Presentation on theme: "Traditional use of Tatanka (buffalo) is a PowerPoint series developed by Badlands National Park and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The PowerPoint series."— Presentation transcript:
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.
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?
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. 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. Blood was also used to make puddings and soups; stomach contents were also used to make medicine.
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. Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Copyright 2009 National Park Service Photo
Buffalo Skeleton Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Copyright 2009 Diagram courtesy Texas Beyond History, The University of Texas at Austin
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? 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. Florida Center for Instructional Technology
Additional Traditional Uses of the Buffalo The paunch (belly) liner was used to to make meat wrappings, buckets, collapsible cups, basins and canteens. 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. Hooves, dewclaws and feet were made into glue, rattles and spoons. Hooves are shown below. Teeth were made into ornamentals. An incisor teeth necklace is shown to the left. The stomach liner was used to make water containers and cooking vessels. Fat was used to make soaps, hair grease and cosmetic aids. Hind leg skin (shown left) was used to make pre-shaped moccasins.
Note: graph is not to scale
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