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1 (Click) “Traditional use of Tatanka (buffalo)” is a PowerPoint
series developed by Badlands National Park and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The PowerPoint series includes a brief history of buffalo in South Dakota. Also, there are photos of buffalo parts, like a buffalo hide and tail. Click the mouse to advance through the PowerPoint. "Click" will appear in the lower right-hand corner when it is time to advance. (Click)

2 Traditional use of Tatanka (buffalo) Part IV (Click)

3 (Click) The buffalo part above is a buffalo bone. The bone was
removed from the hump of the buffalo; can you guess the traditional use of the buffalo part? (Click)

4 Can you guess which of the following
The buffalo bone was used as a paintbrush. The hump bone shown is similar to a modern painting sponge, but it is very hard. The hump bone was porous (spongy bone). Paint absorbed into the pores, then it was transferred to a tipi or clothing for ornamentation. Stomach Contents Blood Can you guess which of the following buffalo parts (fluids) were traditionally used as paints? Gall (liver bile) Native Americans used all of the buffalo fluids above when painting. The different fluids provided a variety of colors. Ornamentation, which included quill work, painting and bead work, was very important to Native Americans. Stomach Contents Gall (liver bile) Blood Blood was also used to make puddings and soups; stomach contents were also used to make medicine. (Click) (Click)

5 (Click) The hump of a buffalo was very massive. The bones (below) and
muscles of the hump helped the buffalo move snow in the winter. The buffalo moved its head from side to side in a process called snowplowing (right); they moved the snow in search of food. National Park Service Photo Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Copyright 2009 National Park Service Photo (Click)

6 Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Copyright 2009
Buffalo Skeleton (labeled) Diagram courtesy Texas Beyond History, The University of Texas at Austin Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Copyright 2009 (Click)

7 Florida Center for Instructional Technology
The animal parts shown above are porcupine quills. The quills are smooth hollow tubes with a very sharp barbed end; they range in length from 1 to 4 inches. The quills were dyed to produce different colored quills. Then the quills were sewed, braided or wrapped onto objects for ornamentation. The introduction of beads (beadwork) largely replaced quillwork, but it was still practiced. The animal parts above are not from a buffalo; can you guess which South Dakota animal they come from? What is the traditional Native American use of the animal parts shown? (Click) (Click)

8 Additional “Traditional” Uses of the Buffalo
Hind leg skin (shown left) was used to make pre-shaped moccasins. Hooves, dewclaws and feet were made into glue, rattles and spoons. Hooves are shown below. Fat was used to make soaps, hair grease and cosmetic aids. The buffalo tongue was used as a comb (rough side). Also, it was a choice meat for human consumption. After the arrival of the white-man, buffalo were often found dead with the tongue removed and a few strips of meat off of the back. The stomach liner was used to make water containers and cooking vessels. Teeth were made into ornamentals. An incisor teeth necklace is shown to the left. The paunch (belly) liner was used to to make meat wrappings, buckets, collapsible cups, basins and canteens. (Click)

9 The drastic reduction in the number of buffalo,
to the point of extinction, changed the way of life for Native Americans and for the buffalo. There may not be millions of buffalo roaming the plains today, but the conscious effort of many individuals helped to prevent the extinction of the species. Today there are approximately 350,000 buffalo found in public and private herds. (Click)

10 Note: graph is not to scale

11 This concludes Part IV of the
"Traditional use of Tatanka (buffalo)" PowerPoint series. Thank you for using the series. •For more information about Native Americans or buffalo visit or •Photos provided by Badlands National Park, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, National Parks Service, Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT) at USF. and Texas Beyond History at •Information provided by Badlands National Park , and the South Dakota State Historical Society •Music: “Flag Song" and "Ineffable” from Oceti Sakowin: The People of the Seven Council Fires; composed and performed by Kevin Locke. For more information about Kevin Locke or to purchase his music visit (Click)

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