Horses Come to the Plains Tribes

“It is generally accepted by anthropologists that these herds originated from the horses lost or abandoned by De Soto about . 1541. Whether they came from De Soto’s horses, or from those of Coronado, or from other explorers is not material; . we know that the Kiowa and Missouri Indians were mounted by 1682; the Pawnee, by 1700; the Comanche, by 1714; the Plains Cree and Arikara, by 1738; the Assiriboin, Crow, Mandan, Snake, and Teton, by 1742; and the most northern tribe, the Sarsi, by 1784. How much earlier these Indians rode horses we do not know; but we can say that the dispersion of horses which began in 1541 was completed over the Plains area by 1784. This dispersion proceeded from south 1b north and occurred in the seventeenth and eizhteenth /centuries. At the same time, horse culture spread in the region east of the Mississippi and west of the Rocky Mountains, but in both cases it was restricted, never developing to any extent north of Virginia or the Ohio on the east, or north of California on the west. In the spread of the horse and horse culture through the whole Plains area, as contrasted with its partial spread both to the east and to the west, we have another example of the cultural unity of the Plains.”