Bison and People on the North American Great Plains: A Deep Environmental History
Geoff Cunfer, Bill Waiser
Texas A&M University Press, Oct 25, 2016 - History - 344 pages
The near disappearance of the American bison in the nineteenth century is commonly understood to be the result of over-hunting, capitalist greed, and all but genocidal military policy. This interpretation remains seductive because of its simplicity; there are villains and victims in this familiar cautionary tale of the American frontier. But as this volume of groundbreaking scholarship shows, the story of the bison’s demise is actually quite nuanced.
Bison and People on the North American Great Plains brings together voices from several disciplines to offer new insights on the relationship between humans and animals that approached extinction. The essays here transcend the border between the United States and Canada to provide a continental context. Contributors include historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, paleontologists, and Native American perspectives.
This book explores the deep past and examines the latest knowledge on bison anatomy and physiology, how bison responded to climate change (especially drought), and early bison hunters and pre-contact trade. It also focuses on the era of European contact, in particular the arrival of the horse, and some of the first known instances of over-hunting. By the nineteenth century bison reached a “tipping point” as a result of new tanning practices, an early attempt at protective legislation, and ventures to introducing cattle as a replacement stock. The book concludes with a Lakota perspective featuring new ethnohistorical research.
Bison and People on the North American Great Plains is a major contribution to environmental history, western history, and the growing field of transnational history.
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The Decline and Fall of the Bison Empire
Environmental History and the Demise of the Bison
People and Bison in the Ancient Past
3 A Bisons View of Landscape and the Paleoenvironment
4 A Hunters Quest for Fat Bison
5 An Overview of Prehistoric Communal Bison Hunting on the Great Plains
European Contact and theHorse Revolution
A Fur Trade Historians View of Seasonal Bison Movements on the Northern Plains
8 A Métis View of the Summer Market Hunton the Northern Plains
Global Tanning and Industrial Leather
The 1877 NorthWest Territories Bison Protection Ordinance
Filling the Vacuum
12 A Lakota View of Pté Oyáte Buffalo Nation
7 A HorseMans View of a Grassland Revolution
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Alberta American Bison animals archaeological Archaic areas arroyo bison behavior Bison bison bison herds bison hides bison hunting bison jumps bison kill bison populations bison products bone bed bulls Calgary Canada Canadian cattle Cheyennes climate Cochrane Comanches cows Cree decline drought early Ecology Edmonton Environmental History Euro-American evidence extinction fire Flores forage Glenbow grass grasslands Hämäläinen Head-Smashed-In Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump hide hunters Holocene horse cultures Hudson’s Bay Company human Ibid industry Journal Lake Lakota landscape late leather meat Métis migration Missouri Native nineteenth century North American northern Great Plains northern plains Paleo-Indian Palliser parkland pemmican period Plains Anthropologist plains bison Plains Indian Pleistocene postglacial pounds prairie Prehistoric radiocarbon date ranching records Red River region Saskatchewan season Sioux South Saskatchewan River southern southwestern species summer hunting Sun Dance tanning Territories tion Toronto treaty tribes University Press wakĥáŋ Walker West Western Wildlife winter