Series 1, Program 5: The Horse in Native Culture*


Elder Wisdom Feature: Rusty Houtz

Barbara Roberts features Rusty Houtz, Shoshone elder who tells about the traditional travels of the Shoshone and the coming of the horse. He relates childhood stories from the 20's and 30's of survival out in the country hunting rabbits and squirrels and gathering other wild foods.

Health and Healing

Judy Bluehorse Skelton tells how tribes are healing by working with the animal kingdom as well as the plant world. She shares the role the Appaloosa horse is playing in the recovery and healing of Nez Perce culture and about tribal programs connecting disabled children and at risk youth with the Appaloosas. She discusses the importance of the Nez Perce wolf recovery program.

Tribal Rhythms

Nico Wind, musician and Assiniboine horsewoman, shares some of her favorite songs and stories that acknowledge the various roles of the horse in Navajo/Dine culture.

Taheebvu Chadi

Song carrier Judy Trejo tells a desert creation story of the flood and how Creator brought sagebrush to the desert people to help them survive. "And the Creator said, 'As long as you believe in me, I will give you this plant. From this plant, you can boil the leaves and make medicine. You can take the bark and you can weave it into clothing. You can rinse your hair in it so it can shine...'".

Turtle Island Storytellers

Victor Mandan tells the traditional Mandan story of the departure of the early horse from their nation and of its return hundreds of years later. "...Standing on the edge of the woods, the horse told the people, 'Do not cry for I will return. And when I come back, I will be much changed and you will not know me but those who keep the stories will know who I am."

* Segment transcripts and participant biographies can be found on the Wisdom of the Elders Web site.