret (2010: 91, 98, 101).

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105. Tehuelche preference for riding stallions probably derived from common Spanish practice (Slatta 1990: 128). Cf. Levine (1999: 128). 106. Musters (1873: 143, 147–8, 189); Martinic´ (1995: 324). 107. Musters (1873: 187, 279). 108. Martinic´ (1995: 305). 109. Cox (1863: 164); Musters (1873: 187–8). 110. De La Vaulx (1901: 216–18). 111. Mandrini (2000). 112. Martinic´ (1995: 308). 113. Herna´ndez (2003). 114. Siffredi (1995: 185). 115. Cirigliano (2011). 116. After Herna´ndez (2002). 117. Originally of guanaco hide, the straps came increasingly to be made of horse leather because of its greater resistance and higher quality (Martinic´ 1995: 210). 118. Musters (1873: 107) strongly recommended puma, claiming it tastes like boiled pork! 119. Martinic´ (1995: 210). 120. I am grateful to Ramiro Barberena for these points. 121. Childs (1936: 161). 122. Musters (1873: 132). 123. Childs (1936: 160–5). 124. Caviglia (2002). Quillango is a Guaranı´ term from the area where Argentina meets Paraguay and Brazil. Ao´nik’enk called them kay, Gennakenk gu¨ttruj. 125. Me´ndez (2010: 84–5). 126. Pero (2002: 112). 127. Aguado (2006). 128. Moreno and Videla (2005). 129. Go´mez-Otero (2007). 130. Martinic´ (1995). Go~ ni (2000) specifically suggests that this was in the form of greatly enlarged logistical trips to exploit specific resources, even as overall residential mobility decreased. 131. Morales et al. (2009). 132. Huber and Markgraf (2003). 133. Veblen et al. (2003). 134. Zalba and Cozzani (2004); de Villalobos and Zalba (2010). 135. Ferna´ndez and Busso (1999). 136. Bero´n (2007); Martı´nez et al. (2012). 137. Dillehay (2002). 138. Boccara (1999). 139. De Jong (2007).

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140. Cox (1863: 161); Cabrera (2011: 33). Falkner (1774) and Sa´nchez Labrador (1910) emphasized the prestige value held by metal, especially silver, among mid-eighteenth-century Pampas groups. 141. Barcelo´ et al. (2009). 142. For example, Maria, in the area between the Strait of Magellan and the Valdes Peninsula, about 100 km north of the Rı´o Chubut in the early 1800s (Bandieri 2011: 97–8, 135–6). 143. Jones (1999: 175), who notes that captive women and children offered extra sources of labour. 144. Mandrini (1994: 261). 145. Mandrini (1994). 146. Mandrini (1997: 34). 147. Bandieri (2011). 148. Jones (1999); Bechis (2002). 149. Compared to areas further north, inheritance and wealth were also less critical here in making someone a chief (Pero 2002: 113–14). 150. Tacitus (1982: 30). 151. Manara (2005). Across the continent Charru´a found that helping the revolutionaries fight successively against Spanish loyalists, Argentina, and Portugal/Brazil did not help either; rancher interests in newly independent Uruguay secured their virtual extermination in 1831, though a few became household ‘servants’. Four more were sent to France for public exhibition. One escaped. The remains of the others were repatriated in 2002. DNA analysis on one of these individuals has recently established that, contrary to earlier suggestions of total genocide, some modern Uruguayans are likely to be of Charru´a descent (Sans et al. 2012). 152. Langer (2002: 44–5); Pineau (2012) with specific reference to alcohol. 153. Velasquez et al. (2005). 154. Ratto (2003). 155. For the Manzaneros in particular see Vezub (2009). The trajectories and strategies that they and groups like the Ranquels followed, including a developing use of literacy and the formation of increasingly creolized communities, bear comparison with Cherokees and some other Indigenous societies in North America (cf. Mcloughlin 1993). 156. Ironically, one of Namuncura´’s sons, Ceferino, born of a white Chilean captive, became a Salesian student in 1897, dying in Rome in 1905 aged 18. Subject of an extensive cult since the 1930s, he was the first Argentine to be declared ‘Venerable’ by the Catholic Church (in 1972) and was beatified in 2007, after which his ashes were reburied in his father’s Neuque´n homeland. 157. Langer (2002: 54). 158. I draw here on Jones (1999), Bechis (2002), Bu¨rgi (2008), and Bandieri (2011: 125–222). Argentina waited until Chilean forces were committed

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159. 160. 161. 162.

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against Peru and Bolivia before launching the Conquest. As a preliminary to this, the two countries had agreed in 1878 that their border should follow the Cordilleran Divide. Gavirati (2003). Martinic´ (1995). Aguado (2006). Carballo Marina et al. (2011); Go~ ni and Nuevo Delaunay (2012); Belardi et al. (2013).

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9 The Old World Southern Africa and Australasia ‘They are indeed a much more valuable prize than cattle, as their possession insures them a subsistence, enabling them to overtake the eland and other wild animals’ (Lt-Col. Richard Collins, 1809, cited in Vinnicombe 1976: 149)

‘What sort of creature is this? . . . I wonder where this animal has come from, it’s so big’ (Reynolds 2006: 18, citing an Aboriginal oral tradition referring to the mid-nineteenth century)

S

o far we have seen how Indigenous societies in North and South America exploited the opportunities created by the horse’s reintroduction in the aftermath of Columbus’ voyage of 1492. But the Americas were not the only part of the world to which Europeans brought the horse. In southern Africa other members of the genus Equus, the plains and mountain zebras, were long established, but before European settlement the only animal ridden there—and then very little—was the ox.1 Australia, on the other hand, though rich in marsupials, had no purely terrestrial placental mammals except people and dogs. Finding a vacant ecological niche, horses and other animals introduced by Europeans quickly established themselves in the wild. Much the same holds for New Zealand, which had no mammals at all (save bats) until Polynesians settled it less than four hundred years before the first European visitor, Abel Tasman, in 1642. Southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand therefore all gave new, and

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different, opportunities to horses. How their Indigenous human populations interacted with the new arrival also varied. In southern Africa horses encountered some societies that had domestic livestock of their own, others who combined livestock with cereal cultivation, and yet others (those of greatest interest here) who were hunters and gatherers. In Australia, only the last of these variations was present, while in New Zealand, although most Ma¯ori did grow crops, dogs were the only domestic animals.

Reins of power: horses and colonial settlement in southern Africa The first Europeans to visit southern Africa were the Portuguese (Figure 9.1).2 Rounding the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 they completed the circumnavigation of the continent’s southern tip ten years later to reach India. Portugal did not, however, establish settlements in what eventually became South Africa, preferring to sail round it to reach Mozambique. For over a century its disinterest was shared by the other Europeans who occasionally used Cape Town’s Table Bay or other spots along the coast to take on fresh water or trade for livestock from Indigenous Khoe herders. The first permanent European presence in the region therefore only started life in 1652, when the Dutch East India Company (VOC)3 set up a base at Cape Town where its ships could take on provisions, or leave sick seamen to recuperate, during voyages between the Netherlands and its lucrative trading colonies in the East Indies. The four Javanese ponies that arrived the following year marked the point at which horses joined that colonization process. Very differently from Spanish, Portuguese, or English settlement in the Americas, colonization was not at all what the VOC had in mind.4 But within just five years it became necessary to allow some Company employees to set themselves up as independent farmers, the nucleus of a ‘free burgher’ community that had, by 1700, established farms up to 100 km inland from Table Bay. Additional expansion, however, required major economic and social changes since intensive slaveassisted wheat and vine cultivation was only profitable close to the market that Cape Town and the ships visiting it offered. The slowly growing number of European settlers (trekboere) who moved further inland therefore increasingly emphasized livestock-keeping (cattle and

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Figure 9.1. Map of southern Africa showing sites and localities mentioned in the text. 1 Bamboo Mountain (KwaZulu-Natal); 2 Bushman’s Nek (KwaZuluNatal); 3 Giant’s Castle (KwaZulu-Natal); 4 Likoaeng (Lesotho); 5 Mauermanshoek Shelter (Free State); 6 Melikane (Lesotho); 7 Sehonghong (Lesotho); 8 Stompiesfontein (Western Cape). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

sheep) and hunting (for ivory and skins). They traded their produce for the guns, gunpowder, tea, coffee, sugar, and other manufactures they sourced from the Cape and also used it to pay the taxes the VOC demanded for use of the land. Oxen pulled these settlers’ wagons almost to the Orange River, over 800 km northeast of Cape Town, before Britain assumed control of the colony in 1806.5 But it was horses that were essential to the settlers’ own movement. Only to the east of the Sundays River or some distance beyond the Orange did the trekboere encounter Bantu-speaking farmers who

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combined sheep- and cattle-raising with growing cereals and other crops: their spread west into areas receiving less than 500 mm of rain a year or south of latitude 33.5˚S had, for centuries, been constrained by a lack of sufficient summer rainfall on which their sorghum and millet depended.6 The areas into which Europeans first moved were therefore inhabited primarily by Khoe pastoralists, whose herds of cattle and sheep were a major trading interest of the VOC for many decades. Bushman hunter-gatherers, on the other hand, were largely confined to the more marginal parts of the Cape landscape, those too arid or too mountainous to interest the better-organized, more numerous herders. Warfare, disease, increasing losses of land and manpower to the settler economy, and Dutch suppression of the raids by which livestock had traditionally been regained led to the progressive collapse of Khoe society: survivors largely became incorporated into the colonial economy as farm labourers, providing the nucleus of contemporary South Africa’s Afrikaans-speaking ‘Coloured’ population. Others, however, moved away, though, since the trekboere had gained early (and ecologically privileged) access to the better-watered areas closer to the Cape and in the coastlands to its east, their movements were, in the first instance, predominantly northward, parallel to the Atlantic. Two main groups can be identified: Oorlams, who largely comprised dispossessed Khoe communities from within the growing VOC colony, and Bastaards, whose racial origins were more mixed and who tended to be more Christianized and Dutchspeaking. Those who shifted east of the Orange River around 1800 combined a degree of cultivation with stock-keeping, came under the influence of the London Missionary Society, and called themselves ‘Griqua’. Korana, on the other hand, retained a stronger Khoe component to their sense of self-identity.7 Whether Oorlam, Bastaard, Griqua, or Korana, they gained clear military advantages over those into whose lands they moved if they owned horses—along with wagons and guns. Korana, in particular, made equestrian-based raiding a major component of their way of life, ultimately expanding across much of South Africa’s Northern Cape and Free State provinces as far as the western edge of Lesotho. Indeed, raiding and frontier opportunism more accurately define ‘Koranahood’ than genetics, and the historical record makes clear that they were, in truth, a creolized amalgam of many groups and individuals living on the frontier of colonial contact and expansion.8 Some thirty

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or so rock art sites, all featuring rather crude, often finger-painted images, reflect this.9 Sven Ouzman’s analysis of this art notes that horses are its signature motif (Figure 9.2a). Riders are frequently shown controlling their steeds using reins and sometimes have a thin horizontal line emanating from their shoulders, probably a gun. In at least one instance, a group of riders is shown close to an elephant, perhaps signalling the importance that hunting ivory had for Korana, Griqua, and other frontier groups as a means of obtaining essential goods. Humans, snakes, and rare geometric images flesh out the finger-painted corpus, but horses also turn up in stranger guise. At Mauersmanshoek Shelter in the Korannaberg Hills of the eastern Free State, for example, some older Bushman fine-line paintings of eland (Tragelaphus oryx, a large antelope) have had finger-painted images painted over them (Figure 9.2b). These newer images include no fewer than seventeen horses, half with riders, a frankly weird human figure with a horse-headed penis, and three horse-headed zigzag lines (snakes?).10 An immediately adjacent, larger shelter contains stone walls of unknown date and is big enough for horses to have been kept within it. Although excavation did not produce finds diagnostic of their presence, both sites are within a few minutes’ walk of a known Korana settlement occupied between 1837 and 1851.11 As well as ivory, Korana traded salt and the meat and skins of big game. In keeping with the experience of many other colonial frontiers (such as Comancherı´a or the Gran Chaco; Chapters 4 and 7) they also gained a reputation for seizing and selling people, especially Bushman women and children.12 The emphasis on horses in their art reflects the value that these animals had as one of the chief means by which desirable goods could be obtained, traded, and defended. The horseheaded penis of the large human figure at Mauermanshoek explicitly links horses with masculinity (and thus with power and raiding), while the horse-headed snake-like zigzags may reference the documented Korana belief that snakes captured young girls for slaves.13 In other contexts in southern Africa snakes are associated with initiation and rainmaking. This raises another possibility, namely that they were deliberately depicted for their ability to mean multiple things to different individuals, to create conceptual ties, in other words, between the various elements that comprised Korana society.14 Due east of the Korannaberg, rock art images were certainly selected with that goal in mind in the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains, which

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Figure 9.2. Tracings of rock art panels attributed to the Korana: A) a horse and an armed rider. Black represents red, stipple orange, and lines natural hollows in the surface of the rock; B) a complex panel depicting a man with a horse-headed penis (a), several horses and riders (e.g. b), and an animal skin or apron (c). Here, black represents slurry white, stipple red, and fine stipple smooth white. Note the two snake-like images at upper left and upper right. Copyright and courtesy: Sven Ouzman.

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preserve by far the largest concentration of horse paintings anywhere in Africa.

Horse raiders of the Maloti-Drakensberg Southern Africa is an ecologically very diverse part of the world. Over a dozen terrestrial biomes are recognized south of the Zambezi and Kunene Rivers, its conventional northern limits. The area where the horse first arrived, the Cape, is dominated by just one of them. Known as the Fynbos Biome, both its scrub-like vegetation and its climate resemble those of the Mediterranean. Crossing the Cape Fold Mountain Belt that very roughly runs along the biome’s northern edge brings one into a more arid region, the Karoo, to the north of which lies the Kalahari Desert. To preserve their access to scarce water and game resources Bushman hunter-gatherers long resisted colonial settlement along the Karoo’s western and southern frontiers, taking settlers’ livestock and being hunted down and frequently massacred or enslaved in response. Though they sometimes targeted farmers’ horses to make pursuit more difficult, and used the rugged, horse-unfriendly terrain of mountainous regions as a refuge, these raids were undertaken on foot and horses were only rarely taken.15 By the middle decades of the nineteenth century, however, they were becoming integrated into the culture of /Xam Bushmen in the northern Karoo, from whom traces of praise songs and several horse-specific colour terms have been recorded. The context for this was most likely /Xam participation in Korana raids as European settlement intruded ever further into their hunting grounds.16 Aridity is—and was—a major constraint on keeping horses in the Karoo. Along with the prior access to horses gained by Korana and Griqua groups,17 it may also have precluded the development of any kind of equestrian adaptation by the Karoo’s Bushman inhabitants. Aridity is, however, far from the only challenge that horses faced once they reached South Africa. The near invisibility of feral populations even today, in sharp contrast to their numbers in North America, Argentina, Australia, or even New Zealand, underlines this.18 Predators (notably lions), competition from well-established indigenous grazers (including zebras), and natural forage that is often of fairly low quality help explain this, but disease is probably the most

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important limiting factor. African horse sickness, to which the VOC’s original Indonesian-derived stock had no immunity, is still a threat, one traditionally countered by moving stock seasonally to avoid the midges that we now know cause the disease.19 Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis), which is spread by the fly Glossina pallidipes, and consumption of toxic plants, especially at times of drought or when palatable fodder is in short supply, posed additional challenges.20 One area of southern Africa is relatively free of all these problems. Too cold to support the disease vectors that spread sleeping sickness and African horse sickness, yet far from arid this region is the MalotiDrakensberg Mountains, the eastern corner of the subcontinent’s Grassland Biome (Plate 28). As the name implies, this is a high-altitude region, defined in the east by the 3,000 m-high uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment, which forms the border between Lesotho and the South African provinces of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (see Figure 9.3).21 East of the escarpment the landscape gradually falls away towards the Indian Ocean. To its west lie the deeply dissected valleys and mountains of the Lesotho highlands through which flow the

Figure 9.3. View from Mnweni in the northern uKhahlamba-Drakensberg showing the escarpment, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Copyright and courtesy: Sam Challis.

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Orange River and its main tributaries. One of these, the Caledon, defines Lesotho’s western boundary with South Africa’s Free State province. Across the Maloti-Drakensberg, trees are largely confined to sheltered valleys (at lower elevations, which even then typically exceed 1,400 m above sea level). Grass-covered mountains and plateaux thus dominate the landscape, with heathland on the higher peaks. Hunter-gatherers had lived in the Maloti-Drakensberg for over 100,000 years when horses knocked on the region’s door. Precisely when that knock came remains uncertain, but in 1808 Bushmen were seen riding horses at its western extremity, near the confluence of the Orange and Caledon Rivers.22 Those horses had likely been acquired through theft, practised against European farms to the south, but we must also imagine a second early entry point, this time from the Eastern Cape. Here, on another frontier of European settlement, Xhosa chiefs obtained horses of their own, perhaps as early as the 1790s and initially from slaves or Khoe workers seeking refuge from Dutch farms. But though horses—and more importantly guns—were used by messengers and spies and helped Chief Ndlambe gain victory over his rival Ngqika in 1818, Xhosa found little use for them in the thickly forested, ravine-torn landscape of the Eastern Cape.23 Items of Xhosa headgear in a painted shelter that probably lay on the upper Mzimvubu River not far from the Lesotho border suggest, however, that they had taken them as far as the southern reaches of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg in or before 1835.24 Still other horses fed into the Maloti-Drakensberg from the west, where the rapidly growing Basotho kingdom was obtaining them as early as 1829, in part from Griqua and Korana sources. Seeking independence from British rule, some of the Eastern Cape’s Dutch-speaking frontier farmers moved significantly further inland in the late 1830s on a long migration (the ‘Great Trek’) that took many of them around the Maloti-Drakensberg region to enter what is now KwaZulu-Natal. But less than five years later their republic became the British colony of Natal. Even before then raiding parties based in the escarpment or its foothills were rustling cattle and horses from their farms. These raids continued for almost forty years and have been extensively analysed by South African historian John Wright.25 After a few early forays that are only poorly documented, three major episodes can be identified: 1845 to 1852, 1856 to the early 1860s, and 1868 to 1872. More sporadic thefts took place through the intervening years

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and in total over sixty raids are known. Attacks into the northern part of the British colony were deterred from the mid-1850s after a line of African reserves was located parallel to the foothills of the escarpment to act as a buffer-cum-tripwire to prevent raids reaching white-owned farms further away from the mountains. Subsequent expansion of farming settlement gradually confined raids to the more immediate vicinity of the escarpment itself until they ceased entirely in the early 1870s. Missing from this picture, however, and significant for the ultimate ending of the raids, as we shall see, is what was happening to the west of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment. Though raids in this area are much more poorly documented, sufficient survives in documentary sources and oral history to indicate that raids for livestock were also directed against the growing Basotho population of western Lesotho. Others (sometimes undertaken in collaboration with Basotho chiefs) targeted white-owned farmers in the Afrikaner republic of the Orange Free State that emerged out of the Great Trek.26 Who undertook these raids? Earlier generations of historians emphasized the Bushman origins of those carrying out the removal of cattle and horses from white- and black-owned farms in Natal. Indeed, Wright’s book is famously called Bushman Raiders of the Drakensberg. Even in the 1970s, however, it was evident—and was made clear both by him and by rock art researcher Patricia Vinnicombe— that these ‘Bushmen’ often included individuals of diverse origin.27 We know from nineteenth-century sources that several different groups occupied the broader Maloti-Drakensberg region. More specifically, the southeast of Lesotho and the upper Mzimkhulu/ Mzimvubu drainages across the escarpment from there were home to one known as the Thola or AmaTola. It is now clear that this group, in particular, was the product of a process of creolization or ethnogenesis through which individuals and communities with formerly distinct ethnicities merged, intermarried, and created a new identity of their own. Sam Challis, whose work has been pivotal in developing this understanding, has drawn much of his evidence from detailed studies of the rock paintings found within AmaTola territory. Horses and people riding horses are a critical element of this art and their presence helps date its beginnings to the 1830s, when the horse was most likely first obtained.28 At the other end of the chronological spectrum, the tradition effectively came to an end by, or very soon after, 1880.

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Another frequent theme concerns the postures and gestures associated with the dance in which Bushman shamans enter altered states of consciousness (trance) to heal the sick and engage in other actions on behalf of the community. At the same time, the material culture with which people are represented is distinctly mixed. There are Europeanstyle brimmed hats and muskets, but also feathered headdresses, beaded bandoliers, iron-tipped spears, and knobkerries (wooden clubs) that clearly belong more to the world of Bantu-speaking African farmers like the Xhosa or Zulu (see Figure 9.4). From the Giant’s Castle area of KwaZulu-Natal to Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape and on both sides of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment at least as far as the Orange River, this is the art of people described around 1850 as ‘a large tribe of Bushmen, Hottentots and runaway slaves’.29 That description captures only some components of the AmaTola’s origins, ‘Hottentots’ being a term no longer acceptable for Khoespeaking herders or their descendants. Other documents indicate that the AmaTola even included a few Europeans, while some of the artefacts shown in their art and their very name imply that a strong Bantu speaker component was also present, probably involving both Xhosa and people who had recently moved south from the fringes of the rapidly expanding Zulu kingdom. In IsiXhosa amatola describes those diviners and ritual specialists responsible for administering sacred medicines to warriors before battle.30 As we shall see shortly, this possibility has powerful connections to both what the AmaTola did (i.e. raid) and how they conceptualized their doings through the medium of rock art. A second source for the name is also possible, however, this time from the IsiZulu verb ukuthola, meaning ‘to pick up, adopt, take, find something lost’. AmaTola in this sense therefore means ‘Those who adopt’, a perfect term for a group with disparate origins.31 A fleeting reference in one mid-nineteenth-century account suggests that some of those who were ‘adopted’ may have belonged to a Bushman group termed the Mbaklu, who had lived in part of the historic AmaTola range until about 1835, when they ‘disappeared’.32 This is of interest for two reasons: first, because it provides a possible source for the many Bushman elements in AmaTola rock art and belief, and, second, because it fits the likely date around which the AmaTola first crystallized as a group. This probably happened in the 1830s on the frontier between Britain’s Cape colony and those Xhosa

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Figure 9.4. Tracing of a rock art panel from Beersheba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Whether depicting a ‘real’ event or not, it likely represents a fight between mounted and armed AmaTola, who wear brimmed hats and carry guns, and another Bushman group. Challis (2008: 288–92) further suggests that the figure at centre right with long feathery appendages emanating from his head and rear may be a shaman who has harnessed the supernatural potency of the horse; significantly, the animal immediately in front of him appears to bleed from the nose, an act frequently associated with shamans in nineteenth-century records. Copyright: The Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.

