Bison Products

Today, the main use of bison is for consumption. However, there are other parts of the bison that are still popular today:

Skulls – for decorative purposes
Horns – are made into decorative polished costume jewelry and buttons
Hair – is manufactured into bison down and produced into sweaters coats and robes
Hides – tanned and manufactured into leather furniture, hats, coats, vests, handbags, shoes and boots

The bison provided food, shelter; clothing, tools and other supplies for the American Indian tribes. The tribes used absolutely every part of the bison. Here are some examples of bison parts and their uses.

Horns

  • Arrow Points
  • Utensils (cups, ladles, spoons)
  • Powder Horns
  • Decorative Headdresses
  • Medication
  • Fire Carrier

Hair

  • Decorative Headdresses
  • Ropes
  • Pad or Pillow Filler
  • Moccasin Lining
  • Medicine Balls
  • Ornaments
  • Halters

Skull

  • Sun Dance
  • Medicine Prayer
  • Other Rituals

Hides

  • Moccasins
  • Buckets
  • Drums
  • Splints
  • Ropes
  • Saddles and Stirrups
  • Snow Shoes
  • Lariats
  • Straps
  • Quirts
  • Cinches
  • Shields
  • Containers
  • Shrouds
  • Saddle Blankets
  • Ornaments

Manure Chips

  • Fuel

Scrotum

  • Ceremonial Rattle

Tendons

  • Sinews-Sewing
  • Bowstrings
  • Covers
  • Backrests
  • Bridles
  • Tapestries
  • Tipi Liners

Hooves

  • Glue
  • Rattle
  • Spoons

Liver

  • Hide Tanning

Beard & Teeth

  • Ornamentation

Fat

  • Candle Tallow
  • Lubricants
  • Soap
  • Cosmetic Aids

Stomach Liner

  • Water Containers
  • Cooking Vessels

Bladder

  • Medicine Bag
  • Pouches

Tails

  • Ornamental Decoration
  • Fly Brush
  • Whip
  • Medicine Switch

Bones

  • Knives
  • Pipes
  • Arrowheads
  • Splints
  • Shovels
  • Scrapers
  • Fleshing Tools
  • Shovels
  • Sleds

Buckskin

  • Cradles
  • Moccasin Tops
  • Winter Robes
  • Bedding
  • Dresses
  • Bags
  • Shirts
  • Bags
  • Quivers
  • Leggings
  • Belts
  • Tipi Covers
  • Tipi Liners
  • Backrests
  • Bridles

Fat

  • Source of energy
  • Mixed with meat and berries to make pemmican

Muscles

  • Glue
  • Thread
  • Arrow Ties
  • Cinches
  • Bows

Gall & Blood

  • Decorative Paint