his book, 'No More Buffalo', Bob Scriver tells with a fictional story
how the Blackfeet described the first horse that they saw. Some said it
looked like the elk, being about the same size and color, and others had
seen it in distant Indian camps being used to pull the travois - like
the dogs that were used by the Blackfeet. So, according to the story,
they called them 'Ponokah-Eemetah' in their language, which translates
to Elk-Dog in English.
"To quote from Bob Scriver, 'After the horse was obtained and its
many uses became apparent, a whole new way of life evolved which came to
be known as the Horse Culture. Acquisition of the horse helped make the
Plains Indians into the freest people the world has ever known. They
became mobile in war; their garments, their dwellings and their food
were more easily obtained; their personal belongings and their religious
bundles became much more expansive. In the opinion of many, mankind
reached its zenith with the combination of the Plains Indian and the
horse. Having little or no government, they lived the rich, free,
unfettered life so many modern people yearn for.'
"I have tried in the painting to celebrate the freedom and
excitement of 'Running with the Elk-Dogs'."