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chiefdoms that were still independent. Moreover, it was also part of a wider pattern as many other raiding groups were also active at this time: Khoe, Bushmen, refugees from the creation and expansion further north of the Zulu kingdom, and those fleeing British expansion, especially after the Sixth Frontier War of 1834–35 extended colonial rule to the Keiskamma River.33 The Maloti-Drakensberg’s fine grazing and its freedom from sleeping sickness and African horse sickness may have made it particularly attractive to people like the AmaTola who increasingly kept, and needed, horses for a living. A scarcity of predators (the last Lesotho lion was killed around 1840,34 while spotted hyenas, the only other animal able to kill adult horses, must likewise have been few) and an absence of competition from other large grazers may have been additional benefits that the mountains offered.35

Chasing eland, taking stock Consistent with the relatively small size of raiding parties attested in Natal’s colonial archives, most of which numbered less than a dozen, the AmaTola were probably never very numerous: estimates of 80–100 or 200 men survive, implying a total population of perhaps 400–800.36 Allowing for the groups led by Mdwebo and Nqabayo and others of whom we know virtually nothing either historically or archaeologically, the total population for the Lesotho highlands as a whole plus the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment was probably just a few thousand. Though not the only ones to use horses or raid for them and for cattle, it is nevertheless the AmaTola who may best be described as a Horse Nation. Before the nineteenth century people in the Maloti-Drakensberg region exploited a wide range of wild animal and plant resources as part of their diet, probably using springtime spawning runs of fish or the abundant plant foods and game herds of summer to come together in larger numbers before dispersing into smaller units for the rest of the year. Long thought of as one of the last redoubts of hunter-gatherers in southernmost Africa, the region has been a test case for models purporting to explain how people would have mapped their movements on to variations in the seasonal distribution of such resources.37 Now, however, we must add other ingredients to this mix.

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Figure 9.5. Painting of an eland hunt on horseback from southeastern Lesotho as traced by Patricia Vinnicombe (1976: 288–9). The large bull in the centre is being killed using spears, not arrows, reflecting a change in hunting tactics associated with the adoption of the horse. At the panel’s left, eland carcasses are being dismembered and the meat is being packed onto horses for transport. Copyright: The KwaZulu-Natal Museum. Courtesy: The Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.

A striking fact about paintings of horses in the area likely to have been lived in by the AmaTola is that, where they are associated with images of eland, in the overwhelming majority of cases (approximately 85%) those eland are being hunted (Figure 9.5).38 Though at least one painting shows a dismounted British soldier firing at eland,39 Bushmen are consistently depicted chasing them and dispatching them with spears. In a few cases, butchery also seems to be illustrated, and in several what appear to be strips of meat are shown being carried on horseback. To reduce transport demands, eland may also have been chased back towards people’s camps.40 Eland can trot at up to 22 km per hour for a long time, but tire at higher speeds and can be overtaken quite easily by a horse, whose speed, when galloping, is 40–48 km per hour. Interestingly, the adoption of mounted hunting by 6¼Kade Bushmen living in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the 1970s and 1980s also involved the almost total replacement of the bow and poisoned arrow (the typical Bushman weapon for hunting large game) by the spear (Figure 9.6).41 In the case of eland, animals were stabbed repeatedly to ensure a kill. Using horses had several benefits: expanding the range over which hunting could take place; reducing the time needed to find and kill animals (including avoiding having to track them while the poison did its work, something that could take days for an eland); and making it easier to transport the sun-dried meat (biltong).42 Paintings also provide some sense of the equipment people used to ride horses. Of 558 horse paintings analysed by Patricia Vinnicombe,

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Figure 9.6. In the late twentieth century Bushmen in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana, began using horses to hunt large game: a) a mounted Bushman armed with a gun ready to hunt; b) having dismounted, a hunter prepares to dispatch a gemsbok (Oryx gazella) with his spear. Copyright and courtesy: Kazunobu Ikeya.

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just over a quarter depict bridles, saddles, and other items of riding gear. Archival sources indicate that European saddles and bridles were preferred whenever available, but Bushmen also made their own, using simple leather cushions without any metal or wooden framework and employing a thick pad of dressed skin stuffed with animal hair as a pommel. Stirrups were made of two flat pieces of wood with holes in them, through which plaited horsehair cords were passed and fastened by knots underneath.43 Reports from those who knew the raiders or pursued them across the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment make plain that the midnineteenth-century inhabitants of highland Lesotho did not just take the horses and cattle of others. They also kept livestock of their own. Mdwebo’s son, for example, described how the AmaTola kept ‘large numbers of cattle horses sheep and goats’. Other reports noted the many corrals (kraals), some built of stone, to be found in their territory, evidence of intense grazing around some of the rockshelters that they inhabited, and the probable burning of grassland in order to promote the growth of fresh pasture.44 Such sites have yet to be located and explored by archaeologists. Since the AmaTola included Bantu-speaking individuals, with prior experience of livestock-keeping and for whom cattle were culturally important, this is not particularly remarkable. However, recent archaeological finds from highland Lesotho establish that ‘hunter-gatherers’ living there were acquainted with sheep and cattle a full thousand years before horses entered the region. The first firm evidence of this came from directly dated sheep remains at the site of Likoaeng on the banks of the Orange River. Sadly, insufficient collagen remained in the cattle specimen from the same site to obtain a radiocarbon date, but its context in the excavation leaves little doubt that it too dates to the ninth century ad.45 Presumably obtained, in the first instance, through trade with the ancestors of the Xhosa and the Zulu on the far side of the escarpment, these animals and others, as yet undated at Sehonghong and another nearby rockshelter, suggest that the area into which the AmaTola moved already had a long (albeit perhaps intermittent) history of keeping livestock. Horses simply made it easier to acquire them on a larger scale. The motivations for this were probably complex. Food shortages may have impelled some raids, but summers, rather than winters, appear to have been the more favoured time for launching raids into

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Natal and there is, in any case, no apparent correlation between their timing and the weather. This is not to say that cattle and horses were not eaten: they clearly were, though horses may have been consumed less frequently. But it suggests that more was involved than the need to find food. As in California’s Central Valley (Chapter 6), that ‘more’ was probably political and economic in nature. There is ample archival evidence for Bushmen bartering cattle, horses, and elephant ivory (which would have been obtained on the eastern, South African side of the escarpment) with both Bantu-speaking Africans and Europeans. In return they received tobacco, dogs, grain, guns (at a rate, in one instance, of one horse per gun), gunpowder, and ammunition. These exchanges also helped seal political alliances with powerful African chiefs, which in some cases involved protection from attack or led to joint participation in raids or a joint division of their proceeds.46 Even the earliest colonial records suggest that such alliances and trade networks extended over hundreds of kilometres, and they probably became increasingly important and necessary as both Bantu-speaking farmers and Bushmen found their room for manoeuvre limited by the expansion of the major colonial forces on their boundaries: Britain for the most part, but also the Basotho kingdom of Moshoeshoe I and, to its west and to its detriment, the Afrikaner republic of the Orange Free State. Deliberate targeting of white-owned livestock as part of guerrilla actions to incapacitate or hinder the spread of European settlement is also likely. Summing up, horses and cattle had value for what they could buy as much as for what they could put on the table. For horses, of course, that meant their potential in hunting, as well as raiding. To gain further purchase on these topics we must now return to the paintings left by the AmaTola and see how horses became baboons.

How horses became baboons People come together and make sense of their lives around symbols. The reverence for national anthems and flags in the modern world is a good example of this. The AmaTola were no different, except that for them the ‘most powerful and binding symbol was the baboon’.47 Baboons are a near-ubiquitous element of southern Africa’s fauna and still live in the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains. In the nineteenth century the /Xam Bushmen of the Karoo believed that they used

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medicinal roots to protect themselves from disease and potential enemies, to the point of being able to avoid, or even cheat, death. Such roots were also used to make indelible scars on people, and among the Korana served as war magic that protected warriors in battle. For Xhosa speakers, baboons have two main aspects. One associates them with witches and mischief, the other with the wild and the ancestors. Both aspects—the witch’s familiar and the wild animal—raid livestock (young goats and sheep) and crops. Xhosa war-doctors, the amatola mentioned above, also administer medicinal roots to warriors and cattle raiders to make them invulnerable. What we have here is, as Sam Challis puts it, a ‘potent symbolic cocktail’ in which baboons, who themselves raided for a living, embodied the supernatural power of certain plants to protect raiders from danger. It is in this light that we can understand the frequent presence in nineteenth-century Maloti-Drakensberg rock art of baboons, and sometimes also that of humans with baboon-like tails or other features. As agents of healing and agencies of procurement, baboons formed a key concept around which those who became AmaTola could unite. Only one painting, since destroyed, is known that combines the features of a baboon with those of a horse. From Bamboo Mountain in KwaZulu-Natal, it showed a horse with a baboon’s head, but even though unique it makes the link between the two species unambiguous. Reinforcing that connection, and perhaps even establishing it in the first instance, are two physical observations: first, baby baboons ride on the backs of their mothers or of other adults in a position remarkably similar to that of a human rider on the back of a horse; and second, when they run the hind legs and forelegs of both horses and baboons work as pairs. Based on these two concrete perceptions comes a third: the resemblance between the mounted rider who takes livestock or other desirables from his enemies and the racing baboon that steals crops from the farmer’s field. Speed, riding, and raiding thus came together to make horses become baboons (Figure 9.7).48

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Figure 9.7. Tracing of a painting of a horseman apparently pursuing, or riding alongside, a baboon from Kenegha Poort, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Note the similarity in the animals’ gait, something that likely contributed to their close identification in Xhosa thought and among the AmaTola Bushmen. Copyright and courtesy: Sam Challis.

Images of horsepower Rock paintings, it has been said, are images of power, and in the nineteenth-century Maloti-Drakensberg many of those images are images of horsepower.49 Famously, for example, the most extensive survey of the region’s art ever undertaken showed that horses are second in number only to the largest African antelope, the eland.50 This is all the more striking given that some surviving paintings are over two thousand years old,51 but that all the horses ever painted were executed in barely fifty years. How people chose to paint horses and the sense they made of them was, though, undoubtedly shaped by that longer tradition, including the significant prior experience that Bushmen, Khoe speakers, and Bantu speakers all had with domestic livestock. One entry point to the place of horses in nineteenth-century AmaTola cosmology is given by the patently non-real creatures painted on the east wall of Melikane Shelter, high above a tributary of the Orange in southeast Lesotho (Plate 29). These animals are odd because they are neither horse, nor eland, but a mixture of the two: eland horns, head, dewlap, and forequarters blend seamlessly into an equine rear, tail, and hind legs. The rearmost animal of the four is even odder as it has an

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extra, fifth leg. When first analysed, the additional limb—as well as the non-real nature of the creatures themselves—immediately placed them in the shamanistic universe of Bushman healers.52 Their location above images showing eland being hunted from horseback and a baboon being ridden by a human-like figure suggests, in the light of what we have just said, that more specific associations may also be implied, associations that, with the benefit of other paintings, we can relate to ideas of rainmaking and healing. Making rain was one of the principal concerns of Bushman shamans, and it is curious that the area in which the AmaTola lived has an unusually high concentration of paintings that relate to this activity; Likoaeng and Sehonghong both have such scenes and a third lies between them, all within just a few kilometres of each other.53 Some 40 km to the south, Melikane itself also has a prominent rain-animal painted on its walls. Is this concentration of rain-associated images because the AmaTola’s own commitment to keeping horses and other domestic animals necessitated a reliable supply of rain? Fortunately, we have quite a lot of information on Bushman rainmaking beliefs and practices, including one statement that explicitly alerts us to an equine connection. Describing how rain might be made, /Han6¼kass’o, a /Xam Bushman from the Northern Cape, said: Dead people rode the rain. Because the thongs with which they held it were like the horse’s reins, they bound the rain. They then rode the rain because they owned it.54

To understand this better we must realize that Bushmen, like the Navajo whom I discussed in Chapter 4, thought of rain as an animal, one that could be killed by a shaman in a dream, and perhaps also in other contexts. When this was done, the rain-animal’s blood, and (if it was female) its milk, fell to the ground and became rain. Quite what animal was involved varied: some images, though clearly mammalian and quadrupedal, are impossible to associate definitely with any one species. Others are obviously snakes, eland, or, sometimes, cattle or hippopotami. Cattle, of course, were ridden by Khoe-speaking and Xhosa-speaking pastoralists long before any of southern Africa’s Indigenous peoples knew of horses, so /Han6¼kass’o’s reference to reins could be of fair antiquity, but some Maloti-Drakensberg paintings suggest that the connection between rain-animals and horses was more than just noting a similarity of kit.

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At Bushman’s Nek, for example, on the South African side of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment, there is another conflated eland/horse image, but in this case the animal clearly has reins attached to it. We also know that in many instances raiders used heavy rain as a cover for their operations. In fact, in one instance, in December 1850, a mounted raiding party escaping back over the Escarpment halted briefly so that one of its members could blow on an eland horn and produce rain (which duly fell in torrents, causing those in pursuit to fall back!).55 A further link between horses and rain is implied at another site on the upper Mkhomazi River a little further north (Plate 30). The paintings here show a group of men on horseback hunting eland, but this scene is arranged around—and partly over—an older set of paintings focused on a large hippopotamus that seems to be being speared to death by several pedestrian hunters. Interestingly, a smaller hippopotamus, below the main one, has a horse painted over it and this horse has a hippo-like head. Hippopotami were, as I have already noted, one manifestation of the rain-animal, and in 1872 Edward Dunn saw an engraving of a group of Bushmen dragging a hippopotamus by a rope that he was told represented a rainmaking rite. The connections evident in the Mkhomazi and Bushman’s Nek paintings raise two possibilities: first, that horses themselves had begun to be thought of as rain-animals;56 second, that where eland are shown being chased and killed by men on horseback those hunts evoked the idea of the rain-animal (the eland, in this case) being killed and may not therefore have a purely literal interpretation. Killing the Rain in the form of an eland was explicitly described in /Xam Bushman mythology, and the wider link between eland and rain is also well established among other Bushman groups.57 As well as being linked conceptually to the rain, horses also became sources of healing. Even today, Bushmen engage in healing dances in which shamans enter a trance to access the spiritual potency of animals in order to cure the sick and protect everyone else from falling ill. Horses are represented in several scenes from the Maloti-Drakensberg that, from the position and gestures of those taking part, clearly relate to such dances, including some images that are part human, part horse.58 A good example from Bushman’s Nek depicts six horses, one of which is being ridden. Four have exaggerated tails, three of them feathered or hatched. One of these horses also has feathered ears and a line emanating from its nose. The horse at the top of the scene

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appears to have collapsed and is being attended by two people. Initial interpretation of these images emphasized the link between the elongated, feathered tails and ears of some of the horses and the feelings of bodily attenuation, tingling skin, and hair growth reported by Bushman shamans. More recent work suggests that the ‘tails’ may represent the ‘threads of light’ along which shamans walk in their trance and notes that paired feathered appendages also adorn dancers at other sites where horses are painted.59 One final point about horses and rock art is worth making. In or just before 1872 a party led by Chief Moorosi visited some of the last Bushmen to occupy Sehonghong Shelter.60 Interviewed some 50–60 years later, a woman who had belonged to that party as a teenage girl remembered seeing a group of men painting on the shelter’s walls. Sadly, she did not recall—or was not asked—what they painted, but she did note how they painted, using brushes made from horse bristles fixed to a stick using an animal tendon.61 Horses were, therefore, not only a major component of mid-nineteenth-century Maloti-Drakensberg rock art, but could be instrumental in its creation. And, in the light of the evidence we have just examined, was this because they not only helped make good paintbrushes, but also made brushes that were good (i.e. supernaturally powerful) with which to paint?

The end of the ride The development of a raiding economy in the nineteenth-century Maloti-Drakensberg was previously thought to have encouraged a shift away from a more egalitarian hunter-gatherer society towards one in which greater hierarchical distinctions were apparent. Shamans were identified as the individuals best able to profit from the growing conflict and inter-group tensions of the time, being responsible for organizing raids and the distribution of their proceeds, for easing the psychological stress that increasing violence brought, and for making rain for neighbouring Bantu-speaking farmers.62 Much of this analysis remains valid, and with specific reference to the acquisition of horses it is worth noting that, in the late twentieth-century central Kalahari, their use for hunting large game did lead to a greater concentration of the resulting meat in the hands of the horse owner and his immediate

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friends and relations. Traditional sharing, in other words, was reduced, in part because those without horses could not readily give meat back to those who did have them.63 In this particular case, anthropologists may have recorded in action the emergence of incipient differences in status and access to basic resources of the kind that we have seen associated with the adoption of the horse in other parts of the world. Returning to the Maloti-Drakensberg, nineteenth-century references to the AmaTola—and other Bushman groups—being led by ‘chiefs’ support this. At least in some cases, these individuals controlled the distribution of arrow poison to their followers and might have more than one wife; greater access to European material goods (through trade and theft) may also have generated increasing concerns for status enhancement and differentiation. Finally, in the home range of Nqabayo, one of the Bushman chiefs named in colonial sources, paintings of human figures that are distinguished from others by reason of their size or features also hint at the emergence of distinctions within Maloti-Drakensberg societies.64 Such distinctions, and the raiding economy on which they were partly founded, did not last. In 1858 a group of Basotho settled on the southern edge of the Maloti-Drakensberg, followed by a large force of Griqua in 1861–63. Only a few years later the Orange Free State defeated Moshoeshoe I’s Basotho kingdom and annexed its territories west of the Caledon River; as a result thousands of Basotho moved to the Maloti Mountains, a process that confinement within Lesotho’s present boundaries and a growing population accelerated over the following decades.65 For Bushmen the result was a gradual loss of land and restriction of opportunity, such that by the early 1870s many were living and intermarrying with the Bantu-speaking communities around them. Some attempted to retain their autonomy, but where this involved raids against Basotho livestock counter-raids followed. Notoriously, the Bushman leader Soai and many of his followers were killed at Sehonghong Shelter around 1872, and on their journey through the Lesotho highlands in December 1873 British officers James Grant and James Orpen encountered no free-living Bushmen at all.66 One of the last Bushman groups in Lesotho was attacked and its members killed or dispersed at the end of that same decade. Thereafter, only scattered individuals survived west or east of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment, maintaining a quasi-independent

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Figure 9.8. Basotho riders in the Hololo Valley of northern Lesotho, 1990. Copyright: Peter Mitchell.

existence on the periphery of Basotho, Xhosa, and Zulu settlements before their physical and cultural assimilation was complete.67 Though the late 1800s therefore brought an end to Bushman riders and raiders in the Maloti-Drakensberg, they did not spell the end for the close association between its human and equine inhabitants. That tie persisted, and persists today, but transferred to the Basotho, the Bantu-speaking population at the core of the modern kingdom of Lesotho (Figure 9.8).68 Basotho first acquired horses around 1829, possibly from a Griqua or Korana source, and rapidly built up a competence in riding and mounted warfare; by 1842 the Basotho king, Moshoeshoe I, could marshal several hundred warriors on horseback, who used European saddles and other horse gear. Moshoeshoe and other chiefs initially regulated access to horses just as they sought to control access to cattle (the traditional source of wealth) and guns. However, growing Basotho grain exports in the 1850s and 1860s, followed by opportunities to work on the Kimberley diamond fields after 1869, made such restrictions increasingly difficult to maintain. Horse ownership was thus gradually democratized, though even today it retains strong associations with men and masculinity; only rarely do

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women ride horses. Horses’ wider significance extends to being used in bridewealth payments, featuring in praise poems, and being represented in painted or charcoal-drawn rock art. A comprehensive study of what horses mean in Basotho society is still nevertheless very much needed.

Australia: bringing in the brumby Horses arrived in Australia, the second Old World region featured in this chapter, with the first British settlers in 1788, though this followed almost two centuries of fleeting contact by various European mariners (Figure 9.9). Whether as convicts and or freemen, British settlers (equine and human alike) rapidly colonized the continent, transforming large swathes of it into landscapes dominated by commercial cultivation and the ranching of a few of the many species introduced

Figure 9.9. Map of Australasia showing sites and localities mentioned in the text. 1 Adelaide (South Australia); 2 Alice Springs (Northern Territory); 3 Inthanoona (Western Australia); 4 Laura (Queensland); 5 Strangways Station and Warriner’s Creek (South Australia); 6 Uluru (Northern Territory); 7 Auckland (New Zealand). Copyright and courtesy: Rachel King.

