The Horse In Human History: The White Horse At Ebbsfleet

A controversial giant statue of a white horse by sculptor Max Wallinger will soon be erected at the Ebbsfleet station in southern England, the UK’s new gateway to continental Europe for Eurostar high-speed trains. Pita Kelekna tells us why this symbol is especially appropriate….

Well, it's big alright!

Well, it's big alright!

Pita Kelekna has uploaded another segment of her book, The Horse In Human History to This Side of the Pond. Entitled, The White Horse at Ebbsfleet, this chapter describes equine images and their role in history. In a previous post, I wrote about the White Horse of Ebbsfleet and the controversy it has engendered. Kelekna views this enormous sculpture from a historical perspective.

From among those perspective, she writes,

In 620, the Prophet Muhammad mounted the winged white horse Buraq* on his miraculous Night Journey through the seven levels of heaven to speak with Allah, Moses, and Jesus, thus linking Islam with the two older religions. In medieval England, Saint George battled the dread dragon on a magnificent white steed. And in Mongol equestrian culture, Khubilai khan celebrated each spring a Great Feast in which herds of pure white stallions and mares, all revered as sacred, had free run of the summer palace park at Xanadu. Later in the summer, the khagan performed the ritual horse sacrifice and the scattering of white mare’s milk to the winds as a symbol of Mongol ascendancy over the vast steppes.
*American President Barach (sic) Obama’s first name refers to this white horse.

I find that fascinating.

At Ebbsfleet station, Max Wallinger’s White Horse stands poised to embark on a new era of high-speed locomotive travel. Its presence reminds us the locomotive was first known as the “Iron Horse.” As international passengers catch a fleeting glimpse of this giant statue, they will know the White Horse embodies man’s ambition for ever more rapid and complex travel.

The White Horse of Uffington, courtesy BBC.com

The White Horse of Uffington, courtesy BBC.com

The White Horse of Uffington, one of England’s oldest horse images, carved into the chalky earth. This horse represents the earliest horse history to which Kelekna connects the modern era of imagery as well as transport.


© 2009 enlightened horsemanship through touch and Kim Cox Carneal

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