“The white buffalo woman disappeared over the horizon. Sometime she might come back.
As soon as she vanished, buffalo in great herds appeared, allowing themselves to be killed so that the people might survive.
And from that day on, our relations, the buffalo, furnished the people with everything they needed – meat for their food, skins for their clothes and tipis, bones for their many tools.”
–Legend of the White Buffalo Woman, Brule Sioux
“We had buffalo for food, and their hides for clothing and our tipis. We preferred hunting to a life of idleness on the reservations where we were driven against our will.”
“Buffalo were the lords of the prairie. To European settlers traveling across America’s Great Plains in the early 1800s, the prairie wind was a constant companion: a gentle whisper echoing across the vast sea of grass that carpeted the center of the North American continent. Sometimes, however, the rumbling of thunder could be heard in the distance, though no storm clouds could be seen. Then the ground would begin to tremble, and suddenly the astonished newcomers would be surrounded by a thundering herd of hulking animals that stretched further than the eye could see. The majestic welcoming committee made it clear that the settlers had, at last, arrived in the buffalo nation — a land where tens of million of American Bison held sway.”
Nice sketch and background information. I had the fun of visiting a Cherokee family’s game preserve just after the birth of their third buffalo. He’s a big boy now, but it was great seeing them up close and growing in number.
Thank you. They are pretty impressive up close, aren’t they?
They are much bigger than my mental image from the tiny pictures in history books at school.
They really are. Can you imagine what it must have been like when enormous herds roamed the plains? Awe inspiring and yet… terrifying.
That’s probably why they got rid of so much nature, they are a bit scared of it.
It’s true, nature can be scary. But back then this country seemed to have endless resources, including wildlife and forests, which now are… gone and only slowly making a comeback through the efforts of people like the Cherokee family with their game preserve.
I appreciate what they are doing. As I visited, I distinctly had the feeling that it was a rare privilege, and a necessary restoration of something almost completely lost.
I suspect it was a rare privilege and one I can tell you treasure.
I was brought up to appreciate nature, and during our first year in Texas there were many new things to see. Lifelong impressions.
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