By Chase Rheam
PERKINS, Okla. —
An educational program on the historical and today’s uses of buffalo will be held by the Payne County Historical Society at 2 p.m. Saturday in Perkins.
Iowa Tribal Library Director Sandy Tharp-Thee will bring the “buffalo box” to the old church building in Territorial Plaza for those attending the program to analyze. The program is titled “Payne County — Where the Buffalo Roam.”
“It looks like a fuzzy box and it has ties on it and inside of it is bison bones, a bison bladder, a bison tail; some bone marrow and just different parts of the bison because Native Americans used all parts of the bison,” she said.
The program begins by describing the bison as a gift that gave Native Americans shoes, shelter and other means.
“They used buffalo dung for baby powder,” Tharp-Thee said. “Kids always think that's gross and adults think that we’ve come a long way since that.”
Tharp-Thee said approximately 98 percent of the buffalo was used in some manner. Handouts given at the presentation detail the various uses.
Because bison are no longer in danger of being extinct, their meat should become more popular as a food item, she said.
“I know that in our herd there are no growth chemicals given to them and pretty much they eat on the land,” she said. “They are given medicine and treated pretty much like cows.”
Buffalo meat is healthy with fewer calories, she said.
President of the Payne County Historical Society Mary Jane Warde said it’s a program that people of all ages will enjoy.
Warde said the independent society, which has been functioning for more than 50 years, aims to preserve Payne County history by holding programs quarterly and publishing the Payne County Historical Review.
“This is my personal goal as president is to be sure that we include all of the towns and the various communities in Payne County because everybody's history is important,” Warde said.
The location of the presentation is south on Main Street, east on Northeast 4th and right at the first corner. Warde said anyone interested in learning more about traditional Iowan customs should contact Joyce Miller at the Iowa Tribe.