Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Facts- Appaloosa Horse

Since I'm coming down off a high from a wonderful 5 heart review for Spirit of the Mountain , I'm giving you some Nez Perce or Nimiipuu facts or conjecture from learned men and my own thoughts today.

In 1806, Captain Lewis, of the famous duo Lewis and Clark who made the trek to the Pacific Ocean and back, commented the Nez Perce had the largest horse herd on the continent. Anthropologists and historians believe the famed Appaloosa ponies the Nez Perce favored and raised came from the Asian continent. There have been pictographs found in Asian and Chinese Art of spotted horses.

It's been theorized the Nez Perce and other Pacific NW tribes could have crossed between the two continents at one time when there was a land bridge between Alaska and Russia.

The number of horse a family had was a sign of wealth to the Nez Perce. They prided themselves on good bloodlines and fast animals. When they traveled to the plains to hunt buffalo they also sold horses to the plains Indians. Some tribes even tried to steal the agile animals.

Common Characteristics of an Appaloosa horse are: coat pattern, mottled skin, white sclera(the area of the eye that surrounds the iris), and striped hooves.

The photos of  these horses, descendants from Ollokot, Chief Joseph's brother's, herd that was left behind with a rancher when the Nez Perce fled for freedom in 1877 were taken by Stan Haggatt. They are now at a ranch on the Nez Perce Reservation in Lapwai, Idaho.  

This theory that the appaloosas and Nez Perce could have crossed the Bering straight makes me wonder if the tall, blond Nez Perce Tribe of legends who lived in the cold north could have been descendants of a Slavic group of people who sought asylum from who knows what.  These are the people I  based the spirits in the Spirit trilogy from. The blonde, blue-eyed northern Nez Perce of myths and legends. 

What do you think? Is the crossing a possibility for both the horses and the people? 


Becky said...

This was a very interesting post. I love the pictures of the Appaloosas. I didn't know that they had stripped hooves. I believe that it was possible for both the people and the horses to cross between Alaska and Russia at one time.

Lauri said...

Interesting post and wonderful pictures of some very beautiful horses!

Paty Jager said...

Becky, I agree. Native American people were nomadic and they could have wandered or even boated across.

Thanks, Lauri!

Danita Cahill said...

Fun, informative post.

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