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as part of Australia’s own Columbian exchange (especially cattle, sheep, and wheat). In contrast, Australia’s Aboriginal inhabitants had evolved countless intricate ways of making a living based on detailed knowledge of its many indigenous plant and animal resources.69 Some they managed creatively by burning sections of the landscape to encourage new growth or replanting tubers, but they did not farm in any way that was recognizable to European settlers.70 Indeed, it seems likely that neither the marsupials that formed almost all of Australia’s indigenous mammals nor its many food plants are biologically predisposed to survive and reproduce under close human control.71 Dogs, where kept, functioned as companions and sometimes as hunting aids, but they were not sources of food, and pigs, though important in the highlands of New Guinea to the north, never made it across the Torres Strait separating that island’s southern coast from Australia’s far north. Many of the animals the British brought to Australia spread rapidly in advance of formal European settlement, foxes, cats, and rabbits, among them. The first feral horses (or brumbies) had escaped from farms in New South Wales by 1804 at the latest and within forty years were found across the continent.72 They were already regarded as pests by the 1860s and their impact on Australia’s ecology was readily evident only a decade later.73 As in other parts of the world, they encouraged soil erosion and compaction, trampled vegetation, and precipitated changes in the composition of indigenous animal and plant communities. In Australia, however, with its tens of millions of years of comparative isolation from the rest of the world, the scale of these impacts is perhaps greater than anywhere else.74 Horses often moved faster than European settlers. In 1844, for example, an exploration party led by Ludwig Leichhardt saw one on Dawson’s River in eastern Queensland, 1,000 km from the nearest sheep station. Seventeen years later John McKinlay had a similar experience at Cooper Creek, in the southwest of the same state.75 Knowledge of horses probably spread even faster, given the complex webs of exchange that linked Aboriginal societies from one end of the continent together. The widespread diffusion of some of the terms used for them supports this. Yarraman, for example, which was invented by people living around Batemans Bay, in southern New South Wales, came to be used all over eastern Australia, from Cape York in the north to the Bass Strait in the south. It also reached into central Australia, where, north of Alice Springs, the Warlpiri borrowed it

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from their eastern neighbours, the Warumungu. There, it intersected with the spread of a second term, nantu, which originated around Adelaide on Australia’s south coast.76 As in the Americas and southern Africa, horses were a subject of both curiosity and anxiety. For example, when meeting those of John Stuart in 1858 at Warriner’s Creek, deep in South Australia’s interior, Arabana people were surprised to learn that they drank, and how much.77 Other Aborigines, like some Native Americans, initially thought that horse and rider were one or that horses could talk.78 Bemusement did not, however, last for long. The evidence is disparate and diffuse, difficult to bring together. Yet sufficient survives, both in the historical record and in the form of rock art, to indicate something of how Aboriginal Australians made sense of the horse and tried to make use of it. As things turned out, that use emerged largely—though not exclusively—in the context of a ranching industry focused on sheep- and cattle-herding. Horse Nations of the kind we have met in the Americas or southern Africa did not develop. Australia therefore comes close to being a control case for understanding how Horse Nations evolved in those other parts of the world.

Aborigines meet the horse Henry Reynolds’ landmark book The Other Side of the Frontier helped shift views of Aboriginal Australians from passive victims to active agents in the story of the continent’s colonization and settlement by Europeans.79 It offers several vignettes of how Aboriginals interacted with the horses that those new settlers brought with them. In Queensland, for example, some Aborigines stole horses, using sheets of bark as a substitute for saddles. They also gave them food and used corrals and hobbles to prevent them from straying. In at least some instances horses were used to drive away cattle from settlers’ farms. A song recorded there before 1883 recalls the challenge that controlling them posed, though the incidents just described make plain that this was also something that could be overcome.80 Sometimes this formed part of more sustained efforts to resist European incursions. Along Queensland’s Palmer River during the gold rush of the 1870s and early 1880s, for example, raids for sheep and cattle often emphasized wet conditions that impaired pursuing horsemen, while horses themselves might

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be deliberately killed in order to immobilize their owners. Such attacks were among the most effective tactics available to Aboriginals seeking to resist settler advance. We know from a better-researched case study—that of the introduction of domestic dogs to the Indigenous people of Tasmania in the early 1800s81—that Aboriginals could be astonishingly quick at integrating such new and previously unsuspected resources into their economies, mythologies, and religious practices. A horse dance recorded by George Augustus Robinson in Tasmania itself helps document this and recalls the cattle dances of late nineteenth-century Queensland. These featured pitched battles between Aboriginals and individuals imitating Europeans and invoked magic to control or contend with the animals that the British had brought, something that perhaps also held true in the Tasmanian case.82 Rock art formed a key part of the ideological resources of Aboriginal societies right across Australia, validating and demonstrating ancestral knowledge and asserting and legitimizing claims to the land and its resources. It is thus not surprising that, at several times and in many places, Europeans and the animals that they had introduced should feature in it, horses included. Sometimes, however, the motivation for making such images was more secular. At Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia’s desert core, for example, a white man riding a horse and another shooting a bullock are juxtaposed next to ceremonial paintings at one of the mountain’s most sacred sites, the horses executed (probably by Aboriginal pastoral workers) in a new material, charcoal, rather than paint.83 And the horse depicted in a shelter on Bickerton Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria off Australia’s northern coast was painted— according to the artist, Balrumba—‘to show other Aborigines what they looked like’!84 Other instances probably reflect more complex concerns. At Laura in Queensland, for example, how horses were represented plainly derives from the earlier experience of depicting (and understanding?) kangaroos (Figure 9.10). Specifically, the horses there display a generalized marsupial silhouette that includes the marked thickening of the thighs of the hind legs found in images of kangaroos; in one case the horse also has clearly shortened forelegs, just as in a wallaby or kangaroo. On the other hand, they have been modified to accommodate horse-like tails, hoofs, ears, and muzzles, and some are exceptionally large, up to 5.5 m long in one instance. Riders,

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Figure 9.10. Copy of the image of a horse and rider painted in black with white lining, Black Horse Rider Gallery, Laura, Queensland. Drawn by Thomas Dewhurst and reproduced courtesy of Bob Layton (Layton 1992: 122). Copyright: Cambridge University Press.

where shown, are depicted standing on their horse’s back or merging into it. Overall, the paintings give the impression of people trying to make sense of novelties, spelling them out more explicitly, and on a grander scale than was needed when representing more traditional subject matter.85

The archaeology of Australian pastoralism In a few instances Aboriginal men found employment with horses as members of mounted police squadrons, particularly in Queensland and central Australia. For most, however, direct involvement with them came via the ranching industry that spearheaded much of the European settlement of Australia’s interior. Especially in central and northern Australia, many of the known examples of horses in rock art are associated with pastoralism in the form of images of hat-wearing European men, guns, livestock, and even cattle brands.86 Much of

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Figure 9.11. These nineteenth-century Aboriginal rock engravings at Inthanoona in the Pilbara region, Ngarluma country, Western Australia, include a horseman as well as several other figures that probably represent European pastoralists. Copyright and courtesy: Alastair Paterson. Reproduced with kind permission of Ngarluma.

this art is plainly visible and is thus unlikely to have had any esoteric significance; interestingly, despite the fact that Aborigines were often employed to look after sheep, it is horses that feature in it, most likely because of their obvious associations with both work and power (Figure 9.11).87 Several archaeological studies of the development of ranching economies in Australia have now been undertaken.88 Once British settlers found ways through the mountains of the Great Dividing Range in 1815, sheep-based pastoralism expanded rapidly over the grasslands of New South Wales’ interior, fed by growing international demand for wool. Livestock also spearheaded the inland movement of settlers in the other Australian colonies, for example Queensland and South Australia by the 1840s and Western Australia’s Pilbara Range in the middle of the next decade. A further expansion, beginning in the late nineteenth century, focused on cattle rather than sheep and brought

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Figure 9.12. A view of the Hermit Hill and Finniss Springs in South Australia in 1875 showing an Indigenous stockman holding a horse. Both Aboriginal men and women were looking after sheep here at this time (Giles 1889).

the industry into the drylands and savannahs of the continent’s north and centre. Aboriginal people were essential throughout this process, both for their labour and their knowledge of local environments. Keen to learn how to ride, they quickly became proficient in moving and caring for all forms of livestock, something as true in many cases of women and girls as of men and boys (Figure 9.12).89 Sheep and cattle stations often became foci of Aboriginal aggregation, especially where they offered rations as well as the possibility of accessing other European goods, such as metal or glass for making ‘stone’ tools (Figure 9.13).90 Though some work was permanent in nature, the seasonal nature of much of it meant that when labour demands were low people still had plenty of time in which to maintain traditional ritual and exchange activities and—at least to some degree—campsites of their own that preserve

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Figure 9.13. Aerial photograph of the ruins of Strangways Sheep Station, central Australia. An Anabara campsite (S 240), occupied both before and after British arrival in the area lies about 900 m to the northwest (upper left) of the area seen here. Copyright and courtesy: Alistair Paterson.

evidence of access to European goods, sometimes even including rare horseshoes.91 Conversely, the greater ease with which younger men found employment, new skills (such as riding), and opportunities to learn English and acquire European goods could lead them to challenge the social controls traditionally vested in their elders.92 To a degree, then, pastoralism was not wholly a matter of exploitation and control, but offered Aboriginals scope for retaining and negotiating their economic and cultural autonomy in a new world. In some cases, a few people of mixed Aboriginal/European descent were even able to acquire grazing licences and cattle ranches of their own.93 In others, Aboriginals used newly acquired skills and trappings (horse gear, European clothing, etc.) to develop distinctive pastoralist identities of their own, identities now seen in some communities as significant for maintaining traditional connections to sacred sites and landscapes and reproducing customary ownership of the land.94 What did not happen, however, at any point was the emergence of equestrian

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Aboriginal societies in any way akin to those we have come across earlier in this book. The reasons for this are complex, and I shall return to them in Chapter 10. Here, it is worth singling out the extreme rapidity of British expansion, which, in barely more than eighty years from the first settlement in 1788, established colonies around most of the continent’s periphery and crossed it from north to south. In the words of Henry Reynolds, this speed ‘precluded the possibility of a gradual acquisition of the techniques of horsemanship’.95 The devastation wrought by smallpox and other diseases, not just to Aboriginal numbers but also to traditional systems of knowledge, economic production, and social and biological reproduction, massively reinforced this.96 Unlike much of North America, no centuries-long gap intervened between the first virgin soil epidemics and the arrival of large numbers of European settlers: in many parts of Australia the interval was measured in decades. Finally, we must recall that Australia is the world’s driest continent and that in those parts of it where colonization was relatively delayed (the centre and the north) that aridity (or, in the ‘Top End’, the challenges of a disease-ridden, monsoonal climate) made horsekeeping exceptionally difficult, even for Europeans. Aboriginal Australians, in sum, had little time and few, if any, places in which equestrian societies could develop and be maintained. The contrast with another part of the Antipodes is informative.

Water monsters and people-carrying dogs: the horse in New Zealand People first came to New Zealand in the thirteenth century. Their arrival led to the rapid extinction of some of the islands’ most attractive food resources, including the big, flightless birds known as moas (Dinornis spp.).97 Thereafter, Ma¯ori depended primarily on a mix of sweet potato cultivation, hunting, and gathering. Many of the resources that their ancestors had used in warmer parts of Polynesia, including pigs, chickens, and bananas, either failed to reach New Zealand or could not survive in its colder, temperate climate; others, like taro and yams, could be grown only in isolated pockets. Ma¯ori therefore seized the opportunities that contact and trade with Europeans began to offer from the end of the eighteenth century to acquire new

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subsistence resources, such as pigs, potatoes, and wheat. So successful were they in this that they were soon selling foodstuffs to the European whalers, sailors, and missionaries who had begun settling along the New Zealand coast. It was in this context that horses first arrived, a present delivered in the Bay of Islands just before Christmas 1814 at the instigation of Samuel Marsden, a missionary who imported them as an aid to transport and farming.98 Almost immediately, some were gifted to Ma¯ori leaders, a process furthered by other missionaries and then by the first British governors (after formal annexation in 1840). Others were acquired by trading land, exchanging produce such as flax, pigs, and potatoes, or theft. Though precise data are lacking, we know that horses were highly sought after and that they were relatively widespread among the Ma¯ori of New Zealand’s North Island by 1857. At that point the Mataatua and Tu¯wharetoa tribes in the Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, and Taupu districts owned almost two thousand of them.99 In some respects Ma¯ori use of horses greatly resembled their employment in British New Zealand society (Plate 31), even to the point of competing in Auckland’s first official race meeting in 1842, importing thoroughbred stock, and eventually organizing race meetings of their own. But horses were also socialized in distinctly Ma¯ori ways: included in wedding and funeral processions, associated, like firearms, with chiefly mana (spiritual power), and used in compensation payments for offences such as adultery. At the same time, they were attributed agency of their own, as when the horse responsible for the death in 1875 of the wife of Rawhira Te Ara-moana was taken to the scene of the ‘crime’ and executed. More practically, horses found ready employment in travel, agriculture, guiding Europeans, and as mail couriers, a business almost entirely in Ma¯ori hands until the 1860s. The skills needed to ride well and care for the animals were propagated not just orally, but also in Ma¯ori newspapers, the first of which appeared in the late 1850s.100 Perhaps apocryphally, when one of the earliest horses to be brought to New Zealand was seen swimming ashore it was first thought to be a taniwha (water monster).101 More generally, though, horses were termed kurı¯ (‘dog’), sometimes kurı¯ waha tangata (‘people-carrying dog’), or simply ho¯iho (a Ma¯ori transliteration of the English word). Reflecting these straightforward designations, horses found little place in cosmology or myth, though the white horse belonging to the Ma¯ori

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prophet Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki was held to be sacred (tapu) and associated with one of the horses of the Christian Apocalypse described in the Book of Revelation.102 The horses used by him and his followers in their struggle against colonial forces between 1868 and 1872 may have contributed to the feral population now living in the Kaimanawa Mountains in the central part of North Island (Figure 2.3), a population treasured today by the Nga¯ti Tu¯wharetoa and Nga¯ti Tama Whiti subtribes, despite the ecological damage the animals cause to fragile wetlands and tussocklands.103 Environmental consequences of this kind are, of course, one of the global results of the horse’s spread. The next and final chapter, Chapter 10, looks at this and other topics as part of a comparative discussion and evaluation of the horse’s impact on Indigenous societies worldwide post-1492.

Notes 1. While individual zebras may be tamed, they are impossible to domesticate. Oxen were ridden by Khoe herders in the Cape region of southwestern and western South Africa and by Xhosa farmers in the Eastern Cape, who likely learned how to do this from the Khoe. Archaeological evidence shows that this was happening by at least nine hundred years ago (Smith 1993). 2. In selecting a heading for this section, I have borrowed the phrase ‘Reins of power’ from Sandra Swart (2010), whose survey of horses in South African history is a first-rate work of scholarship. 3. The abbreviation derives from the Company’s official title, Generale Vereenigde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde Oostindische Compagnie or General United Dutch Chartered East India Company. 4. Mitchell (2002: 385–406) summarizes the history of VOC and trekboer presence in South Africa with particular reference to archaeological evidence. Papers in Elphick and Gilliomee (1989) provide a more documentary-based perspective. 5. Following an earlier brief period of British control from 1795 to 1803. Unusually, horses, or perhaps mules, but not oxen, draw the wagons painted at Stompiesfontein in the mountains north of Cape Town, probably sometime after 1750 (Yates et al. 1993). 6. The situation is actually more complex: in the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains (broadly focused on what is now Lesotho) cold, rather than rainfall, kept farmers out of areas over about 1,500 m above sea level. On the other hand, place-name evidence suggests that some farmers in the northwest of South Africa briefly occupied areas that now receive only 250 mm of rain a year, presumably at a time when conditions were significantly wetter than today (Mitchell 2002: 349).

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7. Mitchell (2002: 400–2). 8. Wadley (2001); Ouzman (2005: 101–2). 9. A single rock engraving site at which horse images were ground into the surface of a sandstone boulder is also known (Ouzman 2005: 103). 10. Ouzman (2005: 105–6). Another horse-headed snake, this time with reins but brush- rather than finger-painted, has recently been identified in western Lesotho, less than 100 km southeast of the Korannaberg (Mallen 2011: 28, 30). 11. Wadley (2001). 12. Ouzman (2005: 110). 13. Engelbrecht (1936: 164). 14. Ouzman (2005: 110–12). 15. Penn (2005: 124, 135). Van der Merwe (1988: 50) notes that a commando (a military expedition formed by border farmers) sent against the Bushman leader Vlamink in 1792 found four horses, a saddle, and a bridle in his camp, but the principal booty that he and his followers had taken consisted of cattle and sheep. Figures for the period from mid-1786 to the end of 1788 in the Graaff-Reinet district (the eastern part of the Cape colony) attest to the loss of over 6,000 cattle and almost 18,000 sheep and goats, but only 99 horses (van der Merwe 1988: 16). 16. McGranaghan (2012: 296). 17. McGranaghan (2012: 353–4). 18. Swart (2010: 195–6). 19. In at least some cases Bushmen took advantage of outbreaks of horse sickness that had killed or disabled trekboer mounts to undertake raids, for example in the Roggeveld region on the southeastern edge of the Karoo in 1807–08 (van der Merwe 1988: 84). 20. African horse sickness is spread by two species of the genus Culicoides, but this was only finally established in the 1990s. Vaccination still does not give complete protection (Brown 2008). 21. Drakensberg is Dutch for ‘Dragon Mountains’, while uKhahlamba, the Zulu name, means ‘Barrier of Spears’; both refer to the escarpment’s almost impenetrable nature. The Sotho term Maloti (‘Mountains’) extends to the broader highland region of eastern and central Lesotho as a whole. The composite form Maloti-Drakensberg therefore refers to both the Basotho and South African parts of the region. 22. Vinnicombe (1976: 149). 23. Peires (1981: 155–6, 253, note 151). 24. Challis (2008: 143). 25. Wright (1971, 2007). 26. Gill (1993). 27. Wright (1971); Vinnicombe (1976). 28. Campbell (1987). Horses are much more commonly painted in the area where the AmaTola lived than in those associated with the groups led by

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29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.

36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.

42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

49. 50.

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Mdwebo and Nqabayo, the other two ‘Bushman’ groups about whom we know most (Challis 2008: 238). But they were not absent: of a party of 117 men, women, and children led by Mdwebo encountered by a Natal settler, Jacobus Uys, in mid-1846, at least 30 of the men were mounted (Wright 2007: 122). Challis (2012: 266). Challis (2012: 280). Challis (2008: 244). Challis (2008: 243–4). Challis (2012). Ambrose et al. (2000: 41). Archaeological evidence suggests that zebras disappeared from the Lesotho highlands about three thousand years ago (Plug and Mitchell 2008); they were certainly not seen by the first literate observers to travel through the region in the 1860s to 1880s. Instead, large game was limited to eland (which browse rather than graze) and hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), which weigh about 120–150 kg compared to a horse’s 380–550 kg. Smaller species like grey rhebuck (Pelea capreolus) and mountain reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula) were—and are still—also present. Wright (2007: 124). Mitchell (2009). Challis (2008: 238). Vinnicombe (1976: 72). Vinnicombe (1976: 290–1). The ‘6¼’ at the start of this word represents a click sound (specifically, the alveolar click, produced by pulling the tongue sharply away from the alveolar ridge immediately behind the teeth), one of several typical of Bushman languages. Osaki (1984). Vinnicombe (1976: 147), citing How (1970: 45, 51), who illustrates a Bushman saddle sketched by her grandfather around 1867 and donated to the British Museum. Wright (1971: 128, 188); Vinnicombe (1976: 47–8, 62, 90). Mitchell et al. (2008). Wright (1971) and Vinnicombe (1976: 9–104) summarize the evidence. Challis (2012: 270). The following discussion draws heavily on this paper, but see also Challis (2014, in press). The connection that Challis (2012) discerns between horses and baboons is striking, all the more so for what is missing from the painted record, that is, any suggestion, however minimal, of a link between horses and the domestic animals that were already known, especially dogs and cattle. Images of Power is the title of a general survey of Bushman rock art by Lewis-Williams and Dowson (1999). Vinnicombe (1976).

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Mazel (2009); Bonneau et al. (2012). Campbell (1987: 87–90). Challis et al. (2008, 2013). Hollmann (2004: 149). /Han6¼kass’o’s name and that of his native language, /Xam, incorporate a second click sound, ‘/’, produced by a sucking motion with the tip of the tongue on the teeth, akin to the English reproof ‘tisk, tisk’. 55. Vinnicombe (1976: 42, 50, 331). 56. Campbell (1987: 82); Challis (2008: 306). 57. Lewis-Williams (1981: 106–10). 58. Challis (2008: 285). 59. Campbell (1987: 77–82); Challis (2008: 281). 60. Moorosi was chief of the BaPhuthi, a group speaking a dialect very similar to the Basotho that lived in what is now southern Lesotho. His followers had close connections with the Bushmen of the Lesotho highlands (Gill 1993). 61. This account, by a woman named Elisabetha ‘Male´ke`tanyane´ Moˆhanoe`, was first published in French by Ellenberger (1953: 148–9). Mitchell (2006/07) provides a more detailed commentary of it and her other remarks. 62. Campbell (1987). 63. Osaki (1984), who notes that increased group size and commercial sales of meat also worked to limit sharing. 64. Blundell (2004). Nqabayo’s group lived to the south of AmaTola territory and such images are virtually absent there. One of Blundell’s Significantly Differentiated Figures is, however, present at Sehonghong Shelter, which was probably within the AmaTola range at least at some point in the 1800s (Vinnicombe 2009: 184, note 14). 65. Gill (1993). 66. Mitchell and Challis (2008); Mitchell (2010). 67. Blundell (2004); Wright and Mazel (2007); Prins (2009); Vinnicombe (2009). 68. Swart (2010: 76–102). 69. The most recent survey of Aboriginal prehistory is by Hiscock (2008). 70. Denham et al. (2009). 71. Flannery (1994); Diamond (1999). 72. The origins of the term ‘brumby’ are unclear. 73. Low (1999). 74. Observed impacts extend to marsupial numbers and community composition. Horses also undoubtedly favoured the spread of Eurasian grasses that, unlike the native vegetation, had evolved in association with ungulate grazers (Nimmo and Miller 2007). 75. Reynolds (2006: 18). 76. Reynolds (2006: 21). 77. Paterson (2005a: 281–2).

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the old world: southern africa and australasia 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87.

88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102.

103.

