Unframed Dimensions: 7.5" W x 5" H
Native Americans depended on the mighty buffalo for food teepees and other necessities. The supply seemed inexhaustible. It was estimated that more than one hundred twenty-five million buffalo roamed the prairies in the early 1800s. When settlers and explorers migrated west as early as 1820, they slaughtered buffalo without regard for the Native Americans. Their senseless killing was primarily for their pelts which were worth three dollars each and their tongues which were considered a delicacy. Unfortunately, entire tribes starved due to the disappearance of the buffalo and as a result bitter warfare erupted against the whites. By the end of the century the herds were reduced to slightly more than five hundred bewildered animals. Fortunately, Teddy Roosevelt through his National Park Preservation programs saved the buffalo from total extinction. Today the proud American bison roams the prairies of Montana South Dakota and other western states fully protected from hunters.