The Horse Dance

werner nokota 426

Fragments of a legend since long forgotten tells of a sacred lodge, painted with pictures from a vision.

Four by four horses, in four different colors; blue roans in honor of the chinook, white horses for the icy northern winds, grey horses for the sunrise and red roans for the south.

A circle on the ground with two straight lines drawn across, one maiden in each direction holding sacred things; a bow and arrow, a holy pipe, healing herbs, a white goose feather and a flowering stick …

A dark cloud emerges from the west and all looks up in silence. A singer sends a voice to the spirits of the cloud. Then a blue roan pricks his ears, raises his tail and paws the earth, neighs long and loud to the west. All the other horses join in, then all horses in the village …

Lightnings and thunder comes from the cloud, strong winds sweeps over the lands. Hale and rain falling, only yonder but not near. The thunder spirits are joyful, has come to see the dance and hear the sacred songs …

The four maiden hold up the sacred things; offerings to the thunder spirits.  The grandfathers beat the drums and the dance begins, the horses prancing and rearing …

The sad are happy again –  the sick are healed.


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