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Reynolds (2006: 27–8). Reynolds (2006). Reynolds (2006: 52–3). Boyce (2006). Reynolds (2006: 51). Frederick (1999). Turner (1973: 317); Mountford (1977: 174). Rosenfeld (1982). Layton (1992). Paterson (2008: 196). By way of example, the engravings at Inthanoona Station in northwestern Australia’s Pilbara region feature twenty-six animals of European introduction; all those that can be identified, including sixteen animals being ridden, are unequivocally horses (Paterson 2008: 194). For example, Head and Fullagar (1997); Harrison (2004); and Paterson (2005b, 2006, 2008, 2010). Paterson (2005a: 286, 2008: 176); Reynolds (2006: 162, 175). The initial stimulus came when the transportation of convicts to New South Wales ceased in the 1840s, followed by the gold rush of the 1850s (Harrison 2004: 26). Paterson (2005b). Head and Fullagar (1997); Paterson (2008: 90, 118 for horseshoes at S240 and I5, two post-contact Arabana campsites on Strangways Station, northern South Australia). Reynolds (2006: 134). Paterson (2005a: 284) with reference to the Murchison Range of northcentral Australia. Gill and Paterson (2007). Reynolds (2006: 52). Kimber (1988). Wilmshurst et al. (2011); Oskam et al. (2012). Mincham (2008: 37). Mincham (2008: 237–8). Mincham (2008: 235–62). Po¯mare (1930: 119). . Revelation 6:2: ‘And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.’ . The broader significance of horses and horsemanship in modern Ma¯ori culture was captured in the thirteen-part television series Ho¯iho broadcast on Ma¯ori Television in 2012 (). Rogers (1991) discusses the ecological impact of the Kaimanawa herd.

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10 Putting Horse Nations in Context ‘Once on horseback whole peoples see entirely new potential both in the land they ride above and within themselves’ (West 1998: 56)

‘They took to the horses, and the horses took to them, and they both changed’ (Chamberlin 2007: 14)

S

et against the millennia in which people have herded or hunted horses, the few centuries on which this book concentrates were short-lived. Only 350 years, or 14 human generations, passed between the Araucanians and Chichimecs first acquiring horses and the worldwide closure of colonial frontiers at the close of the nineteenth century. Yet in that time many different equestrian adaptations emerged. This chapter looks for patterning within them and sets out some of the directions in which future studies of Horse Nations might progress. It also draws parallels with the historical experience of equestrian nomads in Eurasia and the ethnically mixed cattle frontiers of Latin America, asks how far an equestrian way of life turned those who committed to it into pastoralists, and enquires into the circumstances—ecological and political—that favoured, or discouraged, the adoption of horses. Recognizing their agency, as well as that of people, it tries to gauge the importance of horses relative to other factors in the histories of the societies that adopted them, before asking where those Horse Nations are now.

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The variety of Horse Nations Having looked at four continents, four centuries, and well over forty Indigenous groups, what stands out is surely the diversity of Native societies that made horses their own. Employed to hunt deer to make European trousers in eighteenth-century Mississippi, on the North American Plains horses led to a wholesale reorganization of how people used bows and arrows to kill bison. In Patagonia, by contrast, where guanaco and rhea were the main prey, they encouraged that same technology to disappear, replaced by a much older weapons system, the bolas, while in southern Africa eland came to be killed with metal spears, not poisoned arrows. The variety of ways in which people hunted from horseback offer just one illustration of an unsurprising fact: not all Horse Nations were alike. Much the same can be said of the details of the equipment people employed to ride, or the variations in how they transported household possessions, and even houses: the travois, for example, was unique to the Plains and to nearby groups influenced by their inhabitants. The numbers in which horses were kept (most Blackfoot had only one per person, many Comanche as many as a dozen), the ways in which their origin was explained, how far they formed the subject of elaborate mythologies and rituals (contrast the richness of Navajo thought in this respect with the relative poverty of Ma¯ori, or even Kadiwe´u, beliefs), the very length of time for which the acquaintance endured (perhaps 40 years for the AmaTola compared to 450—and counting—for the Mapuche): the variation goes on and on.1 Being an archaeologist, one way of trying to bring variation under control is to construct a typology, a system of classification. All such systems run the risk of creating distinctions which are sharper and more inflexible than is justified, of squeezing out fine differences for the sake of definition. But for the sake of illuminating some of the variety that we have looked at, the risk is worth taking. Most discussions of the adoption of horses by Indigenous societies post-1492 have focused on those that used them to hunt large game that was needed for both dietary and other reasons. In almost all cases the peoples concerned were already mobile and living off wild plant and animal resources before they obtained horses.2 This combination of mobility, hunting and gathering, and horses characterizes those

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whom we can term ‘equestrian nomads’, always bearing in mind that ‘nomad’ here implies structured, not random, movements.3 The mobile bison hunters of North America and the guanaco hunters of the Patagonian steppes both fall into place here. So too do the Horse Nations of the Gran Chaco and the Pampas, though in these cases the large animal that made equestrian nomadism possible was itself a feral species of European introduction, the cow. Moreover, on the Pampas, in particular, hunting wild cattle eventually gave way to herding live ones, a point to which I return shortly. This brings us to our second grouping, societies for whom having horses was important not merely because they conferred greater mobility in hunting, warfare, and raiding, but because they facilitated the acquisition and subsequent care of other domestic animals. Sheep among the Mbaya´ of the Chaco and the Navajo of the American Southwest, sheep and cattle on the Pampas and in northern Patagonia, these plus goats and donkeys besides among Wayu´u on the La Guajira Peninsula—at various points in time and in quite diverse regions of the western hemisphere horses helped create pastoralist societies for whom livestock assumed a major economic and social role. Comanches, too, if Pekka Ha¨ma¨la¨inen is correct in his analysis of their historical trajectory in the first half of the nineteenth century,4 eventually embarked on this path, one that reminds us of the economy and subsistence strategies of horse-riding nomads in central Eurasia. And an ocean and more away, many Aboriginal Australians became acquainted with horses within a ranching context. Keeping horses—or having the desire to acquire (more of ) them— encouraged both equestrian nomads and pastoralists to raid. But in at least two parts of the world the link between horses and raiding was particularly intense. To be sure, AmaTola, Miwok, and Yokuts hunted from horseback and kept and raised at least some horses and cattle of their own. But in the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains east of South Africa’s Golden Gate National Park as much as in California, America’s Golden State, Indigenous communities emphasized horses as a resource to be removed from others with whom they were at war in an intense, bitter, and ultimately unsuccessful struggle for land. In both cases, other shared characteristics of this strategy of ‘defensive resistance’ included the consumption of horseflesh,5 a tendency to ignore other targets (European settlers and—in California—domestic cattle

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and feral horses), and the ability to retreat into terrain that was exceptionally difficult for pursuers to penetrate. A fourth and final group comprises those Indigenous populations who were already heavily committed to farming when horses became available. For them, adopting horses had therefore to fit an agenda set by the requirements of sedentism, horticulture, and communities that were typically more stable, larger, and frequently more hierarchically structured than was the case for equestrian nomads, aspiring pastoralists, or defensive raiders. At the same time this fourth grouping is quite disparate in content and its motivations for acquiring horses varied greatly: to resist Spanish colonization in the case of sixteenth/seventeenth-century Araucanians;6 to transport deerskins to European traders among Choctaws and Creeks a century or so later in the American South;7 as part of a much wider acquisition of European technologies and knowledge but without the pressure of invasion and principally for reasons of prestige among nineteenth-century Ma¯ori in New Zealand.8 The challenges posed by integrating horses into such economically and politically more complex societies, challenges I discussed in Chapter 5 with respect to Pawnees, Arikaras, Hidatsas, and Mandans on North America’s Plains, emphasize that adopting the horse could involve a drawn-out process of ecological and cultural negotiation; it was not always a self-evident or unambiguous good.

The similarities of Horse Nations If Horse Nations differed in how they obtained the horse and what they did with it, there were, nevertheless, profound similarities between them. These similarities are all the more striking given the lack of contact between northern and southern South America, or between people living there and populations in North America or southern Africa. Some, of course, necessarily follow from the fact that people had horses and rode them: saddles, reins, bridles, stirrups, and so on, as well as some of the preferences for how horses were mounted or broken. At least in the Americas many such features also reflect a common inheritance—of horses and horse riding—from sixteenth-century Spanish conquistadores as much as the practicalities of equine biology and morphology. Other similarities are less expected and thus more revealing. For example, Coeurs d’Alene and Nez Perce´s in the northwestern United

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States skinned or stuffed and then displayed the hides of horses killed at the funerals of important men, just like people in the far south of Patagonia. More generally, horses might be sacrificed at the graveside and/or incorporated within the tomb among societies as distant from each other as Blackfoot on the Northern Plains and Kiowas in their south, and as readily by Navajos and Apaches in New Mexico as by Abipones, Mbaya´, and Mocovı´ on South America’s Gran Chaco. And where horses themselves were not interred, the association was often made by providing elements of horse harness: in this respect Texas’ Cogdell burial and Argentina’s Caepe Malal cemetery could almost be mirror images of each other.9 As well as participating in human rituals, horses found a home in human myths. Of hitherto unimaginable size, strength, and abilities, pregnant with the power to move at speeds and over distances hitherto difficult to conceive, horses needed to become part of the cosmologies that gave order and meaning to the world. One way this was achieved was by making conceptual links to animals that were already known and symbolically important, as discussed in Chapters 4 and 7, for example, with respect to Wayu´u and Choctaws. Calling horses after elk, deer, tapirs, caribou, guanaco, zebras, or kangaroos also served this purpose.10 So too did depicting horses in ways that emphasized their physical similarities with guanacos, kangaroos, or eland, even to the point of painting conflated creatures that did not exist in the physical world, or including them in myths of creation and primordial times, notwithstanding their historic arrival in the quite recent past. Indeed, as Franc¸ois-Rene´ Picon writes of the Navajo, ‘it is more probable that [these events] were so integrated that it was impossible to locate them anywhere other than at the time of origins for these myths give, in fact, the key to . . . society’.11 Once naturalized and explained, horses were widely credited with supernatural powers in healing injuries or sickness (Apaches, Navajos, the many Plains groups with horse medicine cults, Mapuche, Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen), making rain or promoting fertility (Navajo, Mapuche, Korana, Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen), and conferring blessings at initiations or other rites of passage (Apaches, Navajos, Ao´nik’enk). In the more day-to-day world, horses repeatedly gained traction as sources of political and economic power, something as true of Alberta as of Argentina, of New Zealand’s Ma¯ori as of Brazil’s Kadiwe´u. Possessing them in number was a visible sign of wealth, just as seizing

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them in raids, giving them away, or loaning them out added to one’s prestige. The bison, guanaco, or deer hides acquired by hunting on horseback could be transformed into articles of trade exchangeable for a variety of exotic, European-supplied status goods,12 though to do this women, in particular, may have had to work significantly harder, with implications in turn for their standing vis-a`-vis men (Comanches, Blackfoot, Pampas, Tehuelche). Those with few or no horses increasingly found themselves materially and socially impoverished in societies that were becoming less and less egalitarian (Comanches, Kiowas, Blackfoot, Plains Cree, Atsinas, Wayu´u, Guaykuru´, Mapuche, etc.), while in many cases horses also became essential for bridewealth payments when men sought wives. Externally, too, horses favoured the development of social inequalities: between Mbaya´ and their Guana´ dependents on the Gran Chaco, between Comanches and the Spanish/Mexican-ruled communities whom they raided in Texas, New Mexico, and south of the Rı´o Grande, and between Lakota and Arikara on the Northern Plains. That so many similarities can be detected in how Indigenous peoples in the Americas, southern Africa, and Australasia understood and used horses can be clarified if we recall that many of these features also find parallels among pastoral nomad societies in Eurasia.13 The reason is not, of course, one of historical connection, but rather resides in what horses are and what they allow people to do. Big and powerful creatures that massively extended the reach of human societies as mounts and pack animals; useful in hunting, warfare, and trade that itself could secure exotic, unusual, valuable items to signify and reinforce status and prestige; a means of (literally) elevating their riders over everyone else; initially rare and even later often difficult to maintain in large numbers— the consequences I have spelt out flow inescapably from horses’ physical character and the fact of their being ridden. For all the Indigenous societies that encountered them after 1492, horses had these qualities in abundance and even when they became more readily available what could be done with them ensured their continuing value.

Of perilous frontiers and pastoralists Perhaps the most critical equine quality of all was mobility, the capacity to transcend previous limits on human existence, to explode

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the scale of human life in both space and—by moving faster further— time. For precisely this reason Pekka Ha¨ma¨la¨inen uses the term ‘kinetic empire’ to emphasize how Comanche power structures on the Southern Plains of North America ‘revolved around a set of mobile activities’, activities made mobile by the horse.14 Long-distance trade and raiding were linked together by Comanche need to recruit captive horses, mules, cattle, and humans into their own society, but also by the marketability of those same commodities across the wider region. Exactly the same can be said of Guaykuru´ on the Gran Chaco and of Araucanians and Pampas in the Southern Cone. Natale Zappia’s analysis of California’s ‘interior world’, Ned Blackhawk’s study of the violent relationships prevailing in the Great Basin, and John Wright’s masterpiece on the Bushman raiders of southern Africa’s MalotiDrakensberg make the same point:15 Horse Nations frequently flourished best on the borderlands of empires, where imperial control was weak, fractured, and difficult to project or concentrate effectively against those with a secure hinterland into which to retreat. In places like these horses were not just creatures of rebellion:16 they were also animals of resistance. The alignment of horses with trading other produce that they helped create or could convey (animals, bison robes, quillangos, ponchos, etc.), taking captives, and raiding for livestock is far from unique to the Horse Nations of the post-1492 world. All characterize what Thomas Barfield, in the context of central Eurasia’s steppe nomads, has called the ‘perilous frontier’.17 Here, in the heartland of the Old World, successive nomad confederations from the Xiongnu in the third century bc to the Zunghars in the eighteenth century ad created ‘shadow empires’ in response to Chinese expansion, extorting wealth through raiding, tribute payments, border trade, and the re-export of luxury goods like silk. The singular military advantage that these nomad states possessed was their cavalry, backed up by a vast hinterland too unproductive to be worth colonizing by agrarian-based empires and too far from those empires’ cores for them to be able to use military power to bring the nomads to heel.18 Faced with three choices, none of them good, China typically opted for appeasement over military action or frontier fortification and denial of nomad demands. Barfield perhaps overstates the case for these nomad confederations being entirely secondary to successive episodes of Chinese unification and expansion—internal elite dynamics must also be

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considered, for example.19 Nevertheless, access to exotic products of Chinese origin was crucial to their survival.20 Such products (silk, wine, metalwork, etc.) served as prestige goods that simultaneously defined and enhanced nomad leaders’ status and, once redistributed, secured the loyalty of their followers. Only in the eighteenth century when China’s Qing Dynasty and, from the west, an expanding Russia, backed up superior organizational infrastructure and numbers with effective military technologies and tactics were policies of appeasement replaced by conquest and incorporation into agriculturally based imperial states (Figure 10.1).21 In North America the peoples of the Plateau and the Northern and Central Plains were too distant from Spain’s colonial frontiers for this model to be readily applicable and their eventual annexation by the United States and Canada more closely paralleled eighteenth-century Qing and Russian practice. However, Spanish relations with Apaches, Navajos, Utes, and Comanches do resonate more strongly with those

Figure 10.1. The Qing army’s victory over the Zunghars at the Battle of Qurman in the Tarim Basin of East Turkestan, 3 February 1759, illustrated in a print made from an original by the Jesuit missionary Giuseppe Castiglione. The painting of this scene hung in the imperial palace in Beijing until looted during the 1900/01 Boxer Uprising; a fragment survives in the Ethnological Museum of Hamburg, Germany. Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-44377).

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between earlier Chinese dynasties and their nomadic neighbours.22 Less apparent in the Anglophone literature on empires and nomads, but compelling nevertheless,23 were the situations that developed on the Gran Chaco and Pampas of South America: raiding Spanish (and later Argentine or Paraguayan) ranches, taking and selling captives and livestock, receiving alcohol, foodstuffs, and other ‘gifts’ (that were then used internally as prestige goods) to seal alliances and thus forestall attacks—all are amply documented, and in some cases corroborated in the ground by archaeological evidence.24 Wayu´u/Spanish relations on the La Guajira Peninsula and those between Araucanians and Spaniards in Chile took much the same form. The ability of these South American Horse Nations, especially the Pampean/northern Patagonian/Araucanian nexus examined in Chapter 8, to endure almost to the end of the nineteenth century was probably due in part to the fact that they combined equestrianism with keeping domesticated livestock of their own.25 As a result they strengthened their own internal resource base in a way that few North American equestrian nomads were able to do, though it is worth recalling that Comanches had begun raising cattle by the late 1860s, if not before.26 What prevented Comanches from developing into a nomadic polity more similar to those of central Eurasia was the same force as that which ended the experiments towards more centralized, livestock/ farming-based systems on the Pampas or in Araucanı´a and Neuque´n: the intervention of ‘steamroller’ American, Argentine, and Chilean states armed with weaponry (repeating rifles and Gatling guns), systems of communication (telegraphs, railways), expansionist ideologies, and effective state infrastructures (for mobilizing resources) that vastly exceeded anything that Spain or its early/mid-nineteenth-century republican successors had been able to bring to bear.27 One question remains: if cattle and sheep were only rarely kept by North American Horse Nations, in contrast to several of those in South America, does it nevertheless make sense to consider equestrian nomads as a whole as pastoralists, whether on the Great Plains or the Patagonian steppes, even if the only large domesticated animal they possessed was the horse and hunting large game remained central to their subsistence? Most definitions of pastoralism emphasize dependence on one or more large domesticated animals, mobility, and how ‘the ecological needs of the domestic stock place constraints on the pattern of the pastoralist regime’.28 More particularly, there is a deep

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bond between people and animals, such that the latter enter into a wide range of human social relationships, for example as bridewealth payments, media for storing wealth, and the capital for political action.29 On these grounds, there can surely be little doubt that dividing off the equestrian nomads of the post-1492 world from pastoralists elsewhere simply because they rode horses to hunt (and trade and fight and move) rather than to herd other animals is a nonsense. The necessity to tailor one’s movements to the nutritional and ecological parameters set by one’s horses is well attested. Parallels with Siberian reindeer herders who use their animals to move around, but do not necessarily eat them, are apt.30 So, too, are those with the Nuer of South Sudan, the archetypal pastoralists of introductory level university anthropology courses. As Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence neatly puts it: ‘Nuer cattle are the essential food supply, whereas Plains horses were essential to the food supply, but in both cases the animals represent the most important social asset.’ Similarly, ‘the fact that it was the intermediary animal and not the food animal which was herded does not preclude looking upon Plains tribes as pastoralists’.31 We thus have two reasons to suggest that many of the Indigenous peoples who acquired horses from the sixteenth century onward might benefit from, and could enrich, comparative studies of nomads and pastoralists in the Old World.32 Even a brief perusal of Carole Ferret’s recent Yakut-focused and magisterial survey Une Civilisation du Cheval emphasizes the many points of correspondence, from the dominant role of horses in the economy, the dietary and ritual importance of horsemeat, and the many items of clothing and equipment made from horse skins, wool, leather, and tendons (parallels here too with North American bison or Patagonian guanacos) to the display of sacrificed horses in or around graves to provision the deceased with mounts and food, a practice that continues today.33 Several more similarities can be identified. First is the question of epidemic disease. Perdue, writing about the Qing Dynasty’s conquest of Asia’s last major nomad empire, the Zunghars, emphasizes Central Eurasia’s relative isolation from major population centres and disease pools. Nomads particularly feared smallpox and outbreaks of it weakened Zunghar resistance at several critical turning points in the 1700s, paving the way for the expansion of Chinese and Russian agricultural settlers.34 In the Americas, too, epidemic disease (smallpox, but later on also measles and cholera, among others) devastated Indigenous

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populations, created openings for nomadism to emerge, upset the balance of power between sedentary farmers and mobile hunters, and ultimately undermined resistance to Euro-American conquest.35 A further parallel concerns the importance of ethnogenesis, the emergence of new group identities. Perdue again makes the point that, on the Central Eurasian steppes, ‘ethnic and tribal definitions were likewise historical products of contingent interactions’, not fixed.36 There, just as on the Pampas or the Gran Chaco,37 we need to be wary when using contemporary sources, careful about imputing any sense of primordiality or essentialism to identities that are asserted today or recognized in historical documents. The debates over when ‘Araucanians’ became ‘Mapuche’, how ‘Araucanization’ took hold on the Argentine Pampas, and in what ways a new AmaTola identity crystallized in southern Africa’s Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains all illustrate this. Nevertheless, horses and what they made possible were crucial in all three instances, and they were also frequently involved where small, flexibly structured hunter-gatherer bands with fluid membership came together to assume more defined—and self-defining—common ‘tribal’ identities, frequently in the context of having to negotiate with alien power structures even before their eventual subjugation was accomplished.38 Three additional points are also worth mentioning. First is the relevance of European captives, refugees, and deserters in transmitting information, knowledge, and technologies, as well as in simply helping to maintain Indigenous numbers in the face of population declines: Mapuche, Comanches, Apaches, AmaTola, and the inhabitants of the Pampas, Gran Chaco, and Patagonia illustrate this.39 Second, some of the new groups that formed in the equestrian era beyond the margins of imperial control were of a decidedly mixed European/Indigenous composition: Genı´zaros, Comancheros, and Me´tis in North America are the clearest examples, but the Ranquel chiefdom on the Pampas might also warrant comparative study in this regard, perhaps to be set against the cultural and matrimonial exchanges that altered Cherokee society in North America in the late eighteenth/nineteenth centuries.40 Third, and demanding a paragraph of their own, are the cowboy cultures of the New World (Figure 10.2). Reviewed by Richard Slatta in a book whose geographical scope spans the New World, cowboys—at least in South America— borrowed much from ‘Indians’. Argentine gauchos demonstrate such

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Figure 10.2. A group of four gauchos at rest. This engraving, by Emeric Vidal (1943), is based on a sketch made between 1816 and 1819. The gauchos wear traditional dress, including a striped poncho (chiripa´) and boots made from the legskin of a young horse (botas de potro). The high-wheeled ox-cart is also typical. Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (2098 e. 65, following p. 52 (Facsimile)).

