05 May 2012
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Oglala, South Dakota, USA
Bareback riders Carey Rouillard (left) and Travis New Holy stop for a chat in Evergreen, in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. In reservation communities, the horse is more important than ever, both for transportation and to connect people to their warrior roots. The Oglala have a traditional reverence for the horse, which they call sunka wakan, or sacred dog.
The Oglala Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota live near the site of the massacre of over 250 Lakota Sioux, at Wounded Knee Creek (1890). They recount a long history of violated treaties and broken promises on the part of successive US governments. Pine Ridge is seeing an upsurge in resistance movements, and a revival of traditional spiritual ways. The sun dance has returned, after nearly disappearing, and people are teaching language, horse skills, and ceremonies to the youth.