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Indian War Horse

August 1, 2015


A Horse of a Different Color!
Summer camp has begun and horse painting is underway!  A favorite for kids but did you know that Native Americans also painted horses?  

The Indian war horse was highly regarded by its Native American owner, who often honored and protected his war horse by painting tribal symbols upon the animal's body.
While the symbols used and their meanings varied from tribe to tribe, there were some common symbols that were widely used such as A circle around the horse's eye and nostrils for alert vision and a keen sense of smell.  Two crossing bars meant that the horse and his rider had escaped ambush.  From the Apache and Commanche tribes, legends about this hand-print tell of a furious battle in which a warrior was fatally wounded. Before the brave warrior's death, he patted his horse on the right shoulder, thus leaving a bloody hand-print on his horse for all his people to see his "message of death" when the horse returned to camp.
- AAANativearts.com