My classmates and I were coming back from a history project out near Dickinson, and we stopped in Jamestown at the National Buffalo Museum. I had been here before, but only to the Pioneer Village. Much to my disappointment, the village was closed (but as most museums go, it was past Labor Day, and the Buffalo Museum is open year-round as it’s inside). When you're there in the summertime, the buildings are really cute to take a peek in, that main hall looks like it would be pretty neat to have weddings or something. The museum is nicely laid-out, and though I thought much of it would be about the importance of the buffalo to Native American groups, there was also a section on the importance of the buffalo to white settlers and hunters.
At first, the museum takes you on a tour of ancient prehistoric America, and the relationship of the buffalo and Plains Indians. One item on display I thought was really neat was a giant skull of an ancient buffalo over 10,000 years old—and it seemed at least twice as big as a buffalo skull would be today!
I had also never seen a coat made of buffalo hides, which was on display. I had seen it before in pictures, but it occurred to me as I was standing there I had never seen one in person. It didn’t look very comfortable to wear, however the fur was about 100 years old, my guess is it had become severely deteriorated.
I was impressed by the layout and information in the museum. It looked up to date, and the information provided gave me insight into the importance of the buffalo to all the people who have inhabited the Great Plains over the course of history.
And HA, don't miss going out to see the huge buffalo in the back--fun!
Recommended stay for buffalo museum is an hour. Pioneer village, probably another hour or two.
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