460 pages, 16 plates with 32 colour photos and colour illustrations; 97 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
The Native American on a horse is an archetypal Hollywood image, but though such equestrian-focused societies were a relatively short-lived consequence of European expansion overseas, they were not restricted to North America's Plains.
Horse Nations provides the first wide-ranging and up-to-date synthesis of the impact of the horse on the Indigenous societies of North and South America, southern Africa, and Australasia following its introduction as a result of European contact post-1492. Drawing on sources in a variety of languages and on the evidence of archaeology, anthropology, and history, Horse Nations outlines the transformations that the acquisition of the horse wrought on a diverse range of groups within these four continents. It explores key topics such as changes in subsistence, technology, and belief systems, the horse's role in facilitating the emergence of more hierarchical social formations, and the interplay between ecology, climate, and human action in adopting the horse, as well as considering how far equestrian lifestyles were ultimately unsustainable.
"As well as offering a template for the melding of historical, anthropological and archaeological data, methods and perspectives, Horse Nations is a substantial contribution to the study of borderland environments, middle grounds and hybrid societies. It is also a major addition to the field of horse history"
– Times Literary Supplement, Peter Coates
List of Figures
List of Colour Plates
List of Tables
1: Introducing Horse Nations
3: A Prodigal Return
4: North America I: The Southwest and the Southern Plains
5: North America II: The Central and Northern Plains
6: North America III: West of the Rockies
7: South America I: Caribbean Deserts and Tropical Savannahs
8: South America II: The Southern Cone
9: The Old World: Southern Africa and Australasia
10: Putting Horse Nations in Context
Appendix 1: Self-Designations of Native American Peoples
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Peter Mitchell is Professor of African Archaeology and Fellow at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.