American Masters

How N. Scott Momaday Connected with his Kiowa Ancestry


(solemn music) - The Kiowas were a great horse people, and I got to understand that because I got to live it on my own horse.

On that horse, on the back of Pecos, I was in another world.

I related myself to the Kiowas of an earlier time.

I could imagine that I was a Kiowa of the 19th or 18th century riding out on the plains, buffalo hunting.

And I understood something about my ancestors.

The imagination is the power of seeing beyond reality, and so I had the extension of my senses into an imaginary world, and a very colorful one, and a very dramatic one.

The imagination was the thing that enabled me to see into the farther world.

(solemn music) (horse hooves)

Produced by THIRTEEN © 2020 WNET. All rights reserved. PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.