BUFFALO ROBES

 

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How was the buffalo robe used?

The buffalo robe was a very important item to the people. It served as tipi covering, clothing, and bedding. It was also a place to record family history and special events in their lives. For bedding, it could be used to lie on, or to cover with.

How was a buffalo robe worn?

As a robe it was worn with the warm fur on the inside against the body, and the painted side on the outside. It was traditionally wrapped around the body with the head end to the left.

What is a winter count?

A special kind of record kept on a buffalo robe is the Winter Count. Because the Plains peoples, like most Native American peoples, did not have a written language, they depended on the "oral tradition", whereby stories are passed on from generation to generation through retelling. To help keep track on important events, they kept a record called a "winter count, a piece of hide where they painted "pictographs" to represent an important event from each year.

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