Glyph 38 | Year 1860

Šuŋkawakȟaŋ óta áwičakdipi
(Horses many captured-returned-with)

They returned with many captured horses.

 
 

Dakota Goodhouse
A depiction of the "Thunder Horse Song"
Used with permission of the artist.

The horse became integral to Plains culture when it was brought by the Spanish for use in warfare and traded throughout the western part of North America. They transformed hunting and warfare practices, transportation, lifestyle, wealth and prestige for many Native tribes. Horses are more than a tool for Native peoples, and much like buffalo, are honored through objects, songs, and ceremonies.

Horse raids, or capturing the enemy’s horses, was considered an act of bravery in Plains culture. A warrior's success was displayed by the number of horse shoes often drawn on a shirt, pictographic hide, or muslin. As represented by the glyph, this year was remembered by the community as a year when many horses were taken from another tribe.

 
 

"Thunder Horse Song"

 
The song recalls the horse as an instrument that will help them in their lives. It also recalls the appearance of clouds when the horse first appeared, the energy (the energy that is present as with a thunderstorm) of lightening, as in the way Mary Louise Defender-Wilson tells the story, "there was lightning."

— Dakota Goodhouse

 

Waŋkátaya tȟokéya ičáǧe ló,

Waŋkátaya tȟokéya ičáǧe ló,

Šúŋka Wakȟáŋ waŋ tȟokáhe keč’úŋ,

Maȟpíya ičáǧe, ičáǧe ló.
 

From-up-above the-first instrument it-is-so,

From-up-above the-first instrument it-is-so,

Common-animal With-energy [horse] the first even-though,

Cloud instrument, instrument it-is-so.