‘A Song for the Horse Nation’ – exhibition at Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington

Randall L. Willis, chairman of the National Museum of the American Indian Board of Trustees, his wife Teresa, and the curator of the exhibition Emil Her Many Horse. Randall L. Willis, chairman of the National Museum of the American Indian Board of Trustees, his wife Teresa, and the curator of the exhibition Emil Her Many Horse.

“A SONG FOR THE HORSE NATION” – a critically acclaimed exhibition about the enduring relationship between Native people and horses – held its opening reception at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. on Thursday evening, October 27. Previously the exhibition was showed at the museum’s George Gustav Heye Center in New York. The expanded Washington version shows 15 more objects, including a 16-foot high, 38-foot circumference hand-painted 19th century Sioux tipi depicting battle and horse raiding scenes. Other highlights among the 112 items are a life-size horse-mannequin in spectacular, fully-beaded regalia and Geronimo and Chief Joseph’s rifles.

A 16-foot high, 38-foot circumference hand-painted 19th century Sioux tipi depicting battle and horse raiding scenes.A 16-foot high, 38-foot circumference hand-painted 19th century Sioux tipi depicting battle and horse raiding scenes.

“A SONG for the Horse Nation” presents the story of the horse’s influence on American Indian tribes beginning with the return of horses to the Western Hemisphere by Christopher Columbus to the present day. The exhibition traces how horses changed the lives of Native people from the way they traveled, hunted and defended themselves to how horse trade among tribes was the conduit for the magnificent spread of horses in the Plains and Plateau regions of the United States. It shows beautifully how horses became the inspiration for new artworks and how horse traditions continue today in Indian Country at fairs, rodeos and annual youth rides.

THE EXHIBITION runs through January 7, 2013. National Museum of the American Indian is located at 4th Street and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. For more information: www.nmai.si.edu.

 'A Song for the Horse Nation' - exhibition at Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington 'A Song for the Horse Nation' - exhibition at Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington 'A Song for the Horse Nation' - exhibition at Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington 'A Song for the Horse Nation' - exhibition at Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington 'A Song for the Horse Nation' - exhibition at Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington

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