borrowings particularly well, from hunting with bolas, wearing ponchos and the chiripa´ (which served in lieu of trousers), and drinking mate tea to enriching their vocabularies with Native terms for horse (bagual), rhea (n˜and u ), and local plants. Archaeology raises the possibility that knowledge of how to flake stone tools was also borrowed.41 Chilean huasos and Colombian and Venezuelan llaneros likewise took words from Indigenous languages.42 The ease with which individuals moved between Native and European backgrounds was a defining characteristic of many of the borderlands where Horse Nations developed in the Americas, even among early nineteenth-century ‘mountain men’ trappers in what became the United States. And for gauchos,

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huasos, and llaneros their disdain for everything pedestrian and their emphasis on seeking personal honour through warfare and other deeds of bravery find ready parallels in many of the Horse Nations I have discussed.43 Correspondingly, all were frequently denigrated and demonized as ‘barbarians’ in need of taming or removal by those seeking to create or expand ‘modern’, centralized states: a considerable irony given the fact that classic Western films and literature portray cowboys as the force of civilization in opposition to savage ‘Indians’.44

Why were Horse Nations not found everywhere? Horses found favour with many Indigenous societies, but their adoption was not universal. Many of the inhabitants of North America’s Great Basin refused them, at least initially, just like La Guajira’s Cocinas. So, too, it seems, did most of the inhabitants of the Llanos, despite the early development of a local ranching industry.45 Much of the northern frontier of South Africa’s Cape Colony, the cerrado savannahs of Brazil, and virtually all of Australia also failed to see Horse Nations emerge. Can we identify any commonalities between these regions, commonalities that might differentiate them from the North American Plains, Plateau and Southwest, from California, the Gran Chaco, the Southern Cone, and the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains? For Horse Nations to develop I suggest that at least four variables were needed: enough time, ample space, sufficient pasture and water, and a suitably disease-free environment. Let us quickly run through them and then consider one further, cultural precondition. First, time. Many populations were evidently able to acquire horses and the skills needed to ride and keep them within a very short while: in California, for instance, it took at most fourteen years between their introduction and the first reported losses to Native raiders. The experience of Plains groups like the Blackfoot or of southern Africa’s AmaTola was not that dissimilar. But for equestrianism to succeed sufficient time was needed for horse numbers to build up (a matter of trade or theft as well as natural increase) and for their new owners to retain the political and economic autonomy in which to work out a new way of life that had horses at its core. This, as we have seen, Aboriginal Australians were unable to do since there the twin nemeses of an advancing colonial frontier and epidemic disease moved too fast for this to happen. In late

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sixteenth/seventeenth-century Brazil, the devastation wrought by disease and slave-raiding may likewise have inhibited the acquisition and consolidation of horse-keeping in the cerrado, notwithstanding the suitability of its grasslands for horses. Native groups like the Xavante, Kayapo´, Krahoˆ (Karaja´), and Ava´-Canoeiro occasionally appropriated the cattle and horses of Portuguese settlers, but in general opted for retreat and avoidance as an alternative to ‘pacification’.46 Time alone, however, was not enough. Indigenous peoples also needed space, specifically space unattractive to Europeans that could provide them with secure places where they could live and, when necessary, to which they could retreat. Two classic instances of mounted raiding for horses and cattle demonstrate this perfectly: the almost inaccessible Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains of southern Africa (AmaTola) and the swamp-protected Central Valley of California (Miwok, Yokuts). More generally, the bulk of the Southwest and virtually the entirety of the Great Basin and the Plains or, in South America, the Gran Chaco, the Pampas, and Patagonia provided enormous spaces in which agriculturally based colonial settlement was difficult, or impossible, to establish until far into the nineteenth century.47 The aridity of the La Guajira Peninsula makes the same point in miniature, but also identifies another spatial parameter that deserves comment. The hinterlands (from a European standpoint) that harboured Horse Nations and helped them maintain their independence were also frequently centres of competition between European powers that gave Native peoples plenty of opportunity to play one off against another. Comanche diplomacy with France and Spain, or maintenance of friendly relations with one Spanish (later Mexican) province while plundering another, is one example, but Guaykuru´ did the same on the Gran Chaco (with Portugal substituting here for France). The Araucanian/Pehuenche/Pampas regional economy, too, partly depended on its protagonists’ ability to seize Spanish livestock on the eastern side of the Andes and sell them to other Spaniards on the western flank of those same mountains. And though Europeans directly abutted the Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen on only one side (Natal), AmaTola and others certainly showed themselves adept at striking raiding/trading alliances with several of the African chiefdoms around them. But it was precisely when those groups—and especially the growing Basotho polity to their west—expanded that Bushmen found themselves caught, literally, between the proverbial rock and

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hard place.48 The replacement of a weak Mexican government by an increasingly strong and present (especially post-Civil War) American one and the accords reached in 1878–81 between Chile and Argentina effected similarly fatal territorial closures of space in the western hemisphere.49 Space, however, had to be habitable, not just for people, but for people with horses. Equine diseases made horse-keeping difficult in many parts of South Africa (but, significantly, not the MalotiDrakensberg region) as well as on South America’s Llanos: in both Australasia and the Americas the absence—or near-absence—of ungulate populations that could act as reservoirs for diseases that might harm horses may have been critical in allowing horses to expand and thrive under human control, and independently of it.50 So, too, the fact that in the Americas horses were coming home to ecologies with which they had co-evolved and from which they had disappeared only a few millennia before (Chapter 3). Human cultural practices were equally important. In the western Great Basin, for example, aridity (and thus problems in securing sufficient water and pasture for horses), subsistence economies focused on plant-gathering rather than hunting, and the risk that horses might compete directly for grasses on which people depended collectively combined to deter Gosiute Shoshone and most Western Shoshone and Southern and Northern Paiute from adopting horses, at least until Mormon settlement was locally well advanced (Figure 10.3). /Xam Bushmen in South Africa’s Karoo may partly have made the same choice for similar reasons, though as the Wayu´u/ Cocina dichotomy in La Guajira or the contrast between Cocopas and Quechans along North America’s lower Colorado River show, even within the same environment specific yet difficult-to-determine historical factors may also have been involved. And in at least two cases pre-emption of horses by neighbouring populations and their construction of effective trading/raiding systems that then hindered others from acquiring mounts of their own must also be considered: Guaykuru´ did this vis-a`-vis groups living in the north and west of the Gran Chaco in South America, Korana and Griqua vis-a`-vis the /Xam Bushmen in South Africa.51 A final critical variable emerges from the Llanos example discussed in Chapter 7, where I drew upon the work of Phillippe Descola to suggest that the conceptual frameworks of Native Lowland South American societies could readily accommodate pets recruited from

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Figure 10.3. A Gosiute camp in Pleasant Valley, western Nevada, as painted by J. J. Young from a sketch by H. V. A. von Beckh made during the Simpson expedition of 1859, which surveyed a new route across the Great Basin linking Salt Lake City to California. Courtesy: Utah Historical Society and reproduced with the agreement of the National Archives of the United States of America as being in the public domain.

the wild while young, but excluded the raising of domesticated animals. To a degree dogs (in the Guianas and western Amazonia) circumvent this restriction by helping to hunt game from outside society, but only among the Wayu´u and some of the inhabitants of the Gran Chaco (mostly Guaykuru´ speakers, though not all of them) did horses do so, whether as an aid to pastoralism or to raiding (another activity directed outside one’s own social group). Transforming Native ontologies to make space for horses, or livestock, required ‘extending the field of certain relations to include new objects, thereby encouraging them to change in status in order to conform to the expected characteristics of the class of existing beings to which the relations originally applied’.52 In turn, this emphasizes the importance of considering the nomenclature used for horses: ‘big dogs’ on North America’s Plains were certainly larger, if mystery-filled, versions of something already long familiar and extensively used in transport and other fields, but Choctaw ‘deer resemblers’ were initially eaten and the

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tapirs and anteaters after whom some Amazonian groups named horses held profound cultural saliences of their own.53 The conceptual challenges of acquiring and keeping horses warrant further consideration, not least perhaps in Brazil’s cerrado grasslands, where Xavante, Kayapo´, Krahoˆ (Karaja´), Ava´-Canoeiro, and others had access to them, but, as I have already noted, did not transform their lives in an equestrian direction.

Horses as agents of change Understanding why Horse Nations did not emerge everywhere drew us towards ecological, as well as more historically contingent political, economic, and ideological factors. A focus on ecology also directs our attention towards horses as agents of change, among people and in the wider environment. Wherever horses were (re)introduced, ecological disruption followed, one of many consequences of Alfred Crosby’s Columbian Exchange.54 Such disruption continues today, from Nevada to New Zealand, Australia to Argentina. It also affected—and thus constrained—what Indigenous people could do: competition for grazing between horses and bison in Comancherı´a, the conundrum of how to reconcile keeping horses to hunt bison with a sedentary, horticultural life (a problem faced, and variously resolved, by Pawnees, Apaches, and Arikaras among others), and horses’ ability to disperse exotic plant species that then further transformed local ecologies (something experienced by California’s Yokuts) all illustrate this. Hunting large game more effectively from horseback and burning sections of the landscape so that horses had new grass to eat (both plausible on North America’s Plateau, for instance)55 were other ways in which this happened. Horses were thus definitely not environmentally neutral. By accident or design they altered the ecologies that they colonized. At the same time, they affected how societies moved and organized themselves, favouring new subsistence choices over old (for example, the apparent abandonment of much of Patagonia’s coast) and requiring that people arrange themselves so that their horses received adequate shelter, pasture, fodder, and water (for example, in winter on the Plains). The transhumant pattern devised by Waccara’s Utes, which we looked at in Chapter 6, captures both points within a single

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individual’s lifetime. Riding horses, using them as draught and pack animals, and hunting and fighting from horseback also typically needed new technologies. At the same time, horses encouraged an elaboration of artwork, whether in how they were represented in rock art and other media, or in decorating the bridles, saddles, caparisons, and masks that they wore. Are we then justified, like some twentieth-century authors, in speaking about a ‘horse complex’? Items of material culture (especially harness equipment and armour) or behaviours that relate specifically to how horses were used should not, to my mind, weigh heavily in answering this question. The adaption to a new, larger animal of technologies that already existed, such as medicine bundles and travois on the North American Plains, is also unsurprising. But horses were not just bigger dogs that allowed people to do more of the same, only more easily,56 even though in South America and southern Africa, where dogs had not been used to carry or drag things, the transport revolution that horses made possible was all the more dramatic.57 Rather, it was the combination of enhanced mobility with enhanced opportunities to acquire and accumulate prestige, wealth, and power that made the adoption of horses an extraordinary event.58 Of course, changes ‘were neither immediate nor did they bring about a total replacement of ancestral technologies, goods and foods’,59 and the whole history of Horse Nations, wherever found, was one of improvisation and continual revision.60 Equally, in every case the horse’s impact partly depended on ‘each group’s prehorse economy and culture, the ecological niche that a group occupied, the way it interacted with neighbouring peoples—other Indigenes as well as Spaniards—and the extent to which a group embraced equestrianism’.61 Diversity, as much as similarity, was the name of the game and it would indeed be ‘deceitful to reduce the European influence to the horse alone’, ignoring trade, disease, livestock, metal, and prestige goods.62 For all these reasons Miguel Palermo is undoubtedly correct to reject past models that ignored cultural diversity and simplistically attributed complex cultural changes to the adoption of ‘the horse complex’ alone.63 But, and it is an important but, without horses neither raiding, nor large-scale trading of bison robes, guanaco hides, and ponchos, nor livestock-keeping (where this took place), nor the intensified warfare or increasing social differentiation that frequently arrived with them,

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could, I submit, have emerged and thrived in anything like the way that they did. To quote Miguel Palermo’s famous essay on the South American ‘horse complex’ once more, ‘the great value of the horse is to be understood exactly in this context’.64 In that sense, for dozens of Indigenous societies across at least three of the four continents I have examined, their histories post-1492 were histories inscribed in the tracks of their horses.65

Questions for the future In the foregoing pages I have only scratched the surface of those histories. The relevant literature—historical, ethnographic, and archaeological—is vast and continues to grow. It thus seems appropriate to identify here some questions that future research might wish to consider. Going back to the beginning, at least in the Americas, two related questions still stand in need of resolution: how important were horses in the diet of the very earliest human settlers? And why did horses become extinct just a few thousand years before they once again proliferated in enormous numbers? We saw in Chapter 3 that both topics remain contentious, though discoveries of unquestionably butchered horse remains at sites as distant from each other as Wally’s Beach, Alberta, and Cueva Fell, Chile, continue to enrich our knowledge base.66 So too do new immunological studies of ancient stone artefacts, new ways of estimating the abundance of large mammal species on Pleistocene landscapes, and the combination of genetic evidence with solid sets of radiocarbon dates to resolve and track fluctuations in species numbers.67 Along with continually improving measures of past environmental conditions we may, eventually, be able to answer both questions with greater certainty than is the case today. Other, more specific topics also warrant further investigation. They include better understandings of the dietary role of horsemeat in Patagonia (was fat as important in favouring this as I have suggested?) and of bison and feral horse numbers on the Southern Plains (to be clearer about precisely when, and indeed if, horse-keeping and hunting bison from horseback imperilled Comanches’ subsistence base); the rarity of horses in rock art in the Southern Cone compared to the richness with which they occur on the Plains or in the Maloti-Drakensberg

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Mountains; whether the Indigenous societies of the Llanos were as reluctant to embrace the horses colonizing their environment as it seems; how far there and elsewhere Native conceptual frameworks facilitated or constrained adopting the horse; and, related to this, determining the social and symbolic significance of horses among one of the few surviving Guaykuru´-speaking peoples, the Kadiwe´u.68 Limited space has precluded discussion of all the Indigenous groups that embraced the horse in the post-Columbian world. Their long resistance to Spanish imperialism, the ethnic dimensions to social stratification among the former, and the Jesuits’ introduction of horses and cattle to the latter make the Chiriguano and Mojo of eastern Bolivia of interest, for example.69 Further south, ecologically grounded studies of horse-keeping of the kind undertaken on the Plains by Alan Osborn would certainly be worth exploring in Patagonia,70 but, as Fabia´n Arias reminds us, archaeologists there might also benefit from placing greater analytical emphasis on social relationships within and between groups, including explorations of ethnic identities and patterns of leadership.71 Nor should we forget that, even today, anthropologists may be able to observe the material and ideological expansion of domestic animals, horses among them, in some parts of the world.72 Comprehending longer trajectories of cultural change is also essential. The significance of exchange contacts between settled horticultural peoples and mobile bison hunters on the Northern Plains or in the world of the Southern Plains and American Southwest exemplifies this. So too does the antiquity of trans-Andean connections, while the emerging possibility that Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen had kept livestock many centuries before they encountered horses provides one more instance of the value of examining Horse Nations over long time frames and with the benefit of archaeological evidence. And yet in many places such evidence is still all but absent. The Gran Chaco and parts of the Llanos are perhaps worst served in this regard, but much the same can be said of post-Columbian times in La Guajira. Even on the North American Plains, detailed regional studies of equestrian nomads of the kind undertaken by Alison Landals in Alberta are few,73 with most information continuing to come from rock art or burials—and ethical constraints may now prevent many potentially informative analyses of the latter. In several of these areas, the approach taken in Argentina to extract clues about possible site locations

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from documentary sources, place names,74 and—we could add—oral traditions might pay rich dividends. The Arkansas Valley, a key area for Comanche equestrian adaptations, is an obvious target here. Basic field survey is also needed in southern Africa’s Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains.75 But most helpful of all will surely be further multidisciplinary engagement with regionally specific questions within a broader, interregional comparative context that could, and should, extend to the Horse Nations of Eurasia.76

Horse Nations today Horse Nations have not gone away, though in some places (notably southern Africa and Patagonia) their numbers have been tragically thinned. In all too many cases one of the consequences of military defeat, conquest, and colonization was to confine Indigenous peoples to small parcels of land (‘reserves’, ‘reservations’) or, in Australia, to deny them title to land all together. Dispossessed, frequently demoralized, and relegated to marginal sections of the landscape, their ways of life changed dramatically. Retention of large numbers of ‘worthless’ horses was frequently deemed by the victors to stand in the way of ‘progress’ towards an agricultural westernized future. The deliberate slaughter of horses on the Crow Reservation in Montana in the 1920s and the stock reduction programmes imposed on the Navajo in the 1930s and 1940s are classic examples of decisions taken in ignorance (deliberate or otherwise) of Native strategies of land management or Indigenous valuations of horses as more than mere economic assets.77 Yet in both these cases, as in others, Native peoples proved resilient. Crows, for example, rapidly initiated a horse-breeding project and ranching industry, as well as taking other initiatives that recognized the importance that horses held for them. The adoption of rodeo events, the revival of horse-connected war honours for military veterans, annual re-enactments of the Battle of the Little Big Horn (in which Crow scouts fought on the American side), and the intensely horsefocused annual Crow Fair followed from this and persist today (Plate 32).78 A strong equestrian identity and the recognition of horses’ spiritual powers remain prominent among Navajo and Apache in the Southwest, many Plains peoples, the Wayu´u of La Guajira, the Kadiwe´u of Brazil’s Pantanal, and the Mapuche of the Southern Cone.79

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How far that identity and those powers can help Indigenous peoples satisfy the cultural, economic, and political demands that they still seek we shall see.

Notes 1. Or, as Palermo (1986: 171) put it: ‘Changes in “lifestyle” after the adoption of the horse differ between groups: deeper in some cases, and less important in others.’ 2. Cheyennes are one of the few equestrian nomads of the Americas for whom this was not true, Apaches arguably another. 3. Isenberg (2000: 9–10). 4. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 111). 5. Phillips (1993: 158). 6. Zavala Cepeda (2008: 328). 7. Braund (1993). 8. Schaniel (2001). 9. Word and Fox (1975); Hajduk et al. (2000). 10. Nordenskiold (1922); Brown (1999); Reynolds (2006). The connection with zebras is evident in Nharo, Auen, and !Kung (Bleek 1956), languages spoken in the western and northwestern Kalahari by Bushman peoples who did not adopt the horse. 11. Picon (1999: 61). 12. The poncho trade of the Araucanians and the inhabitants of the Pampas fits here too: ponchos were transported on horseback when ready for sale and horses could be used to herd the sheep that produced the wool to where the ponchos were made (Chapter 8). 13. Kelekna (2009). 14. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2013: 85). 15. Wright (1971); Blackhawk (2006); Zappia (2008). 16. Cf. Kelekna (2009: 371). 17. Barfield (2001: 12–13). 18. See also, for early modern Russia, Khodarkovsky (2004: 17–30). 19. Rogers (2007). 20. And a serious drain on Chinese governments (Yu¨ 1967: 61–4). 21. Khodarkovsky (2004); Perdue (2010). 22. Turchin (2009: 214). Russia’s long drawn-out confrontation with its own Eurasian nomad neighbours shared the same features, a relationship of ‘guerrilla warfare aimed at capturing people, seizing property, enforcing privileged trade conditions and exacting tribute’ (Khodarkovsky 2004: 19, cf. 222–3).

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23. For example, they go unmentioned by Khazanov and Wink (2001) or Turchin (2009). 24. For example, in the liquor bottles and other finds from Arroyo Nieves 2, Argentina (Pedrotta and Bagaloni 2005). 25. Significantly, Araucanians, Pehuenche, and several Pampas groups also farmed (Palermo 1986). In most cases Native Americans’ lactose intolerance meant that the primary incentive to keep livestock was meat, not the possibility of consuming dairy products. As I have noted, Wayu´u’s anomalous position in this respect warrants further study, though Cox (1863: 161) noted that mid-nineteenth-century Pehuenche consumed milk with unripe apples, a dish he wisely sampled only once! 26. Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 315). Navajos were not, in terms of my typology, equestrian nomads. 27. The term ‘steamroller’ comes from Turchin’s discussion of the Comanche (2009: 215), but applies as much in the Southern Cone as to the United States. Russia (Khodarkovsky 2004: 186–9) and Qing China (Perdue 2010: especially 520–4) shared the ideological, as well as some of the material, impetuses mentioned here, albeit at a slightly earlier date. 28. Smith (2005: 23). 29. Ingold (1988). 30. Mishkin (1940: 23), discussing Kiowas with respect to the Tungus and Yakuts compared to the Chukchi and Koryak. 31. Atwood Lawrence (1985: 9). Many other North American specialists have advanced similar observations, including Ewers (1955: 301, 363), Wilson (1963: 366), Downs (1964), Betty (1997), and Ha¨ma¨la¨inen (2008: 315–18). And, of course, some groups did eat (stolen or raised) horses on a more or less regular basis: AmaTola, Comanches (by the mid-1800s), Miwoks, the inhabitants of the Pampas, Tehuelche, and Yokuts, for example. 32. Ponomarenko and Dyck (2007) provide a well-illustrated comparison of nomads in the central Eurasian steppes and the Canadian Plains, emphasizing that the parallels they note emerge from the similarity between herding domestic ungulates in the first case and hunting them in the second. However, by focusing on the longue dure´e of human history in both regions, they avoid comparing the effects of the horse, concluding that ‘the details of those developments are beyond the scope of the present study’ (Ponomarenko and Dyck 2007: 157). 33. Ferret (2010). Intensely cold (winter temperatures can fall to -70˚C!), Yakutia lies in north-central Siberia and horses have dominated its subsistence economy since at least the seventeenth century. Small, robust, with short limbs and ears to reduce exposure to the cold, an exceptionally long and dense coat, and an extraordinary ability to put on fat to withstand the winter, Yakut horses are admirably well adapted to their environment. Recalling the difficulty of sustaining viable horse herds on

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34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.

42. 43.

44.

45. 46. 47.

48. 49.

