Bison Sculpture

Bison Sculpture Right Side

Bison Sculpture Left Side

After the Civil War, buffalo killing went into high gear.

The combination of guns, railroads, commercial activity, and war between European settlers and American Indians proved deadly to the species. There was a huge market for buffalo skins and hides in the Northeast United States and Europe. A good buffalo skin would sell for $3 in Kansas, and a finished buffalo-hide winter coat would sell for $50. Buffalo leather was also well suited and in high demand for the belts used in pulleys and for steam engines in factories of the time.

Given the scope of this carnage, some hunters, including Buffalo Bill Cody, spoke out in favor of protecting the bison, but President Ulysses S. Grant refused to sign legislation to that effect. The U.S. Army encouraged the excessive killing of buffalo as a way of eliminating food supplies for Indian communities, enabling them to starve Indians off their land and onto reservations.

In the spring of 1886, a taxidermist from the Smithsonian, Hornaday, and his team, headed to Montana to collect specimens for the museum. Hornaday was stunned to find no live buffalo on the plains, only thousands of skeletons bleaching in the sun. The impact of killing some of the last buffalo was not lost on Hornaday, and he began to think about how to save the species.

The conservation of the bison had begun,

This is a polymer clay sculpture. It has been painted to a Faux Bronze finish. It is on a 12 inch circular wooden base. The overall dimensions are 18 X 12 X 12 inches.

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