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Fur Trade/Bison Robe Trade Items Repurposed

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  • Fur Trade/Bison Robe Trade Items Repurposed

    In the first half of the 19th century trading for bison robes was a big business in the Great Plains region. These trade items are actually related more towards the bison robe trade than the trade of the smaller fur bearing animals. However the smaller fur bearing animals were also involved in the Plains trade but were not the predominate item in demand from this region.

    From: http://nebraskastudies.org
    “For most of their history, bison were killed by the tribes for their needs. But as trade with Europeans became more important, they began killing bison and took only their hides and tongues to exchange for trade goods. By the 1840s, the number of hides prepared for trade was far greater than those used by the Indians themselves. One estimate is that Native Americans were eating only four out of every 100 bison they killed. In 1839, the American Fur Company bought 45,000 buffalo robes and 67,000 the next year, representing a staggering amount of labor by Indian hide workers.”

    Last edited by 11KBP; 04-12-2019, 03:48 PM.

  • #2
    Dick, wow what a great display. I had heard of the trade hoes before but I never realised they were cutting them down into scrapers.

    It’s amazing how quickly the plains changed. Free roaming Natives and Bison to essentially removal or reservations in a single lifetime.
    Hong Kong, but from Indiana/Florida

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    • #3
      Thanks, these hoes and tools made from them is a rare sight for most of us.
      Searching the fields of Northwest Indiana and Southwestern Michigan

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      • #4
        That's very interesting . Awesome examples. We've all heard about trade items but you did excellent job of putting it out here man. That metal display is just as nice as s frame of big stone bades
        SW Connecticut

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redrocks View Post
          That's very interesting . Awesome examples. We've all heard about trade items but you did excellent job of putting it out here man. That metal display is just as nice as s frame of big stone bades
          Thanks Greg. These trade items were all recovered from cultivated farmland that is both irrigated and given a dose of various farm chemicals annually. Due to the applied chemicals and constant application of water during the growing season these iron items will eventually be barely recognizable In future years. The items made of brass hold up much better.


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          • #6
            You have made an impressive display Dennis and the story behind it is very informative.
            May I ask how you came by the information you shared?
            Bruce
            In life there are losers and finders. Which one are you?

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            • #7
              Thank you for sharing these
              South Dakota

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              • #8
                Very interesting, thanks for the education.
                SE IA

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                • #9
                  Killer!!
                  Professor Shellman
                  Tampa Bay

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