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It is well known that Dakota/Lakota people have traditionally eaten dogs, and indeed they still do at certain times, but conversely they would no more eat horses than Europeans would eat dogs.
So that if both these cultural traits, in regards to horses and dogs, are ancestral, it would be useless to seek horse remains in garbage heaps.
His memoirs show that he was a keen observer of the fauna and flora wherever he traveled, and it was interesting to note his remarks on the Indian pony’s characteristics:“I interrupt my discourse, to say a few words concerning the horses of the Indians…At a cursory glance one might mistake them for horses from the steppes of eastern Europe.
The long manes, long necks, strong bodies and strait back make them appear like the horses of Poland…On the whole the horses of the Indians are very enduring…”He explained this curious phenomena (sic) by postulating that the Indian pony had descended from the Spanish horses, but that it has “degenerated, ” so that “They now resemble the parent (Spanish) stock very little.”If Elders are correct, and if the aboriginal pony did survive, it might well also explain why the ponies so closely resembled the Tarpan or the Polish horses, and perhaps systematic extermination of these ponies by the U. government has deprived science of very valuable information.
Fossil, genetic and archeological evidence supports these species as native.
Also, objective evaluations of their respective ecological niches and the mutual symbioses of post-gastric digesting, semi-nomadic equids support wild horses and burros as restorers of certain extensive North American ecosystems.
According to Elders, the aboriginal pony had the following characteristics: It was small, about 13 hands, it had a “strait” back necessitating a different saddle from that used on European horses, wider nostrils, larger lungs so that its endurance was proverbial.
This has led anthropologists to assume that Plains Indians only acquired horses after Spaniards accidentally lost some horses in Mexico, in the beginning of the XVIth (16th) century, that these few head multiplied and eventually reached the prairies.
Dakota/Lakota Elders as well as many other Indian nations contest this theory, and content that according to their oral history, the North American horse survived the Ice Age, and that they had developed a horse culture long before the arrival of Europeans, and, furthermore, that these same distinct ponys (sic) continued to thrive on the prairies until the latter part of the XIXth (19th) century, when the U. government ordered them rounded up and destroyed to prevent Indians from leaving the newly-created reservations.
C., Indian petroglyphs are usually impossible to date accurately.
Digs have also concentrated mainly on villages sites, but if prehistoric prairie Indians had the same aversions to eating horsemeat as Dakota/Lakota people have today, then middens (garbage heaps) would not contain the necessary evidence either.
Frederick Wilhelm, Prince of Wurtemberg, a widely respected naturalist, traveled along the Mississippi and up the Missouri in 1823.