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New DNA evidence and isotopic analysis suggest that horses were already being domesticated by Indigenous groups in North America at least a full half century before European contact, with the Comanche already integrating horse raising, ritual practices, and transportation into their lifeways. The findings also suggest the possibility of rapid, non-European transmission of horses farther northward.
🐎 Indigenous groups in North America were already domesticating horses at least 50 years before European contact, as indicated by new DNA evidence and isotopic analysis. 🐎 The Comanche were able to build an empire on horse and bison trade in the Southern Plains by combining horse herding with herding and equestrian skills, allowing them to gain an advantage in the Great Plains. 🐎 European-style metal curb bits and metal tools were used to control and cut horses, indicating broader economic links and a possible mechanism of horse exchange across Indigenous networks. 🐎 Pueblo groups’ dispersal toward the northeast from Spanish New Mexico into western Kansas provided a mechanism for the transmission of domestic horses into the Central Plains. 🐎 The findings offer new insights into social dynamics in the Great Plains and the possibility of rapid, non-European transmission of horses farther northward.
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