Why were buffalo so important?
Every part of the buffalo was used to supply the needs of the Native Americans.
- Buffalo provided the people's main food - buffalo liver, brain and nose gristle were a treat, eaten raw.
- Dried buffalo meat, called pemmican, provided food to eat through the winter.
- Buffalo bones provided marrow to eat.
- Buffalo bones were also carved to make knives, and boiled to make glue.
- Buffalo skin could be used to make tipis, clothes, moccasins, bedding, parflèches, saddle covers and water-bags.
- Dried buffalo dung provided fuel for fires.
- Buffalo horns and hooves were made into cups.
- Buffalo sinews were used as bowstrings and thread.
- Buffalo fat was used as soap.
- The rough tongue of a buffalo could be used as a hairbrush.
- The tail of a buffalo could be used as a fly-swat.