If you look back in the tracks of history you see that things has changed for the different Indian tribes, which were living in the prairie. They were used to a life with the buffalos and they would never take them for granted. In the beginning of the 19th century there was about 60 millions of buffaloes in the North America. Today that number is low.

The different tribes only killed the amount of buffaloes that their tribe was in need of, and they used every singel part of the animal. The hunters did always pay their respects and gratitude to the spirits for their hunting luck. Because they treated the buffaloes like a brother who had sacrificed himself for the survival of the rest of the tribe.

Many of the tribes consider that the buffalo is a gift from Mother Earth to their people as the stars and the wind was a gift from the sky. According to them it would be impossible to live without the buffalo and exterminate it would be like exterminate the stars and the wind, something that was impossible to them.

Each tribe has their own complicated ceremonies to attract the buffalo herds. Some of the tribes used stones in shapes of buffaloes. Before the Indians had horses, they use to run buffaloes beyond the cliffs, but when the horses came in their way of living the hunting procedure changed. These big animals are not afraid of wolves and some of the hunters could dress up in wolfskin and sneak in to the middle of a herd. A good archer could kill a several animals before the herd panicked. The hunters always thanked the spirits after their hunting. A good days hunt could feed a whole tribe.
It was also known that between the buffalo and the woman there was a strong spiritual link. Both are being perceived as having within them the power of continuity existence.

But everything was about to change because of the white man. At the beginning of the hunting of the buffalo the settlers used the buffalo in the same way as the Indians, and they used every part of it. But this was all about to change because the white man soon started to hunt the buffalo for the skin and the sport (fun).

William F. Cody, more known as Buffalo Bill once killed 69 animals in 8 hours. And between 1872-74 the hunt on buffaloes culminated. More than 5000 animals/day was killed. 1889 there was about 300 buffaloes in the United States and 500-600 in Canada. Measures were taken and today there are around 22000 animals in Canada and 7000 in the United States.


The Indians always used every part of the buffalo. For e.g.


The hair : Headdresses, Ropes, Ornaments, Padding and stuffing.
Hooves/Feet : Glue, Rattles
Tail : Medicine switch, Fly brusch, Whips, Ornaments.
Bladder, Paunch, Stomach : Cooking vessels water vessels, Basins, Buckets, cups.
Sinew : Thread, Bow, Backings, Bindings and bowstring.
Brain : Hid tanning.
Chips : Fuel, Ceremonial smoking.

Edible parts : Fresh : Meat a marrow, tongue, intestines, liver, other innards.
Edible parts : Preserved : Jerky, fat, marrow.

Hide : Tanned : Tipi covers, moccasin tops, leggings, dresses, dolls, bags, trad items, caps, belts, robes.
Hide : Raw : Containers, sheets, moccasin soles, drums, snowshoes, ornaments, bull boats, saddles.

Horns : Cups, spoons, toys, headdresses.
Bones : Knives, arrowheads, paintbrushes, shovels, ceremonial objects, tool handles.


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