50.

horse nations the Northern Plains of North America (Chapter 5), was there insufficient time for horses there to evolve similar characteristics after their late eighteenth-century reintroduction? Perdue (2010: 47–9) also explicitly compares the ecological imperialism of Chinese and Russian farmers, who introduced new crops like wheat and millet, to Euro-American settlement of the American West. Isenberg (2000: 113–21); cf. Jones (1999: 138–9, note 1) and Saeger (2000: 24, 37) for South America, and Kimber (1988) for Australia. Perdue (2010: 515). Nacuzzi et al. (2008). See, for example, Saeger (2000: 113–16) with reference to Guaykuru´ on the Gran Chaco or Smoak (2006) for Shoshone in the Great Basin. Duncan Baretta and Markoff (1978) make this point generally for cattle frontiers across Latin America. For broadly contemporary Eurasian parallels, see Khodarkovsky (2004: 21–6, 224) and Perdue (2010: 306–7). Hanson and Kurtz (2007); Langer (2002: 61). For the Cherokee, see Woodward (1963). Romero and Spota (2006) with reference to stone scrapers used to work wood and leather at Forts Minan˜a and Otamendi, two of several forts built to protect the southern frontier of Buenos Aires province in the midnineteenth century. Slatta (1990: 160–1). Duncan Baretta and Markoff (1978: 613–14). Native Americans contributed to the development of rodeo displays in North America and similarities of context, form, and function between rodeo and known Plains recreations then maintained this tradition (Dyck 1996). Duncan Baretta and Markoff (1978). Note, however, that the situation of cowboys in North America was significantly different (Slatta 1990). I am grateful to Patrick Roberts for the observation that concludes this paragraph. Rausch (1983). Karasch (1998, 2005). Araucanı´a differs in that Spaniards could have practised farming there at an early date. However, the speed and readiness with which Araucanians adopted Spanish military and economic resources and then used them successfully to force Spain to accept their independence kept almost all the lands south of the Rı´o Bı´o-Bı´o free until late in the nineteenth century. Gill (1993). When Chinese/Russian treaties formalized their mutual frontier Zunghars, too, ceased to have the unlimited space that was essential to their survival on the borders of these two expanding empires (Perdue 2010: 523). Grootenhuis (2000).

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51. Palermo (1986: 170); McGranaghan (2012: 353–4). 52. Descola (2013: 388). Carlos Fausto (1999) has also written extensively on the social and symbolic implications of pet-keeping in Amazonia and I am grateful to him and Luiz Costa for raising with me the points discussed in this paragraph. 53. Nordenskiold (1922); Le´vi-Strauss (1961); Carson (1995: 497). 54. Crosby (1986). 55. Ewers (1955: 170); Dixon and Lyman (1996). 56. Contrary to the views of Wissler (1914) and Roe (1955). 57. Ewers (1955: 316) makes this point quite eloquently when noting that Blackfoot society showed no trace of a dog cult comparable to its invocation of the horse. 58. Mishkin (1940: 19) commented that the introduction of horses ‘constituted almost an “Industrial Revolution” in the life of the Kiowa’, while Saeger (2000: 8) notes that, on the Gran Chaco, ‘horses created revolutionary change’. Writing about the North American West as a whole Calloway (2003: 267) adds that not since the introduction of maize had the region seen ‘such a powerful force of change’—and in the Southwest maize first arrived over three thousand years before! 59. Nacuzzi et al. (2008: 70). 60. Isenberg (2000: 10); Nacuzzi et al. (2008: 13). 61. Weber (2005; 81). 62. Mandrini (1999: 50). Indeed, as I have already noted, the availability of European-derived large game in the form of feral cattle may have been a precondition for Guaykuru´ being able to convert to an equestrian nomadic existence (Schindler 1985: 457). 63. Palermo (1986, 1999). 64. Palermo (1986: 171). Galva˜o (1963: 230) makes the same point when concluding his brief comparison of equestrian societies on North America’s Plains, the Gran Chaco, and the Pampas by saying ‘it must be emphasized that the introduction of the horse was not the exclusive factor . . . However, the adoption of the horse was the fulcrum of these changes.’ 65. Even Wissler (1914: 17), a staunch advocate of horses having merely intensified and diffused ‘traits’ (such as the use of travois, tipis, couptaking, the practice of sun dances, and the institution of warrior societies) on North America’s Plains, nevertheless admitted that ‘it is difficult to see how the vigour and accentuated association of traits forming the typical group and their intense occupancy of the true plains could have been what it was in 1800 without the horse’ (emphasis added). 66. Kooyman et al. (2006); Jackson et al. (2007). 67. Mann et al. (2013); Orlando et al. (2013); Yohe and Bamforth (2013). 68. Petschelies (2013: 239, note 95).

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69. Saignes (1985a, 1985b); Langer (2002). A focused comparison of how mission activity impacted on equestrian groups (Wayu´u, Guaykuru´, Apaches, Pampas, etc.) would also be of interest. 70. Osborn (1983); see also Rinn (1975). 71. Arias (2008). 72. For example, Osaki (1984) in the Central Kalahari Desert or Van der Velden (2011) in southwestern Amazonia. Also worth considering here are the tropical grasslands around Mount Roraima, at the borders of Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela, home to a long-established horse-based cattle-ranching industry, begun by the Portuguese in the late 1700s. Indigenous groups like the Macuxi, Taurepang, and Wapixana were recruited to work on these ranches in the late 1800s and now keep sheep and pigs at the level of the individual family, but cattle on a collective basis. They do not, however, participate in the ‘horse culture’ of the region’s non-Indigenous population (Rivie`re 1972; Luiz Costa, pers. comm. 28 February 2014). 73. Landals (2004). 74. For example, by Tapia (2005) in seeking sites associated with the Ranquels. 75. Sam Challis has begun such work in the Matatiele area (), but other areas remain virtually unresearched, including Lesotho’s Senqunyane Valley, though it is rich in rock art and known to have been home to horse-borne raiders in the mid-1800s (cf. Bousman 1988). 76. Combe`s et al. (2009: 78), for example, identify historic and ethnographic parallels and similarities of ecological structure between the Gran Chaco and the Plains that would repay further research. So, too, would comparing Comanches and Comancherı´a with the Araucanian/Pehuenche/ Pampas nexus of the Southern Cone, or the early nineteenth-century eastward expansion of some Araucanian groups (Jones 1999: 168–9) with the virtually contemporary westward expansion of the Lakota (White 1978). Hall’s (1998) contrast of Native/Spanish relations in the Viceroyalty of the Rı´o de la Plata with those prevailing in the American Southwest is one of the few studies to transcend the continental and linguistic divides still handicapping such comparative efforts (but see also Picon 1999). 77. Atwood Lawrence (1985) discusses the Crow situation, White (1988: 251–310) the Navajo one; Lewis (1991) examines the slightly earlier persecution of horses among the Ute. Most Bureau of Indian Affairs officials appear to have been unaware that Navajo also ate horses, that they were an important famine food when rains failed, and that they helped move sheep over greater distances in times of drought (White 1988: 247–8). From a Navajo standpoint, of course, deliberate killing of the horses given them by their gods (Clark 2001) verged on blasphemy

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and, as I write, protests are taking place against the renewed capture and slaughter of feral horses on the Navajo Reservation (Bitso´´ı 2013). For not dissimilar reasons Crow horses were almost invariably killed by white men as virtually no Crow would engage in such a barbaric act (Atwood Lawrence 1985: 42–4). Conversely, Yakamas, Bannocks, and others in the Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition now actively seek culling—which is contrary to Federal law—because the thousands of horses living on their land degrade freshwater and terrestrial habitats, negatively impact on game numbers, and destroy plants of dietary and spiritual significance (). 78. Atwood Lawrence (1985); the revitalization programmes of the 1930s were aided by the unusual fact that the then reservation superintendent was himself a Crow, Robert Yellowtail. 79. Though Mapuche live on both sides of the Andean cordillera and Native land rights are recognized, at least to a point, in both Argentina and Chile, they are vastly more numerous and politically more active in the latter country (Boccara 2002/03; cf. ).

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Appendix—Self-Designations of Native American Peoples

Name as used in the text

Self-designation(s) (terms in parentheses are alternative renditions)

North America Acoma Pueblo Apache Jicarilla Lipan Mescalero White Mountain Apwaruge Arapaho Arikara Assiniboin Atsina Bannock Blackfoot Blackfoot Blood Piegan Caddo Cahuilla Cayuse Cherokee Cheyenne Chickasaw Choctaw Cocopa Coeur d’Alene Comanche Creek Crow Flathead Gosiute Hidatsa

?

A·ku·me·cha

Haı´sndayı˘n; Tinde ˇ isˇ˛i·hi˛; Le´pai Nde´ C Nde´; Shis-Inday Dzil Łigai Si’a´n Ndee Apwaruge Inuna-Ina Sahnish Nakota Haaninin Nimi Niitsı´tapi; Saokı´-tapi-ksi Siksika´wa Ka´-ı´na-wa Pi-ka´niwa Hası´inay (but note that there was no single name for all the Caddo chiefdoms) Iviatim Lı´k-si-yu; Tetawken Tsalagi TsisTsisTsas Chikashsha ˇ ahta C Kwapa´; Xawiłł Kwn˜chawaay Schitsu’umsh Nimini Este-Maskokvlke Apsa´aloke Se´lisˇ Nimi Hira´·ca; Awaxa´?wi; Awatixa´ Continued

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APPENDIX

Continued Name as used in the text

Self-designation(s)

Hopi Iowa Jemez Pueblo Kalispel Kansa Kiowa Klamath Kumeyaay Kutenai Lakota Brule´ Oglala Sans Arc Yanktonai Mandan Mayo Me´tis Missouri Miwok Modoc Mojave Naishan (Kiowa Apache) Natchez Navajo Nez Perce´ Nisqually Omaha Opata Osage Oto Paiute Papago Pawnee

Hopı´ti Pa´xoǰe Hi˛·mı´ˇs Qlispe´l Kka´-ze (Kanza) Ka’igwu Maqlaqs Tipai Ktunaxa Lakota Sic¸angu Ogla´la Ita´zipcˇho Iha´ŋkthuŋwaŋna Ru˛wa˛´?ka·ki Yoremu Me´tis Ni-u´-t´a-tcı´ Mı´w·i·k Maqlaqs Aha ‘Makhav Na-I-Sha

Pima Plains Cree Plains Ojibwa Ponca Puyallup Quapaw Quechan Santa Clara Pueblo

Notchee Dine´ Nimi’ipuu Squalli-Absh Uma´ha Joyl-ra-ua Wazˇa´zˇe Jiwe´re Nimi Tohono O’odham Ckı´rihki kuru·riki (but note that there was no single name for all the historic Pawnee groups) Akimel O’odham Ne·hiyawak Anisˇˇsina·pe; Ocˇipwe Ppa´kka S’Puyalupubsh Oka´xpa Kwtsaan Xa?po· (Kha’po)

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APPENDIX

Sarsi Seminole Seri Shoshone Suhtai Taos Pueblo Tarahumara Tarascans Tualatin-Yamhill Umatilla Ute Walla-Walla Washoe Wichita Yakama Yaqui Yokuts Zun˜i

Cu´u¯tı´na¯ Simano´·li Koŋka´ak (Comcaac) Nimi, Niwi Suh’tai T?o´ynem Rara´muri Purepacha Athfa´lat’i-aya´nhala Lı´k-si-yu Nu´·cˇiu Walawa´la Wa´·sˇiw Kirikir?i·s Mamachatpam Yoeme Yokoch A·sˇiwi

South America Abipo´n Ao´nik’enk Ava´-Canoeiro Bororo Cocina Guahibo Guana´ Guaranı´ Gennakenk Haush Huilliche Kadiwe´u Kayapo´ Krahoˆ (Karaja´) Lengua Lule Macuxi Mapuche Mbaya´ Mocovı´ Pehuenche Picunche Pilaga´ Ranquel Selk’nam

Acallagaec Ao´nik’enk A˜wa˜ Boe Wayu´u Wayapopihiwi Kaskiha´ Aba´ Gu¨nu¨na Ku¨ne Manek’enk Williche Ejiwajegı´ Mebengokre Mehin Enxet Pele´ Pemon Mapuche Eyiguayegi Amocovit Pewenche Pikunche Pilage Toba Ranquilco´ Selk’nam

373

Continued

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APPENDIX

Continued Name as used in the text

Self-designation(s)

Taurepang Teushen Toba Vilela Wapixana Wayu´u Xavante

Pemon P’enk’enk Qom-lik Waqha-umbaßelte Wapixana Wayu´u A’uwe

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Colour Plates Acknowledgements

The author and publisher are grateful to the following individuals and institutions for permission to reproduce the colour images in this book: 1 Copyright: the Trustees of the British Museum (AM1831,0416,8); 2 Copyright: Jean Clottes; 3 Reproduced from Wikimedia Commons (http://com mons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Encampment_of_the_Peikann_indians_0076v .jpg) as being in the public domain; 4 Copyright: Anthony Owens; 5 Copyright: Solveig Turpin; 6 Harrison Begay, Navajo 1917-2012. Night Chant Ceremonial Hunt, 1947. Watercolour on paper. Museum purchase, 1947.40. Copyright 2014: Philbrook Museum of Art Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma; 7 Copyright: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs Joseph Harrison, Jr (1985.55.487); 9 Copyright: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs Joseph Harrison, Jr (1985.55.383); 10 Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw. Thaw Collection, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York. Photograph by John Bigelow Taylor, New York City (T0097); 11 Copyright: Collection of the United States House of Representatives; 12 Copyright: Collection of the United States House of Representatives; 13 Copyright: James Keyser; 14 Copyright: The Trustees of the British Museum (AOA 917); 15 Reproduced from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (http:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1st_Place_-_Spring_Storm_in_the_ Great_ Basin_(7186595011).jpg) and photographed by Larry Crist of the United States Forest and Wildlife Service; 16 Copyright: Rick Schulting; 17 Copyright: Michael Klassen; 18 Copyright: Angela Swedberg (angelaswedberg.blogspot. co.uk); 19 Copyright: Angela Swedberg (angelaswedberg.blogspot.co.uk); 20 Courtesy: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (BANC PIC 1963.002:0478: 13–A; 21 Copyright: Jose´ Oliver; 22 Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress; 23 Courtesy: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford (M91.A00119, vol. 1, E16, Pl. 14 (Facsimile)); 24 Copyright: Gustavo Martı´nez; 25 Copyright: Mercedes Podesta´; 26 Copyright: Ramiro Barberena; 27 Reproduced from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (http://commons. wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Nahuel_ Huapi,_Argentina.jpg) and photographed by Ed Butta; 30 Copyright: The Rock Art Research Institute/ SARADA, University of the Witwatersrand; 31 Copyright: The National Library of New Zealand (A-159-036); 32 Copyright: Tim McLeary. All remaining colour images are the author’s own.

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Index

Bold numbers denote references to illustrations. A Song for the Horse Nation 11 Abipones 219, 234, 242 acquisition of horses 236, 250 n. 74 Aboriginal Australians 327–8 adoption of horses 329–30 non-adoption of horses 334–5, 355 and pastoralism 331–35 reaction to horses 1, 303, 329–31 rock art 330–1, 331 terms for horses 328–9 Acoma Pueblo 96, 99, 101, 371 African wild ass (E. africanus) 31, 33, 37, 56 n. 51 Al-Magar 56 n. 51 Amalia 274, 297 n. 64 AmaTola 312–22 acquisition of livestock 318–19 origins of 312–13 social change among 324–5 symbolism of horses for 314, 320–4 use of horses 315–16, 317–19 Amerhippus, see Equus (Amerhippus) Americas, human settlement of the 59–63 Anchitherium 30, 31 Andernach 38 Andronovo Culture 46–7, 47, 53 An˜u´ 221 Ao´nik’enk 256, 278, 281, 347, 373 burial practices 1, 283–4, 283 expansion north 270 horse eating 282–3 horse ownership 263

mythology 284, 286 population decline 293–4 textiles 278; see also quillangos see also Tehuelche Apache 19, 95, 98, 102, 103–4, 118, 120, 145, 195, 347, 350–1, 353, 359, 363, 371 adoption of horse 9, 81–2, 104–5 burial practices of 110, 127 forced off Great Plains 82, 112,113, 117 horse gear of 106–7 mounted warfare and 107–8, 108, 162, 163 origins 97 religious practices of and horses 109–10 see also Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero Appaloosa horses 202–3, Plate 19 Apwaruge 212, 371 Arabana 329, 341 n. 91 Arapaho 120, 121, 146, 178, 180, 184 n. 30, 371 burial practices 127 and horse medicine cults 173 and trade 158, 178, 185 n. 60 Arapooash 141, 179 Araucanı´a geography of 255–6, 256 see also Araucanization; Mapuche; Mapudungun speakers Araucanians 4, 11–12 acquisition of horse 258, 259–61

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428

index

Araucanians (cont.) acquisition of livestock 20, 258–9 resistance to Spanish 220, 258–9, 264, 346 and Sierra de Tandilia 272 social and economic change 288–9 trade with Spanish 264, 267–8, 349, 351, 356 see also Araucanization Araucanization 257, 270–1, 291, 353 archaeology, value of 12, 15 Arias, Fabia´n 362 Arikara 146, 147, 170, 189 n. 146, 371 and horse-keeping 84, 86, 176, 177 and horse medicine cults 173, 174 and smallpox 179–80 and trade 147, 158, 185 and wars with Lakota 177, 180, 189 n. 140 armour horse 53, 107–8, 108, 117, 138 n. 85, 162, 163, 164, 168, 186 n. 86 horseskin Plate 1 Arroyo Nieves 2 273 Arroyo Seco 2 71, 74 Arzhan 51 asses, wild 31, 33, 36, 37, 55 n. 18, 56 n. 51, 63 Assiniboin 10, 84, 146, 153, 158, 166, 179, 186 n. 76, 186 n. 86, 371 horse medicine cults 173, 188 n. 119 horse-poor 83, 156, Athapaskan speakers 93, 97, 99, 101, 103, 109, 139 n. 103, 146, 151; see also Apache; Naishan; Navajo; Sarsi Atsina 146, 166, 186 n. 86, 371 Atwood Lawrence, Elizabeth 352 Australia 303–4, 327–35, 355 British settlement of 327 pastoralism in 331–4 spread of horses in 327–9 spread of livestock in 328 see also Aboriginal Australians

Ava´-Canoeiro 356, 359, 373 Awatovi Pueblo 99 Aztec, see Mexica baboons and horses 319–21, 322, 339 n. 48 baguales 263, 282, 354; see also horses, feral Bahia Honda 223 Balrumba (Aboriginal artist) 330 Bamboo Mountain 320 Bannock 85, 197, 213, 371 and horse-culling 369 n. 77 Barfield, Thomas 349 Basotho 311–12, 319, 356, 325–6, 326 adoption of horses 326–7 Bastaards 306 Battle of the Little Big Horn (1876) 143, 161, 168, 171, 186 n. 81, 363 Battle of the Rosebud (1876) 150, 161, 168, 183 n. 23 Beagle, HMS 284 Begay, Harrison Plate 6 Belcher site 130 Beringia 60, 63, 67, 87 n. 13 Biesterfeldt 131 n. 92 Big Timbers 112 Binnema, Theodore 177 Biolsi, Thomas 163–4 Bison (Bison bison) 84, 127, 132, 133, 146, 150, 163, 201 destruction of 13, 121, 160 ecological competition with horses 18, 116–17, 121, 359 extinct forms 60 hunted by Clovis people 63–4 hunted on foot 15, 146–7, 151, 157 hunted on horseback 1, 9, 11, 19, 82, 99, 104, 122–3, 125, 131, 149, 156–8, 156, 165; 175, 180–1, 195, 196, 199–200, 285, 344, 345, 359, Plate 12; see also buffalo runners and human diet 98, 113–15, 158, 177; see also pemmican

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index importance to Plains peoples 97, 106, 111, 149, 153, 154, 155–6, 181–2, 352 numbers of 113, 115–17, 126, 159–60, 179, 196, 200, 238, 361 spiritual significance 168, 171, 173 survive Pleistocene extinction 66 trade in hides 82, 97, 118, 123, 125, 159–60, 196, 348, 349 trade in robes 6, 18, 159–61, 165, 176, 179, 180, 267, 360 see also Robe-and-Ledger art Black Elk 1, 4, 23 n. 7, 171–2, 173 Black Hills 134 n. 14, 144, 144, 146, 180, 185 n. 41, 185 n. 60 Blackfeet (Blackfoot) 8, 13, 19, 22, 145, 146, 154, 155, 178–9, 197, 348, 371 burial practices 187 n. 93, 347 and horse acquisition 83, 86, 91 n. 107, 355 and horse gear 149–50 and horse-keeping 148, 165 and horse medicine cults 173 and horse ownership 165, 344 and myths about horse origins 171 name for horses 1 n. 1, 151 and rock art 166–7, 167, 168, 186 n. 86, Plate 17 settlement/mobility pattern 153, 184 n. 40 see also Piegan Blackhawk, Ned 349 Blackwater Draw 64 Blessing Way (Navajo ceremony) 109 Boccara, Guillaume 5 Bodmer, Karl Plate 3 bolas 239, 279, 284–5, 286, 294, 344, 354 Bolso´n de Mapimı´ 107, 138 n. 88 Book of Revelation 337 Borderlands 4–6, 23 n. 19, 205, 349, 354 Bororo 245, 373 Borrero, Luis 70, 90 n. 74

