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**Taken from the files of Rainbow Ranch as saved by Vance and Lois Myler and sent to me for archiving and later publication for education. The following is a follow up story to this letter.
||Chief Al Fast Horse believed when the signs were right that the Sioux Nation would come together to celebrate the deeply spiritual celebration of the Horse Dance. The following story was reprinted courtesy of the Lincoln Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) on Saturday June 12, 1976…just three years prior to this letter exchange with Vance Myler.|
HORSE DANCE SEEKS HARMONY FOR MANKIND
The Sacred and long secret ceremonies of the Sioux are once again being handed down to the younger generation. The return of “SUN” to the Sioux Nation fulfilled the vision of the Horse Dance for Al Fast Horse.
By Tom Cook
Outstate Nebraska Bureau
Waterloo-Indians from all seven councils of the Sioux nation gathered for a spiritual ceremony this weekend in Waterloo. They hope to rejoin the hoop of brotherhood and inner power their leaders feel was lost at Wounded Knee in 1890.
It was clear Friday that spirituality is at the center of the three-day meeting at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Non-Indians are welcome at the ceremony for the first time in history. In fact, white men helped organize the Horse Dance, part of the vision of Al Fast Horse, son of a traditional chief and leader of the ceremony.
Those who attended opening day Friday expecting slick entertainment, a Wild West show or Disneyland were disappointed.
Harmony with Nature
When you enter the gate, you are part of a leisurely harmony with nature that Indians call Indian time.
The Horse Dance was on again/off again all Friday because of concern for the horses, which were shipped many miles. It was finally performed about 5:30 p.m.
The dance is centered on the return of the sacred Medicine Hat horse, “SUN”, to the Sioux nation. It will take place Saturday and Sunday afternoons when the time is right.
Sunday’s event, for which riders will undergo fasting and purification rights, will be the most important ceremony.
The dance is roughly similar to that described in John Neihardt’s “Black Elk Speaks,” but Fast Horse says his vision was separate.
Fast Horse, who had the vision 16 years ago, said the riders represent the four corners of the earth and the circle of harmony that man and all creatures must share for a happy and meaningful life.
It is unity or harmony with the white race, he said. It’s a ceremony that will unite all of our four great nations - the buffalo nation, the horse nation, the white nation, and the Indian nation.
The meaning of the Horse Dance lies not just in the ceremony, but also in open discussion of the moral and spiritual needs of today’s world.
“I think from the ceremony the white man could learn to live in harmony with other nations in the world without preparations to blow each other off the earth,” Fast Horse said.
Fast Horse, director of The Return of Sun, the Horse Foundation in Omaha, said another part of his vision is working through the existing system to bring health services to urban Indians.
Any proceeds from the ceremony will go to development of those services. Indians lose Bureau of Indian Affairs health care when they leave the reservation and often fail to qualify for community service because of local residency requirements.
The discovery last year of Sun, an 18 year old Spanish Barb horse with colorations on its head and chest that make it sacred to Indians, is the reason for the dance.
T.R. Hughes of Seward, who has had an interest in helping Indians help themselves since his youth, learned of SUN through his recent efforts to help the Northern Cheyenne in Montana begin a buffalo herd.
There are only 73 registered Spanish Barbs and only four or five medicine hats like SUN left, he said.
Members of the Spanish Barb Breeders Assn. brought in 18 other Spanish Barbs for the ceremony besides SUN.
Hughes, who is now a member of the board of the Horse Foundation, compared the ceremony to a church service, and said non-Indians, can only try to understand it.
“How we might look at its success will be one thing,” he said. “But through tribal eyes, it will be viewed differently.
White Hawk Sings
Besides talking to those in attendance, non-Indians can learn much about the closing of the Hoop and the Inner Medicine Indians believe all men have by listening to the music of Phil White Hawk.
*This article published courtesy of Lincoln Journal. Also, please note I have highlighted the four great nations and the circle of harmony to bring to your attention my graphics at www.millersequine.com are based on the same inspiration. When I started my journey to put up a web site I had no idea where it was going to lead me. It did however, lead me to Sam and Rain Silverhawk my graphics artist and web designers. Together the site has been a creative archiving of history with the on-going assistance from Lois Myler and Jim and Kay Hembree. All, of the notes that the late Vance Myler left me have come in to play here. You may view more on Vance on our memorial page to him at the Rainbow Bridge so fitting for the man who established “Van Los Rainbow Ranch” founded on “Sample” a look alike in miniature to the Spanish Barb “SUN”. Please visit my site for further education regarding this sacred pattern and the horse. Again, thank you for visiting and staying awhile….we have enjoyed having you… Carolyn Miller of Miller’s Miniatures and Pedigree Research dedicated to purity of backgrounds and documentation of such. Home to Miller’s “Sample” this Overo, Miller’s Impressive Overo, and Miller’s Calico’s Blue Eyed Chaps….all tested positive to carry the gene that produces the patterns noted on Sample and Sun.
**Please also note that this article is dated 6-12-76 and states that only 73 Registered Barbs and four or five Medicine Hats like SUN are left. This is of particular interest as the Myler’s of Rainbow Ranch had a look alike smaller version by the name of “SAMPLE”.
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