Last September, Sugar and I went to the Black Hills and enjoyed the buffalo festival in Cody, South Dakota. I’d like to say that we picked the weekend so that we could attend, but it was simply good luck that we happened to be there.
Buffaloes were central to the culture of Plains Indians, including the Lakota Sioux people, many of whom still live in South Dakota. The Black Hills are sacred to these people, and to me too. The Pine Ridge Reservation is there.
There is a large buffalo herd in Custer State Park. In late September they hold their annual buffalo round-up there. During the weekend prior to that event, when we were visiting, the town of Custer celebrated the importance of buffalo to the area in many ways. On street corners throughout downtown Custer were life-size model buffaloes that had been painted creatively by artists. On Friday evening was a reception at a bank at which the public could meet the artists and get a preview of their artwork, which was auctioned off the next day. Not only were the full sized buffaloes auctioned, but also smaller sculptures of buffaloes and paintings of buffaloes. Lots of buffalo art! Since our home is decorated with western art, and since Miss Sugar is an artist and art teacher, the art auction was of great interest to us.
Now you are probably wondering what art we purchased. The answer is that the bidders were out of our league. However, we did buy a buffalo skull from a booth of such items. It was not part of the auction but it was part of the buffalo festival.