Buffalo





Indian Uses From The Buffalo

HIDE - BUCKSKIN

Shirts--Leggins--Lance Covers--Belts--Dresses--Pipe Bags
Pouches--Paint--Bags--Pouches--Dolls--Coup Flag Covers
Moccasin Tops--Cradles--Winter Robes--Bedding--Breechclouts
Quivers--Tepee Covers--Guncases.

HAIR

Headdresses--Saddle Pad Filler--Pillows--Rope
Ornaments--Halters--Medicine Balls

TAIL

Medicine Switch--Fly Brush--Lodge Exterior--Decorations--Whips

HOOF AND FEET

Glue--Rattles

HORNS

Cups--Fire Carriers--Powder Horn--Spoons
Ladles--Headdresses--Signals--Toys

MEAT

Every Part Eaten--Pemmican (Converted)--Hump Ribs-Immediately
Jerky (Converted)--Skin Of Hind Leg--Moccasins or Boots

RAWHIDE

Containers--Clothing--Headdress--Food--Medicine Bags
Splints--Cinches--Ropes--Belts--Bullets Pouches--Saddles
Shields--Buckets--Moccasin Soles--Rattles--Drums--Drumsticks
Lance Cases--Armbands--Quirts--Bull Boats--Knife Cases--Stirrups
Horse Masks--Thongs--Horse Ornaments

Source 1996 Encarta Encyclopedia


The Curtis Collection

Demise of the Buffalo
From Volume 3
The North American Indian
Published 1908
By Edward S. Curtis


The sportsman and the utilitarian join with the Indians in their cry of regret at the ruthless slaughter of the millions of bison which composed the great western herd
And during the last quarter-century all the harsh language at the command of American writers has been hurled at those directly responsible for the extermination

That the destruction
Was the most brutal and improvident of its kind in the history of civilization
There is no question
And that those who went out and mowed the animals down by scores
Hundreds in a single day are deserving of every criticism there is no doubt
But when we view the question in a broader way
The blame would seem to rest not entirely with those who shouldered the guns

It was public sentiment that slaughtered the western herd of the American bison
A sentiment which fostered by our desire further to oppress
To bring under subjection and to rob of their birthright
A people already driven for two generations before a greedily advancing civilization
Was supported by the people as represented in the halls of Congress
Which became the governmental policy and therein lay the blame

We slaughtered the buffalo in order to starve the Indians of the plains into submission
Thereby forcing them into a position
In which they must take what we saw fit to dole out to in 1871
Which might be called the beginning of the last decade of the buffalo
The friends of these animals and of the Indians
Made an effort to promote legislation designed to protect the herds from wanton destruction

In June 1874

The Senate and the House passed a bill for the protection of the buffalo
But the enactment unfortunately failed to receive the President's signature

During the next four years feeble efforts to the same end were made
But without result

By this time the southern herd was represented only by bleaching bones
The northern herd was within four years of its extinction

The sentiment of the people at this time
Is reflected in a contemporary report of the Secretary of the Interior
Which says
"The rapid disappearance of game from the former hunting grounds
Must operate largely in favor of our efforts to confine the Indians
To smaller areas and compel them to abandon their nomadic customs
And establish themselves in permanent homes

So long as the game existed in abundance
There was little disposition manifested to abandon the chase
Even though Government bounty was dispensed in great abundance
Affording them ample means of support
When the game shall have disappeared
We shall be well forward in the work in hand
I cannot regard the rapid disappearance of the game from its former haunts
As a matter prejudicial to our management of the Indians
On the contrary as they become convinced
That they can no longer rely upon the supply of game for their support
They will turn to the more reliable source of subsistence furnished at the agencies
And endeavor to so live that that supply will be regularly dispensed

A few years of cessation from the chase
Will tend to unfit them for their former mode of life
And they will be the more readily led into new directions
Toward industrial pursuits and peaceful habits
It must be realized that
However comprehensive the legislation and rigorous its enforcement
Restrictive laws could only have retarded for a limited time
The inevitable extermination of the wild buffalo
If by care they could have been utilized for twenty-five years longer
They would have served like other things of primeval life
Their natural purpose and we could have viewed their end
With only that regret with which we see the forest fall
And the prairies' broad surface turned sod by sod
From its natural beauty to the utility that Nature's own laws demand

To have thus husbanded such a vast natural food supply
Would have been of inestimable value to the white settler
Saved untold expenditure in caring for the Indians
And many hundreds of them from pitiful starvation
And preserved the virility of the plains tribes

Those
Therefore
Who feel that the sooner the Indian
Like the buffalo is exterminated the better
Must realize that the most effective effort toward this end
Was the sweeping of the buffalo from the land



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