Tatanka, is the Native American name for Bison.They migrated here from Siberia at least 300,000 years ago.The French Fur Trappers and Explorers referred to these never before seen animals as 'les Boeufs' meaning oxen (Perhaps the birth of Paul Bunyan's Babe, The Blue Ox myth). Over time les Boeufs became La Buff', then Buffale, buffler, buffillo and in time the name Buffalo which has remained to be our familiar Old West 'nick name' for the scientific Genus of American Bison, the 'Bison bison-bison'.
Historical Note: On August 23, 1804, in South Dakota, Lewis and Clark feasted on their first Buffalo. While traveling through the Great Plains the Bison provided an excellent food source for the men for each man ate about nine pounds of meat a day!
Winter Count Bison Robe
USEFUL BISON PARTS
The Adult American Bison Bull can weigh-in at up to 2,000 - 2,600 pounds, growls like an African Lion and six feet tall at the humped shoulders. No wonder its spirit was praised before every hunt with a tribal ritual dance. The buffalo supplied virtually everything that the Plain Indians needed to stay alive; food, clothing, tools, and housing:
A. Brains - used for hide, preparation B. Skull - ceremonies, sun dance, prayer C. Horns - cups, fire carrier, powderhorn, spoons, ladles, headdresses, signals, toys D. Tongue - best part of meat E. Beard - ornamentation or apparel and weapons F. Rawhide - containers, clothing, headdresses, food, medicine bags, shields, buckets, moccasin soles, rattles, drums, drumsticks, splints, cinches, ropes, thongs, saddles, stirrups, knife cases, bull boats, quirts, armbands, lance cases, horse masks, horse forehead ornaments, bullet pouches, belts G. Buckskin - moccasin tops, cradles, winter robes, bedding, breechclouts, shirts, leggings, belts, dresses, pipe bags, pouches, paint bags, quivers, tipi covers, gun cases, lance covers, coup flag covers, dolls H. Hoof & Feet - glue, rattles I. Meat - (every part eaten) pemmican (converted), hump ribs - immed., jerky (converted), inner parts eaten on the spot] J. Four Chambered Stomach - used to carry herbal medicines for frostbite & skin diseases; container for carrying food or other perishables and storing water, or a cooking vessel K. Scrotum - rattles L. Bladder - sinew pouches, quill pouches, small medicine bags M. Paunch - lining for buckets, cups, basins, dishes N. Skin of hind leg - moccasins or boots O. Buffalo Chips - fuel for cooking and warmth, signals, ceremonial smoking, paper mache' P. Tail - medicine switch, fly brush, lodge exterior decorations, horse whips Q. Bones - knives, arrowheads (ribs) , shovels, splints, winter sleds, arrow straighteners, saddle trees, war clubs, scrapers (ribs), quirts, awls, paint brushes (hipbones), game dice R. Muscles - sinew: bows, thread, arrows, cinches, glue S. Hair/Wool - headdresses, saddle pad filler, pillows, ropes, ornaments, halters, weaving, medicine balls T. Whole Animal - totem, clan symbol, white buffalo sacred, adult yellow rare-prized
Honoring for a Buffalo Hunt
BUFFALO TRACKS "TRACES"
HUNTED ALMOST TO EXTINCTION
In Great Brittain they were hunted to extinction. They were called Wisent or European Bison and lived in Ireland 2,000 years ago, closely related to the American Bison. For the Native Americans bison provided meat, weapons, shelter, clothing, and blankets. They used every part of the animal and cured meat in the sun. This was called ‘jerky’ From the Journals of Lewis and Clark; we learn that early explorers adopted the jerky as a means of keeping meat on hand.
The 1800s found the ‘sport’ of slaughtering buffalo from trains and commercial hide hunters slaughtering buffalo by the millions. Leading to almost complete extinction and aiding in the attempt to weaken the Native Americans by eliminating their greatest resource, as well as making room for domestic beef and sheep for the settlers.
By 1902 only 23 wild bison were left alive located in Yellow Stone National Park. Their resistance to livestock diseases and instinctual survival i.e. a herd can protect a newborn calf in a blizzard that could kill an entire herd of domestic livestock. This made them easy to save by a handful of our Western Heroes like Charles Goodnight. They saw their amazing value and started with a handful to begin breeding them back. The Chuckwagon was named after Charles (Chuck) Goodnight who also blazed one of the earliest cattle trails in America, close to the famous Chisholm cattle trail.
In the 1890s, in admiration of the incredible Bison, our President Theodore Roosevelt wrote: ". . . its toughness and hardy endurance fitted it to contend with purely natural forces . . . to resist cold and wintery blasts or the heat of the thirsty summer, to wander away to new pastures, to plunge over the broken ground, and to plow its way through snow drifts or quagmires."
The legal protection of Bison in Yellowstone National Park, was started by President Teddy Roosevelt. The establishment of preserves like the National Bison Refuge in Montana, along with individuals raising bison on their own land, have helped restore the bison to over 520,000 animals in North America. Current estimates place the size of the U.S. herd at 270,000 animals, with most of the production occurring on U.S. private ranches and with Canada’s herds run a total of approximately 250,000. Not quite the 70 million of the 1600s but the Thunder is Growing. Even a small herd of 8 buffalo make the ground shake and your knees quake as the "play stampede."
Our Memorials to the American Bison: Once it was discovered how truly valuable the Bison was it was almost too late. The first to curb the slaughter was our own Idaho Territory followed by other territories and states. Nationally immortalized with the Buffalo $10 USA Note in 1901, has the famous bison ‘Black Diamond’ etched on it. Our first Buffalo Nickel was minted from 1913-1937, also with Black Diamond, a 1923 and 1970 postage stamp, numerous state flags and seals. A new buffalo nickel has just been minted in this century, followed by quarters honoring our Bison in Kansas, North Dakota, and Montana. We have honored our American Bison on a $1 Buffalo silver dollar, a $5.00 Buffalo coin and a beautiful new $50 USA gold piece which is now available to investors as an honoring of our Buffalo. The Great Seal of the U.S. Department of the Interior has the American Buffalo/Bison. It is in keeping then that we remember their value for us as well. Our new Buffalo Nickle is patterned after an orphan buffalo named Cody, who grew up to be a 2000 lb bull. The true value of our Bison is not what you pay, but what you get in return. Rich in proteins, Vitamins including B-12, Iron with other minerals, while low in fat, cholesterol and calories, the nutritional content of bison is impressive.
We Deliver to your home Locally Email or Call with questions E-mail:Eloris@cwomc.com call (208) 634-6875