Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Vore Buffalo Jump

An archaeologist friend recently sent me these great cards of a hunting site in Wyoming!

Card text indicates it was a sinkhole used as a bison trap, 1550-1800AD. Bison herds would be driven over the cliff and killed by the fall or hunters below. This was a common hunting method before horses became more available. The site is open to visitors during the summer and is an active archaeological dig, revealing bones and artifacts. For more info see

Newberry Library, Chicago

I was on Chicago's north side last weekend so I stopped into the bookshop at the Newberry. They have a variety of postcards, including a few with Native American images from items held in their own art collection and paper archives.

Seth Eastman "Hunting Buffalo in Winter" (1853)
Eastman was a soldier at Minnesota's Fort Snelling in the 1840s and became familiar with Dakota people. He married a Dakota woman and had a son Charles, who later wrote a book about his own life.

Karl Bodmer "Warrior" (1833)
Bodmer was a Swiss artist who came to the US to paint during a hunting trip. This is a portrait of Mehkskehme-Sukahs (Iron Shirt), a member of the Piegan Blackfeet. Their territory included parts of Montana and Alberta Canada.

Man Carrying Firewood, Blackfeet Reservation (undated)
I don't understand the joke of this photo but apparently the woman wants her child. Why is the man carrying firewood when this is a woman's task and why is he wearing a feather bonnet during a non-ceremonial activity? The photo appears to have been taken at a school or agency office. A confusing postcard!

 Cortes' map of the Aztec capitol Tenochtitlan (1524)
The Spanish were impressed when they saw the large bustling city located on an island in a lake, linked to the shore by stone causeways. But they later sacked the city and pulled down the temples. Most of the lake was drained & filled in.