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How Appaloosa Horses Keep Nez Perce Traditions Alive

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For the Nez Perce tribe, gathering with the Appaloosa herd is an opportunity to honor something timeless. The tribe uses their horses to dress up and parade in memory of their ancestors and traditions.

TRANSCRIPT

- [Narrator] After so much time and tradition, the lines between a people and their horses begin to blur.

For the McFarland year out family, gathering with the Appaloosa herd is an opportunity to honor something timeless.

- [Woman] We come together today just for a short prayer on this land where we keep our horses, our Sichem.

And just so grateful that we are able to use our horses to dress up and parade, to bring out our things that some have been handed down and some are brand new.

- This is my mom's hat.

- I think this dress is from my great-grandmother.

It makes me feel cool.

I don't know why, but it just does, like, I feel cool in it.

- Everything that's put together it has a story.

When you're doing this, you're doing honor not only to the Sichem, the Appaloosa, the Mawmen, and remembering our ancestors who raised horses and taught us of horse way.

But everybody who contributed to what you're wearing and to who you are.

It brings to mind so many memories of my childhood taking those journeys with my grandmother and my mother on horseback.

These trails have been used for centuries by our ancestors.

We're just a part of the big creations puzzle.

We have something to share, something important to continue.

We have that language in common and we have our homeland.

But the horses are always a part of that effort to really bring us together.

And of course for us, it's been the Appaloosa that's been the binding and that love of the Appaloosa is shared by people all over the world.

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