429

Botai culture 42–3 Botai site 44, 45, 53 Bozell, Jim 151 Brava Gente Brasileira 244 Brazil, Empire of 246 bridles 33, 34, 40, 45, 150, 209, 215 n. 7, 239, Plate 18 in burials 51, 126, 127 Bushman 318, 338 n. 15 Hidatsa 149 Navajo 105, 107, 110, 135 n. 29, ‘Spanish’ 149 Tehuelche 278, 285 war bridles 150 Brown, William 115 Buchanan Reservoir 207 Buffalo Bird Woman 15, 157 Buffalo Calf Road Woman 161 buffalo runners 155–7, 164, 166 Bushman’s Nek 323 Bushmen 21, 205, 306, 307, 309, 312, 313, 315, 319 hunting on horseback 316, 317 rock art 16, 17, 307, 314, 316, 321, Plate 29, Plate 30 shamanism 313, 322–4 terms for horse 22 n. 2, 364 n. 10 see also AmaTola; 6¼Kade Bushmen; Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen; Mbaklu; /Xam Bushmen Bushman Raiders of the Drakensberg 312 Cabeza de Vaca, Nun˜ez 235, 249 n. 63 Caddo 83, 98, 118, 123, 137 n. 77, 138 n. 85, 371, acquisition of horses 82, 86, 130 and deer hide trade 131–2 Caddoan speakers 98, 108, 130, 158; see also Arikara; Caddo; Pawnee; Wichita Caepe Malal 275, 276, 283, 347 Cahuilla 212, 371 Calfucura´ 290, 291, 292

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430

index

California 204 adoption of horse 9, 85, 205, Plate 20 and feral horses 86, 207 horse-raiding in 204, 205–7, 210, 212, horse-related terminology in 208–9 pre-Columbian inhabitants 193–4 slave-raiding in 196, 212 trade networks in 26 n. 65, 210–12, 211 Spanish colonization of 85, 195, 204–5 California Gold Rush 159 Campaign of 1833 (Argentine) 291 Canyon Creek burial 127, 183 n. 18 Canyon del Muerto 107 Cape Town 304 Carmen de Patagones 269, 278, 291 Catlin, George 131, 150, 156, 180, 184 n. 25, Plate 7, Plate 9 Cattle (Bos taurus) 207, 209 acquisition by Wayu´u 219, 222, 223, 224–5, 226 associated with horses in Navajo mythology 109–10 in Australia 328, 329, 330–4 in Bolivia 362 in Brazil 356 and Comanches 117, 124, 126, 345, 351 compared to horses 43–44, 352 competition with bison and horses 116 expansion in Gran Chaco 20, 231, 238–9, 241 expansion on Llanos 228–30, 229, 231 expansion on Pampas and in Patagonia 20, 261–3, 292 and Guaykuru´ 236, 238–9, 241, 244, 246 hunted on Pampas 263, 264, 285, 345 ignored by Yokuts raiders 206, 345

introduced to Southwest 99, 102 and Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen 311, 312, 315, 318–19, 320, 322, 345, 356 and Mount Roraima 368 n. 72 ranching in North America 159–60, 204–5, 210 as replacement of Pleistocene megafauna 76 and Seminoles 133 in southern Africa 303, 304, 306, 326 traded and raided in Southern Cone 269, 272, 274, 290, 291, 292 and Utes 196 Caupolica´n 258 Cayuse 83, 193, 199, 202, 212, 371 cerrado 90 n. 77, 355, 356, 359 Chaco Canyon 96, 107 Challis, Sam 12, 312, 320 Chane´ 233 Changing Military Patterns of the Great Plains Indians 84 Chapaleofu´, Feria de 272 chariots 46, 47 charqui 285; see also pemmican Charru´a 257, 270, 281, 300 n. 151, Plate 23 Chauvet 39, Plate 2 Chenque I 264 Cherokee 85, 133, 140 n. 140, 300 n. 155, 353, 371 Cheyenne 22, 112, 121, 139 n. 111, 139 n. 112, 150, 155, 161, 163, 174, 371 adoption of horses 1, 86, 177, 178 burial practices 127, 129 as equestrian nomads 85, 154, 364 n. 2 and horse gear 150, movements 120, 146 name for horses 151 and rock art 168, 171 and trade 158 see also Biesterfeldt

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index Chichimecs 78 Chickasaw 85, 133, 371 Childe, Gordon 49 China arrival of horse 47 and Eurasian nomads 51–2, 349–50 Chinchihuapi 89 n. 51 Chinook 193 Chinook winds 144, 179 Chiriguano 362 Choctaw 131, 371 adoption of horses 9, 85, 130, 132–3, 346 eating horses 130 move west of the Mississippi River 133 worldview and horses 130, 132, 347, 358–9 Choctaw horses (breed) 133 Choele Choel 271 choique (Rhea pennata) 257; see also rhea Ciboleros, see Comancheros Clark, Laverne 22 n. 1, 109 Clark, William 198 Clovis culture 60, 62, 64, 66, 67 Clovis points 60, 63, 70 Cluny site 176, 176 Coast Salish 9, 193 Cocina 221, 222, 226, 355, 357, 373 Cocopa 217 n. 80, 357, 371 Coeur d’Alene 193, 201, 371 Cogdell burial 127, 128, 347 Columbia Plateau 83, 145, 150, 195, 197–204, Plate 16 archaeological sites with horse bones 199 ecological change in 200 Columbian Exchange 3, 4, 7, 76, 328, 359 Comanche 13, 19, 107, 154, 165, 176, 371 acquisition of horses 86 and bison hunting 115–17, 122–3, 361 botanical knowledge of 114 burial practices of 126–9

431

captive-taking 118–20, 124, 353 diet of 113–16 eating horses 114, 125–6 expansion of 82–3, 102, 104, 111, 117–21, 145, 349 horse-keeping 111–13, 122–3, 344, 359, 361, 363 horsemanship of 93, Plate 7 horse ownership 19 and mounted warfare 108 origins of 98, 195 as pastoralists 126, 345, 351 population size 116–17 raiding by 120–1, 212, 238, 242, 350–1 rock art 167–8 social differentiation among 123–4, 348, 349 trade networks 113, 118–21, 124, 130, 178 see also Comancheros Comancheros 124–5, 125, 126, 139 n. 103, 181, 195, 353 Conquest of the Desert (Argentine) 5, 265, 290–2 Coronado, Francisco Va´squez de 79, 97, 98, 99, 105, Corral de los Indios 273 Corte´s, Herna´n 77 Costa Rica 75 cottonwood (Populus deltoides) fed to horses 112, 123, 149, 175, 188 n. 127 overexploitation of 123, 136 n. 60 used to make saddles 105, 183 n. 18 coup-counting 165, 167, 201, 367 n. 65 cowboys 354–5 Cox, Guillermo 278, 289 Crazy Horse 171 Cree, see Plains Cree Creek 85, 133, 346, 371 Crosby, Alfred 3, 7, 76, 230, 359 Crossfield Coulee 166 Crow 141, 145–6, 158, 166, 179, 363, 371 acquisition of horses 83, 86

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432

index

Crow (cont.) and horse-culling 363 horse gear 149, 150, 202, Plate 18, Plate 32 horse medicine cults 173 origins 177 and rock art 168 see also Crow Fair Crow Creek 161 Crow Fair 363, Plate 32 Cucunuchi, see Estanislao Cueva Fell 70, 73, 361 Cueva del Lago Sof ´ıa 1 70, 72 Cueva del Medio 70, 72 Daggett, Mike 214 de Ercilla, Alonzo 258 de Garay, Juan 263 de la Harpe, Be´nard 86, 130 de la Salle, Rene´-Robert 81 de la Vaulx, Henri 22 n. 1, 283 de Mendoza, Pedro 261, 262 de Molina, Juan Abbot 267 de Ojeda, Alonso 222 de On˜ate, Juan 79 de Rosas, Juan Manuel 265, 291 de Soto, Hernando 79, 132 Debra L. Friedkin site 62 DNA 54 n. 17, 55 n. 18, 55 n. 19 ancient and horses 63, 67, 68, 88 n. 17 ancient and peopling of the Americas 62 and Charru´a 300 n. 151 of European horse lineages 42 and farming settlement of Europe 50 and horse domestication 43, 56 n. 57 Dereivka 43 Descola, Philippe 230–1, 358 Dismal River culture 135 n. 31 Dobrizhoffer, Martin 219, 231 dogs (Canis familiaris) in Amazonia 358 in Australia 303, 328

compared to horses 3, 7–8, 151–4 as a name for horses 7, 151, 197, 215 n. 3, 336, 358, 360 and Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen 319 sacrificed 187 n. 93, 240 in Tasmania 330 and Tehuelche 274, 280–1, 283, 284 used on Plains for food 177, 184 n. 32 used on Plains for transport 81, 83, 97, 105, 151, 152–4, 157 Don Isidro 2 274 donkeys (Equus asinus) 33, 37, 90 n. 82, 102, 227, 247 n. 20, 345 Dunbar, John 175 Dunn, Edward 323 Dutch East India Company 304 Eastman, Seth Plate 11, Plate 12 eland (Tragelaphus oryx) 307 eland/horse creatures 1, 321–2, 323, 347, Plate 29 hunted with horses 303, 315–16, 316, 322, 323, 344 in Maloti-Drakensberg rock art 321, 322, Plate 29, Plate 30 as rain animals 322–3 epidemic disease 335, 352, 355 in Gran Chaco 238, 241 in La Guajira 222, 227, 229 in North America 16, 18, 84, 90 n. 80, 98, 101, 116, 124, 132, 179, 197 in Southern Cone 256, 294 see also smallpox Epulla´n Grande 277 equestrian nomads 8, 9, 19, 54, 85, 86, 132, 140 n. 121, 229, 290, 344–6, 362 Guaykuru´ as examples 238 as pastoralists 351–2 and settled villagers on North American Plains 174–7

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index Equus (genus) 30, 31–3, 67, 68–9, 74, 303 Equus (Amerhippus) 68, 69 Estanislao 208 Eurasian nomads 51; see also Andronovo Culture; Kazakhs; Scythians; Wusun; Xiongnu; Yakuts; Zunghars Europe and the People without History 3 extinctions 41 of bison 115, 200 causes of 65–6, 67–8 chronology of 67 ecological effects of 75–6 of horses in Europe 42 of horses in North America 66–8 of horses in South America 69–75 of moas 335 Pleistocene 62, 65–6, 70, 74 Ewers, John 8, 171 Ferret, Carole 352 firearms 127, 208, 227 in hunting bison 157 military advantages of 52, 138 n. 85 spread of 6, 18, 143, 147, 159, 178, 200, 284, 336 trade in 82, 117, 119, 196, 197, 223, 226, 269 Fish Hatchery site 130 Flathead 145, 150, 188 n. 122, 193, 197, 199, 200, 201, 202, 371 Flores, Dan 115, 116 Fort Coimbra 244 Fort Sill burial 127 Frances Canyon 103 frontiers 4–5, 84, 297 n. 55, 307, 343, 348–55 fur trade 84, 145, 177, 178, 180, 181, 196 futumapu 289 Garza complex 98 Gasco´n I 275, 289 gauchos 231, 264, 285, 353–5, 354 Gayton, Anna 206

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gender relations 16–17, 158–61, Genı´zaros 139 n. 103, 189 n. 148, 353 Gennakenk 256, 257, 270, 373 Ghost Dance 208 Gimbutas, Marija 49 glass beads 12, 24 n. 22, 124, 127, 130, 150, 161, 199, 204, 210, 235, 238, 273, 274, 275, 277, glass, used to make tools 286, 294, 333 Go¨nnersdorf 38 Gosiute 85, 213, 357, 358 Gran Chaco 246, 263, 307, 345, 347, 348, 349, 351, 353, 356, 358, 363 equestrian adaptations on 12, 13, 20 geography of 231–3, 233 Native peoples of 233–5 Spanish penetration see also Abipones; Guaykuru´; Kadiwe´u; Mbaya´; Mocovı´; Toba 236–8 Grant, James 325 Great Basin 210, 349, 356, Plate 15 Native peoples of 191–3 rock art 213–14 spread of horses in 9, 85, 194–7, 213–14, 355, 357 Great Plains 8, 196, 199–200, 229, 231, 280, 285, 344, 346, 350, 351, 356, 360, 362, Plate 8 bison numbers 115–16 dietary challenges to people 113–14, 157–8 environments of 111–12, 143–4 expansion of horse on 8–9, 11, 13, 80, 83–85, 86 keeping horses on 111–13, 147–53 Native peoples of 144–7, 145 warfare on 108, 161–6, 163, 178–81 see also equestrian nomads; Plains peoples; rock art; Southern Plains Griqua 306, 307, 309, 311, 325, 326, 357 ground sloth 74, 90 n. 63

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Guahibo 228–30, 373 Guana´ 233, 246, 373 relations with Mbaya´ 235, 243, 245, 251 n. 112, 348 Guanabukanes 221 guanaco (Lama guanicoe) 74, 75, 257, 274, 284, 287, 294, 347 hides of, traded 6, 264, 285–6, 293, 293, 347, 360; see also quillangos and horses in rock art 277, 347, Plate 25 hunted from horseback 285–6, 286, 344, 345 multiple uses of 278, 285, 352 nutritional content of 282 skins 267, 278, 281, 282 textiles made from hair 278 Guaykuru´ speakers 13, 231–43, 244, 246, 348, 349, 357, 358, acquisition of horse 236–41 acquisition of livestock 238–9 before Spanish arrival 233–5 class differences 234–5 horse gear 239 horse-keeping 239–40 and Jesuit missions 231, 241–3 resistance to colonization 236–8, 237, 241–2, 292, 356 slave-raiding 236–8, 240 social change among 240–3, 362 see also Abipones; Kadiwe´u; Mbaya´; Mocovı´; Payagua´; Pilaga´; Toba Guevara, Che 295 n. 13 Gu¨nu¨na Ku¨ne, see Gennakenk Ha¨ma¨la¨inen, Pekka 9, 13, 82, 180, 345, 349 Handbook of North American Indians 9 /Han6¼kass’o 322 Hanson, Jeffery 8, 26 n. 69 Head-Smashed–In 155, Plate 8 Hendry, Anthony 153 Herodotus 51

Hidatsa 19, 146–7, 176, 189 n. 140, 371, Plate 9 acquisition of horses 84, 86, 177, 346 and bison-hunting 15, 156, 157; see also Buffalo Bird Woman and Crow 177 and horse gear 149, 150 and horse-keeping 148–9, 160 horse names 148 horse-poor 154 and smallpox 179 status of women 161 and trade 158 Hipparion 30, 31 Hippidion 30, 32, 68, 69, 72, 74–5 H. devillei 30, 68, 71 H. principale 30, 68–9, 71 H. saldiasi 30, 68–9, 70, 71–2, 73, 74 Hippolytus, Saint 77 Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) 323 Holder, Preston 8 Hopi 79, 96, 99, 372 horse bristles, and rock paintings 324 ‘horse complex’ 3, 8, 11, 360–1 horse culling 43, 368 n. 77 Horse Dance of Black Elk 172 of Eastern Shoshone Yellow Brow Society 201 in Tasmania 330 of Tulare Lake Yokuts 208 horse gear Apache and Navajo 105–7, 106, 110 Araucanian 258 Blackfoot 149–50 in burials 127, 128, 129, 275, 289 Caddo 130 Cheyenne 150 on Columbia Plateau 199, 202 Crow 149, 150, 202, Plate 18, Plate 32

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index Guaykuru´ 239 Hidatsa 149–50 Kiowa 122, 149 Maloti-Drakensberg Bushman 318 Nez Perce´ 202, Plate 10, Plate 19 Pehuenche 278, 289 Plains 149–50 Tehuelche 275, 278, 279, 280, 285 see also bridles; horse masks; saddles; stirrups horse-keeping, constraints on 9, 196, 351 in Australia 335 on Great Plains 111–13, 116, 148–9, 152–3, 178 on Llanos 230–1 in southern Africa 309–10 horse masks 51, 150, Plate 10 horsemeat 43–4, 114, 206, 207, 226, 277, 352, 361; see also horses, eating horse medicine cults 173–4, 201, 347 Horse Nations conquest of 121, 160, 180, 224, 243, 290–4, 325–6, 350, 352–3 definition of 4–5 requirements for 355–9 similarities among 346–8, 351–5 survival of 363–4, Plate 32 variety of 344–6 horse raiding 9, 20, 191 Araucanian 264, 270–1 Athapaskan 81 Comanche 107, 111, 117–21, 123, 125–6, 349, 356 in California 205–7, 210–2, 345 on Columbia Plateau 201 in Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains 311, 315–19, 320, 345, 356 Mbaya´ 245, 246 Navajo 109 on Plains 163–4, 165–6, 170, 178, Plate 14 in Robe-and-Ledger art 170

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in rock art 166–7, 167, 169 Ute 195–7 horseshoes 35, 77, 106, 334 horseskin armour Plate1 horseskins, used to make toldos 281 Horse Society (Oglala Lakota) 173 horse wars (Plains) 178–81 horses agency of 6–7, 336, 359–61 armour, see armour, horse biology 33–7, 34, 111, 152 breaking in 148–9, 240 breeding 130, 148, 198, 203, 363 and burials 1, 51, 53–4, 110, 126–9, 128, 129, 130, 187, 197, 201, 240, 260, 283–4, 283, 347–8 compared to dogs 3, 7–8, 151–4 decoration of 106–7, 150, 240, Plate 18, Plate 19 diseases of 248 n. 42, 310, 315, 357 domestication of 39–40, 42–4, 45 eating 43–4, 64, 73, 102, 114, 132, 174, 203, 206, 226, 260, 267, 274, 277, 282–3, 319; see also horsemeat ecological overlap with bison 18, 116–17, 121, 359 ecological effects of 7, 75–6, 123, 200, 213, 287–8, 337, 359 effects on diet on Columbia Plateau 200 effects on diet in Patagonia 282 effects on settlement pattern in Patagonia 286–7, 294, 359 effects on settlement pattern on Plains 152–3 in Europe 37–43 evolution 29–32, 30 extinction in North America 66–8 extinction in South America 69–75 feral 20, 35–6, 36, 85, 86, 130, 206–7, 210, 213, 241, 262–3, 272, 274, 287–8, 309–10, 328, 337, 361, 369 n. 77; see also baguales

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436

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horses (cont.) hunting, see bison; cattle; eland; guanaco; rhea; wapiti Indigenous terms for 22 n. 1, 22 n. 2, 24 n. 28, 48, 134 n. 17, 151, 208–9, 215 n. 3, 226, 250 n. 74, 309, 328–9, 354 milking 43–4, 44 in mythology 102–3, 171–3, 226–7, 260, 284 non-adoption of 213–14, 226, 230–1, 236, 334–5, 355, 357–9 as pack animals 46, 81, 85, 105, 109, 132, 149–50, 154, 157, 160, 194, 239–40, 280–1, 280, 316, 348, 360, Plate 11 problems caused to farmers 160, 175, 217 n. 80 reintroduced to the Americas 76–87, 80, 220, 235–6, 258, 261–3 riding 7, 40, 44, 53, 101, 122, 148, 149, 154, 157, 194–5, 198, 206, 208l 219, 238, 240, 259–60, 278, 284, 285, 320, 334 in rites of passage 110, 240, 283–4, 347 sacrifice of 46, 51, 53, 77, 126–7, 166, 201, 240, 260, 283, 294, 347, 352 and slave-raiding 20, 81–2, 107, 118–19, 124–5, 162, 195–7, 212, 213–14, 238, 240–1, 245, 246, 307, 349, 351 in Southeastern United States 130–3 toy images of 214 transportation, see as pack animals; riding and also travois treatment of sick and injured 109, 174 and warfare 8, 46, 107–9, 108, 117, 118, 161–7, 163, 164, 167, 169, 197, 239, 258, 259–60, 284–5, 326, 360, Plate 17; see also horse raiding; horse wars

see also horse gear; horse-keeping; horsemeat; horse raiding; horse wars; rock art and names of individual peoples and regions Hoxie, Frederick 8, 189 n. 133 huasos 354–5 Hudson’s Bay Company 83, 84, 146, 181, 197 Huilliche 257, 290, 294 n. 5, 373 Huns 51 Hunt, William Price 200 Hussie Miers site 167 hypsodonty 31, 69 identity of Indigenous groups 12, 181, 270–1, 289, 290, 294, 306, 312, 353, 363–4 Inacayal 289 Indo-European languages 48–51, 48 Inka Empire 4, 77, 220, 258, 262, 277 Interior Salish 193 Interserrana 74 Isenberg, Andrew 8, 9,13 Jesuits 237, 243, 350 in Argentina 269, 270, 289, 290 in Arizona 102 in Bolivia 362 in Colombian Llanos 248 n. 42 in Gran Chaco 231, 241–2 in Mexico 163 Jicarilla Apache 103, 104, 110, 135 n. 31, 135 n. 33, 371 jicaro (Crescentia alata) 75–6 Jı´menez, Francisco 208 Jinetes sin Cabezas rock painting 107, Plate 5 Joliet Plate 13 Jolı´s, Jose´ 231 Jumanos 26 n. 71, 81, 98, 104, 134 n. 14 6¼Kade Bushmen 316, 317 Kadiwe´u 240, 244–6, 344, 362, 373 art of 240, 251 n. 115 modern class structure of 246 relations with Guana´ 245

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index Kaimanawa Mountains 36, 337 Kaketı´o 221, 222 Kalapuya 216 n. 37 Kalispel 193, 199, 372 kangaroos and horses 1, 330, 347, Karoo 309, 319, 357 Kavanagh, Thomas 113 Kayapo´ 356, 359, 373 Kazakhs 282 Khoe (Khoekhoen) 304, 306, 311, 313, 321, 322 Kiowa 98, 116, 120, 122, 124, 134 n. 14, 136 n. 44, 137 n. 77, 145, 149, 185 n. 60, 365 n. 30, 367 n. 58, 372 burial practices 126–30, 347 horse medicine cults 173 horse ownership 124, 163 rock art 167–8 Kiowa Apache, see Naishan Klamath 212, 372 Koppel, Charles Plate 20 Korana 306–7, 308, 309, 311, 320, 326, 357 Krahoˆ 356, 359, 373 Kumeyaay 212, 372 Kusi’na, see Cocina Kutenai 145, 150, 179, 197, 200, 216 n. 26, 372 La Araucana 258 La Guajira 20, 220–6, 242, 291, 345, 351, 355, 356, 357, 362, Plate 21 Spanish attempts to control 222–3, 225–7 La Pitia 222 La Ve´rendrye, Pierre 84, 158 Lakota 4, 22, 174, 180, 187 n. 93, 372 acquisition of horses 86 and beliefs about horses 149–50, 171–3 and conflict over horses 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 348 expansion 83–4, 146, 180–1 name for horses 151

