American Masters

CLIP

How N. Scott Momaday Connected with his Kiowa Ancestry

In this clip from American Masters — N. Scott Momaday: Words From a Bear, the writer discusses how riding his horse on the same plains as his ancestors opened up his imagination.

AIRED: November 18, 2019 | 0:01:16
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TRANSCRIPT

(solemn music)

- The Kiowas were a great horse people,

and I got to understand that because

I got to live it on my own horse.

On that horse, on the back of Pecos, I was in another world.

I related myself to the Kiowas of an earlier time.

I could imagine that I was a Kiowa of the 19th or 18th

century riding out on the plains, buffalo hunting.

And I understood something about my ancestors.

The imagination is the power of seeing beyond reality,

and so I had the extension of my senses into

an imaginary world, and a very colorful one,

and a very dramatic one.

The imagination was the thing that enabled me

to see into the farther world.

(solemn music)

(horse hooves)

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