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Lewis and Clark History

Tatanka ~ The Buffalo

2,000 pounds, six feet tall at the humped shoulders, its spirit was praised before every hunt with a tribal ritual dance.

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Buffalo Continued ...

The buffalo supplied virtually everything that the Plain Indians needed to stay alive; food, clothing, tools, and housing. 

The buffalo supplied virtually everything that the Plains Indians needed to stay alive.

A.  Brains -  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 -  first stomach content: frostbite & skin diseases, liner: container for carrying and storing water, 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, signals, ceremonial smoking
P.  Tail -  medicine switch, fly brush, lodge exterior decorations, 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 -  headdresses, saddle pad filler, pillows, ropes, ornaments, halters, medicine balls
T.  Whole Animal - totem, clan symbol, white buffalo sacred, adult yellow rare-prized

Source: Akta Lakota Museum - Chamberlain, South Dakota

Resources & Reads
Did you Know? 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. Each man ate about nine pounds of meat a day.

PODCAST ~ The North American Bison





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