437

nutritional status 157–8 and rock art 168, 171 use of horses in war 163 Landals, Alison 25 n. 49, 152–3 Larson site 189 n. 46 Las Lajitas 275 Lasley Vore site 130 Laura 330–1, 331 Lautaro 258 Leichhardt, Ludwig 328 Lengua speakers 233, 373 Lesotho 33, 306, 310–1, 312, 318, 338 n. 10 delayed agricultural colonization of 337 n. 6 suitability for horses 315, 325–6 Lewis, Meriwether 198, 19 Likoaeng 318, 322 Lipan Apache 103, 104, 136 n. 55, 371 Little High Rock Canyon 215 Little Ice Age 115, 144, 263, 274, 287 llaneros 231, 354–5, Plate 22 Llano Estacado 95, 97, 127 Llanos 20, 227–31, 229, 240, 355, 357–8, 362 archaeology of 227–8 Longest site 130 Longhorn site 81 Los Vilos 70 Lule 233, 373 machi, see Mapuche, shamans and horses McKinlay, John 328 Malleo Malal 277 Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen 20, 22 n. 2, 205, 315, 319, 326, 347, 349, 356, 362; see also AmaTola Maloti–Drakensberg Mountains 310–11, 310, 312, 319, 324–6, 345, 353, 355, 356, 360–1, 363, Plate 28 rock art of 17, 314, 316–18, 316, 320–24, 321, Plate 29, Plate 30 suitability for horses 315, 357

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mammoth steppe 60, 67 mammoths (Mammuthus spp.) 60, 63, 66, 76 Mamuil Malal 277 Mandan 19, 146–7, 150, 176, 372 and horse-keeping 84, 86, 165, 177, 187 n. 88, 187 n. 102 and smallpox 179 and trade 84, 147, 158 Mandrini, Rau´l 11 Manzaneros 290, 292 Ma¯ori adoption of horses 336–7, Plate 31 settlement of New Zealand 335–6 Mapuche 18, 25 n. 58, 256, 257, 258, 261, 270, 271, 289, 294, 348, 353, 363 acquisition of horses 259–61, 344 burial practices of 260, 283 resistance to Chilean conquest 271–2, 291–3 shamans and horses 259–61, 347 see also Araucanians; Mapudungun speakers Mapudungun speakers 257, 258, 270–1; see also Araucanians; Huilliche; Mapuche; Pehuenche Maran, Francisco Joseph 269 Marsden, Samuel 336 Marsh, Othniel 173 Mascardi, Nicola´s 289 Mataco speakers 233, 236 material culture 9–10, 200, 208, 213, 246, 270, 272, 313, 360 Mauersmanshoek 307, 308 Mayo 97, 102, 372 Mayor, Adrienne 173 Mbaklu 313 Mbaya´ 219, 231, 233, 238, 239, 240, 244–5, 347, 373 acquisition of horses 236 acquisition of livestock 238–9, 345 class differences 234–5, 243 relations with Guana´ 235, 243, 245, 348 see also Kadiwe´u

Mdwebo 315, 318, 338 n. 28 Meadowcroft Shelter 62 Melikane rockshelter 22 n. 1, 321–2, Plate 29 Mescalero Apache 103, 104, 110, 135 n. 33, 373 Mesohippus 30, 31 Me´tis 181–2, 182, 353, 372 Mexica 4, 77, 78 Mexico, raided by Comanche 120–1 Meyers Spring 82, 108 Michif 181 Miohippus 30, 31 missions in California 205–6, 208 in Gran Chaco 242–3 Miwok 9, 85, 194, 207, 209–9, 345, 356, 372 Mocovı´ 231, 233, 234, 239, 242, 243, 250 n. 74, 373 and horses in rituals 240, 250 n. 89 Modoc 212, 372 Mojave 9, 194, 204, 210, 217 n. 68, 372 Mojo 362 Monte Verde 62, 69 Montgomery Pass Wild Horse Territory 36 Moorosi (chief of the BaPhuthi) 324 Mormons 196 Moshoeshoe I, king of Lesotho 319, 325, 326 mules 37, 102, 119, 120, 125, 126, 134 n. 17, 154–5, 168, 209, 210, 213, 223, 226–7, 228, 275, 337 n. 5 Musters, George 278, 281, 294 n. 4, 298 n. 100, 299 n. 118 Nacogdoches 132 Nahuel Huapi, Lake 264, 270, 277, 287, 289, 290, Plate 27 Naishan 116, 120, 137 n. 77, 185 n. 60, 372 burial practices 110, 126–7, 129 naja 139 n. 112, Plate 18 Namuncura´ 292

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index Namuncura´, Blessed Ceferino 300 n. 156 n˜andu´ (Rhea americana) 257, 264, 274; see also rhea Natchitoches 132 Navajo 9, 13, 19, 22, 95, 97, 104, 105, 350, 363, 365 n. 26, 372 adoption of horses 79, 81, 103–5 adoption of sheep 79, 103, 345 burial practices 110, 127, 347 and horse-culling 363 horse gear 105–7, 106 horse mythology 102–3, 344, 347, Plate 6 horses in religion 109–10, 322, 344, 347 Neanderthals 37, 40 Neuque´n 264, 292, 351 archaeology of 257, 263–4, 275–7 New Orleans 83, 120, 130, 131, 176 New Zealand 36, 303–4, 309, 335–7 Nez Perce´ 83, 189 n. 132, 193, 199, 200, 201, 202–3, 212, 372 and Appaloosa horses 202–3, Plate 19 burial practices 201, 347–8 horse gear 202, Plate 10, Plate 19 and horse-ownership 83, 174, 200–3 Nez Perce´ horse (breed) 203 Nez Perce´ War (1877) 203 nguillatun ceremony 260, 261 Nin˜a, La 179 Nisqually 203, 372 nomenclature of Indigenous groups 21–2, 371–4 Northwest Company 84, 181 Nossa Senhora do Bom Conselho do Mato Grande Mission 246 Nqabayo 315, 325, 339, n. 28, 340 n. 64 ˜ uagapua 89 n. 55 N Nuer 352 Ojibwa, see Plains Ojibwa Old Spanish Trail 210

439

Oldman River Dam 152–3 Omaha (people) 83, 84, 161, 174, 187 n. 93, 372 One Gun phase 177 Onohippidium 54 n. 8, 68, 89 n. 43 Oorlams 306 Orange Free State 312, 319, 325 Oregon Trail 159 Orpen, James 325 Osage 84, 126, 133, 147, 175–6, 372 Osborn, Alan 178, 362 Ouzman, Sven 307 Pacific Northwest Coast, horses on 9, 20, 86, 203 Pacification of the Frontier (in Chile) 290–2 Paine´-Gu¨or, Ranquel chief 290 Paisley Cave, Oregon 62 Paiute 193, 212, 372 adoption of horses 214, 357 attitude to horses 213 as slaves 195, 197, 218 n. 85 see also Bannock Palermo, Miguel 11, 360–1, 364 n. 1 Pampas 8, 263, 272, 274, 275, 345, 351, 353, 356 Argentine annexation of 270, 291–2 geography of 255, 257, Plate 24 Native peoples of 11, 12, 237, 239, 257, 266, 267, 268, 269, 271–2, 288–90, 348, 349; see also Ranquels and Pleistocene extinctions 68–74 Spanish frontier on 264, 351 spread of horses 261–3, 287–8 Pantanal 76, 233, 244, 245 archaeology of 246–7 Pantaneiro horse 244 Papago 97–8, 372 Paquime´ 97 Paredo´n Lanfre´ 277, Plate 25 parlamentos 259, 288, 291, 296 n. 50 Paso Otero 5 74, 90 n. 65 Pass of Antuco 267

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pastoralism, Australian 331–5, 332, 333, 334 Patagonia 201, 239, 269, 270, 351, 356, 361 Argentine annexation 270, 292–3 changes in settlement pattern 286–7, 294, 359 expansion of cattle 263 expansion of horses 261–3, 278–84, 362 geography of 255, 257, 287, Plate 26 Native peoples of 11, 12, 256–7, 278–88, 289, 290, 293–4, 344, 345, 347, 353, 363; see also Ao´nik’enk; Tehuelche and Pleistocene horses 68, 70–5 Paterson, Alistair 14, 26 n. 65 Paucke, Florian 231, 237, 243 Pawnee 8, 83, 108, 118, 147, 189 n. 140, 372 and dogs 151, 184 n. 40, and horses 84–5, 86, 174, 175–6, 178, 188 n. 127, 346 Payagua´ 233, 236, 243, 244 Payeras, Father Mariano 192, 208 Pazyryk 47, 51 Pedro II, emperor of Brazil 246 Pehuenche 257, 264, 275, 290, 294 n. 5, 295 n. 21, 373 acquisition of European crops 267, 365 n. 25 acquisition of horses 267 pivotal role in trade 264, 267–9, 271, 272, 356 and riding 278, 289 and toldos 267, 281 see also Caepe Malal pemmican 113, 122, 154, 179, 181, 285 Perdue, Colin 352, 353 Picon, Franc¸ois-Rene´ 13, 347 Piedra Museo 70, 72, 73, 277 Piegan 83, 161, 166, 184 n. 41, 371, Plate 3

acquisition of horses 197 and horse-ownership 165 see also Running Eagle; Saahko´maapi Pilaga´ 233, 234, 236, 239, 242, 243, 373 Pima 96, 102, 372 Pine Ridge Reservation 173 Pitre´n Complex 263 Pizarro, Francisco 220 Plains Cree 146, 166, 181, 348, 372 horse-poor 83 Plains Ojibwa 92 n. 131, 146, 372 Plains peoples 97–8, 111–29, 144–89, 362 changes in location of 145–6, 145 material culture adopted on Columbia Plateau 200–2, 201 material culture adopted in northern California 212 nutritional status of 157–8 trade with Euro-Americans 159–60 see also Arapaho; Arikara; Assiniboin; Atsina; Blackfoot; Cheyenne; Comanche; Crow; Hidatsa; Great Plains; Kiowa; Lakota; Mandan; Me´tis; Naishan; Osage; Pawnee; Piegan; Plains Cree; Plains Ojibwa; Sarsi; Yanktonai plant foods 70, 98, 113–14, 158, 193, 257, 315, 328, 357 Pleistocene rewilding 76 Ponca 107, 161, 189 n. 131, 372 ponchos, trade in 20, 266, 267–9, 268, 270, 272, 278, 283, 354, 360 Poyas 270 praire turnips (Psoralea esculenta) 114, 158 Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalski) 32 Pueblo peoples 79, 93, 96–7, 117 and horses 99–102, 100, 101, 103, 163, 277

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index and Navajo 103 trade with Southern Plains 97, 98, 113, 158, 161 see also Acoma; Hopi; Taos; Zun˜i Pueblo Revolt 79, 81, 99, 103, 195 Puelche 257, 264, 281 Puyallup 86, 203, 372 Quechan 212, 217 n. 80, 357, 372 Que´randi 2567, 297 n. 61 Querechos 97, 105 Quereo 70 quillangos 286, 293, 293; see also guanaco hides rain-making Bushman 322–3 Korana 307 Navajo 110 Pueblo 101 Ranquels 267, 272, 274, 290, 292, 300 n. 155, 353, 368 n. 74, 373 rastrilladas 272 Rattlesnake Canyon 204 Rawhira Te Ara-moana 336 Renfrew, Colin 49 Reno, Marcus Major 186 n. 81 Reynolds, Henry 329, 335 rhea (Rhea americana, R. pennata) 257, 284, 354 fat content 298 n. 99 hunted with bolas 285, 286 hunted with horses 238, 285, 286, 344 trade in feathers 266, 269, 2 see also choique; n˜andu´ 93 Rice, Julian 172 Riohacha 222, 223 Robe-and-Ledger art 168–9, 170, 173, Plate 14 Robinson, George Augustus 330 Roca, Julio 292 rock art 11, 14, 47, 147, 360, 361–2 Aboriginal Australian 330–2, 331, 332 AmaTola 313, 314, 320, 321–4

441

Andean 262, 262 Basotho 327 Biographic Tradition 167–8, 167, 170, Plate 13, Plate 17 Blackfoot 166–7, 167, 168, 186 n. 86, Plate 17 at Bolso´n de Mapimı´ 107, Plate 5 Bushman 1, 16, 17, 307, 314, 316, 321 Californian 208–10, 209 Ceremonial Tradition Cheyenne 168, 171 Columbia Plateau 202 Comanche 167–8 Crow 168 Dinwoody Tradition 187 n. 105 Great Basin 213–14 Hoofprint Tradition 168, 169 Kiowa 167–8 Korana 306–7, 308 Lakota 168, 171 Maloti-Drakensberg 1, 17, 313, 314, 316, 316–18, 320–4, 321, Plate 29, Plate 30 Modalidad Regional (MALB) 277 in Neuque´n 277 Numic-speaker 209 Patagonian 277–8, Plate 25 Plains 19, 150, 162, 165, 166–9, 167, 171, 188 n. 26 in Southwest 82, 107, 108 Upper Palaeolithic 38–9, Plate 2 Ute 215 n. 7 warfare in 162, 165 see also Hussie Miers site; Jinetes sin Cabezas painting; Robe-andledger art; Writing-on-Stone Rodrı´guez, Sebastian 207 rooster pulls 99, 101 Running Eagle 161 Russia and Eurasian nomads 350, 352 Saahko´maapi 186 n. 76, 186 n. 83, 197 Sacajawea 199

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saddles 51, 130, 149, 150, 162, 199, 209, 326, 338 n. 15 antler-framed 149 Apache and Navajo 105, 106, 107, 110, 135 n. 29, 135 n. 33 Araucanian 258 Australian Aboriginal 329 in burials 110, 126–7, 128, 129, 283 Crow 202 Guaykuru´ 239, 251 n. 115 Hidatsa 149 Kiowa 122, 149 Maloti-Drakensberg Bushman 17, 318, 339 n. 43 Tehuelche 278, 279, 283 Wayu´u 248 n. 29 Sahaptian 193, 215 n. 3 St Michel d’Arudy 40, 40 Salinas Grandes 269, 290 San Agustı´n de Tucso´n Mission 102 San Antonio (Spanish frigate) 283 San Joaquin Valley 85, 86, 193, 205–8 San Julian burial 283, 290 San Juan Bautista Mission 206 San Luis Obispo 206 San Xavier Mission 242, 243 Sa´nchez Labrador, Jose´ 231, 246 Santa Ana Pueblo Santa Ine´s IV 272–3, 273 Santiago Matamoros (Saint James) 99, 101, 277 Santo Domingo Pueblo 96, 99, 100 Sarsi 146, 151, 173, 187 n. 93, 373 Sayhueque 292 Scho¨ningen 37 Scythians 50–1, 53 Secoy, Frank 8, 84 Segesser I painting 162, 163 Seminole 133, 373 shamans 187 n. 105, 240 Apache 110 Bushman 1, 313, 314, 322–4 Mapuche 259–60 Shoshone 85, 91 n. 107, 114, 145, 187 n. 105, 196, 198, 199, 201, 357, 373

acquisition of horses 83, 108, 162, 197–8, mounted warfare 108 see also Bannock; Gosiute Sierra de Tandilia 255, 269, 273, 291 archaeology of 272–4 Sierra de la Ventana 255, 269, 297 n. 69 Siouan speakers 147, 168 Slatta, Richard 353–4 smallpox 84, 116, 117, 125, 138 n. 89, 152, 177, 179, 197, 200, 241, 335, 352 Smohalla 199 Soai 325 Solutre´ 37–8, 38, 39 Southern Plains 19, 79, 104, 147, 154, 158, 161, 166, 178, 181, 195, 349 bison numbers on 115–17, 121, 361 expansion of horses 80, 81, 361 geography of 95–6, 96, 111–13, 112 Native peoples of 97–8, 111–29, 146, 362; see also Comanche; Jumanos; Kiowa Southwest (North America) 8, 13, 19, 149, 236, 355, 356, 362 definition of 93 expansion of horses 79–81, 80, 103–4, 178 geography of 95, 104, 105, Plate 4 Native peoples of 96–110, 166, 205; see also Apache; Navajo; Pueblo peoples trade networks 98, 113, 119, 124, 126, 147 Spanish conquest of Argentina 261–2 of California 204–5 of Chile 258–9 of Gran Chaco 236, 241–2 of Inka Empire 220 of Llanos 228 of Mexico 77–9, 78 of Southwest 79, 99, 101–2 Sporomiella fungus 66

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index Stands-in-Timber, John 171 stilt-legged horses (Equus francisci, E. lambei) 63, 66, 69, 89 n. 37 stirrups 346 Ao´nik’enk 278, 279 Apache 107 Araucanian 258 Blackfoot 149 in burials 127, 129, 275, 289 Caddo 130 Guaykuru´ 239 Kiowa 122 leather 122, 278 Maloti-Drakensberg Bushman 318 Navajo 106 origins 53 Pehuenche 278, 289 rawhide 149 Tehuelche 279 from textiles 278 wooden 106, 130, 135 n. 29, 239, 258, 278, 318 Sto´:loˆ 203 Strangways sheep station 334, 341 n. 91 Stuart, John 329 Swart, Sandra 6, 23 n. 21, 337 n. 2 Swedberg, Angela Plate 18, Plate 19 Tacitus 290 Taguatagua 70 Taima-Taima 89 n. 55 Taos Pueblo 96, 99, 100, 113, 117, 134 n. 14, 373 Tarahumari 81, 97, 102, 373 Tarascans 77, 373 Tarim Basin 47–8, 49, 350 Tasman, Abel 303 Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki 337 Tehuelche 270–2, 271, 280, 281, 290, 293, 297 n. 61, 348 eating horses 282–3 use of horses in hunting 284–5, 286, 365 n. 31 see also Ao´nik’enk

443

Teushen 256, 270, 374 Teyas 98 The Dalles 193, 194, 202, 212 The Other Side of the Frontier 329 Thunder Beings (Lakota) 172–3 Tibito´ 70 Tierra Blanca complex 97 tipis 134 n. 8, 148, 153–4, 162, 164, 169, 170, 196, 201, 367 n. 65 Toba 233, 234, 238, 240, 242, 243, 250 n. 74, 374 Tolar 117, 118, 138 n. 82 toldos 267, 281, 281, 285–6 Tornquist Park 263, 287 trade in alcohol on the Pampas 266, 273–4 in California and the Great Basin 26 n. 65, 210–12, 211 between California and New Mexico 210–12, 211 on the Columbia Plateau 202, 203–4 and Comanche 118–20, 119, 124, 126, on the Great Plains 158–61 of maize in the Southern Cone 257 of maize on the Southern Plains 98, 113 Pampas/Araucanian network 264, 267–8, 349, 351, 356 and Pehuenche 264, 267–9, 271, 272, 356 travois in burials 127 and dogs 151, 153, 154, 360 and horses 153–4, 194, 201, 344, 360, 367 n. 65, Plate 11 Treaty of Madrid 244 Treaty of Quillı´n 259 trekboere 304–6 Tres Arroyos 70, 72 Tres Picos 1 277 Tulare, Lake 193, 204, 207, 208 Turner Shelter 166–7, 167

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444

index

Umatilla 202, 373 Umm el Tlel 37 Upper Palaeolithic art 38–40, 39, 40, Plate 2 Ute 9, 103, 117, 174, 193, 194, 199, 210, 214, 350, 359, 373 adoption of horses 81, 83, 85, 194–6, 213 and horse-culling 368 n. 77 and rock art 215 n. 7 Verdigris Coulee Plate 17 Vilela 233, 374 Vinnicombe, Patricia 12, 17, 312, 316, 316–17 Vogelherd 38, 39 Waccara 196–7, 210, 213, 359–60 Walla-Walla 198, 373 Wally’s Beach 63–4, 64, 361 Wanebukan, see Guanabukanes wapiti (Cervus canadensis) 148, 149, 150, 200 hunted on horseback 207 War of Arauco (1541–1641) 257–9 War of the Pacific (1879–83) 292 War of the Triple Alliance (1864–70) 246, 292 Washat (Seven Drums) religion 199 Washoe 193, 373 Wayu´u 13, 219, 221–7, 225, 363, 374 adoption of pastoralism 20, 222, 224–5, 345 and horses 225–7, 231, 345, 348, 358 and lactose tolerance 224 livestock significance 224–6 and mythology 226–7 origins 221, 231 resistance to Spanish colonization, 223–4, 242, 351 and smuggling 223

Weber, David 13, 14 Welqa´mex 203 White, Richard 5, 8, 175, 180 Wichita 83, 86, 117, 118, 123, 130, 137 n. 77, 138 n. 85, 139 n. 96, 161, 373 acquisition of horses 84, 86, 108, 130, 133 Wissler, Clark 8, 11, 16, 17–18, 172, 188 n. 127, 367 n. 65 Wusun 51 Wright, John 12, 311, 349 Writing-on-Stone 162, 165, 166–7, 168, 171, 172, 187 n. 106 /Xam Bushmen 309, 319, 322, 323, 357 Xavante 356, 359, 374 Xhosa 311, 313–14, 318, 322, 326 and baboons 320, 321 Xiongnu 51, 349 Yakama 193, 198, 202, 373 and horse-culling 369 n. 77 Yakuts 51, 53, 282, 352, 365 n. 33 Yanktonai 166, 181, 372 Yaqui 97, 102, 373 Yellowstone Canyon burial 126–7 Yokuts 9, 194, 205–10, 345, 356, 359, 373 acquisition of horses 85, 206–7, 208–9 Yuehzhi 51 Zacatecas 77 Zappia, Natale 26 n. 65, 210, 349 Zebras 29, 30, 31–3, 35, 36, 304, 309, 339 n. 35, 347 Zorro 208 Zulu 313, 315, 318, 326, 338 n. 21 Zunghars 349–50, 350, 352, 366 n. 49 Zun˜i 79, 96, 373