Friday, May 02, 2014

Buffalo Stance

With statue of a White Buffalo a few years ago, Comanche Center, Lawton.
The American Bison / Buffalo was nearly wiped out, but thankfully, not quite. Most people have a pretty good sense, I think, of buffalo herds ranging in the American West in the 1800s, but I suspect that fewer have contemplated the reality that there were bison in the East, too: among the First Nations (to use a Canadian term), yes, but even -- through the 1700s into the dawn of the nineteenth century -- among the Europeans and Africans arrived or arriving from across the Atlantic. Of those Eastern herds, spectral traces remain. Some of my immediate family, for instance, lived on land that abutted a Buffalo Creek in North Carolina, in the twentieth century. Pretty mind-blowing, really. Before incoming settlers, servants and slaves arrived in North America, there had been an extensive range of European Bison, too.
All the above leads into me having the great good fortune of being able to hang out with these Bison (with accompanying feathered friends) today, after a 95-minute walk through nearby woods. Despite being almost destroyed at one point in the not too distant past, the American Bison, I believe now, is here to stay, in some numbers at least. If you click on this image -- taken on this very day, May 2, 2014 -- you'll see the whole thing.
The historical Bison range-- mostly before the modern state and provincial borders were even in place. (Source: Wiki Commons).
Bison grazing quietly in a field flanked by woods, much as they did in the East. Today, man!

Today's Rune: Joy.  


the walking man said...

I knew the Bison roamed in theeast before they were killed off and driven out through habitat displacement. I wonder today though, even though we have stopped shooting then for tongues and hide, have we simply domesticated them for profit?

So what ever happened to the White buffalo born in WI or thereabouts?

Charles Gramlich said...

There are still some genetic issues with the bison. The pure bloods are quite inbred because of the huge losses they suffered as a species. There are also a lot of bison now that carry cattle genes, although they certainly look like pure bison.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks, dudes, for the comments ~! Mark: no idea yet on either, but will check into them. Charles =-- bummer, man, on the genetic issues.