For most plains Indian tribes the buffalo (bison) was a whole life staple providing untold uses from every part of the animal - nothing wasted.
For eons the vast numbers of these great animals were available to them for which they had a deep respect and gratitude that often showed up in their art and rituals.
“The buffalo, or bison, provided hides for clothing and shelter (tipis) as well as food for Plains Indians, notably the Sioux (the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota). Their ceremonies invoked the spirit and power of Pte Oyate, the ancestral Buffalo Nation whose territory lay beneath the earth before its people were tricked into emerging onto the surface. Buffalo headdresses and drums, heartbeat of the nation, and skulls were used to express thanks for the providential buffalo and to revel in the many blessings it brought – blessings that were nearly voided by the massive slaughter of herds by market runners in the 1800’s.”
My prayer is that these great and valuable herds will someday soon be resurrected.
 Native Universe By Native American tribal leaders. Gerald McMaster and Clifford E. Trafzer, Editors. Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
H:31” • W: 12” • D:21"