Five Incredible Buffalo Facts

What makes the buffalo (or bison) spectacular?

From jewelry and scarves, to socks and greeting cards, the buffalo stars in many of our products designed by popular artist and Inspired Natives Collaborator John Isaiah Pepion (Blackfeet)! Read on to learn about John’s design and to brush up on your buffalo knowledge.


John Isaiah Pepion (Blackfeet) Illustrates the Buffalo's Strength

John is a Plains Indian Graphic artist from the Piikani Band of the Blackfoot Confederacy, best known for his ledger art. The buffalo is the staff of life for most Plains Indian Nations and from food to ceremony, buffalo remain a central part of present life. Traditionally, Plains tribes used buffalo hide for painting, before being forced to adapt to making artwork on ledger paper. The lifeline, or sacred breath of the buffalo, is illustrated with an arrow in John's designs.


John Isaiah Pepion's (Piikani) Buffalo Light Wool Scarf. Photo by Brittney Couture.


Did you know that buffalo charge into the eye of a storm? By facing the storm directly rather than fleeing, they reduce the impact and swiftly reach the sun on the other side. Inspired by the buffalos’ strength, John’s design represents the buffalo in a lively, graphic way.


Photo by Emilia Wronski.


The Bison Range Goes Back to the Tribes!

The 18,800 acres of grassland, woodland and wildlife containing the National Bison Range, along with its resident bison herd, will be returned to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes! This recently passed bipartisan bill comes after 113 years of U.S. government control, systemic racism, failed agreements, lawsuits, a federal investigation and a public education campaign.


A Buffalo Weighs the Same as Half Your Car

Photo by Jade Thurston.


One aspect that makes the buffalo remarkable is their shape and weight. In fact, they’re the largest mammal in North America. Bulls can be up to 2000 pounds, stand six feet tall and 12 feet long. The large hump above their head is made of tough, massive muscles that actually help them clear out snow! Plus, with their heads weighing up to 75 pounds, the hump also helps control neck and head movement.


The Bison is the Official Mammal of the United States

On May 9, 2016, Former President Barack Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law to acknowledge the majesty of the bison and its cultural significance. Now the bison is an official symbol of the nation, just like the bald eagle!


Buffalo Run up to 35 Miles per Hour!

Photo by Emilia Wronski.


Fast on their feet, a buffalo's agility boosts them over high fences, around sharp corners and through strong waters. Though buffalo eat grasses, weeds and leafy plants, be respectful and make sure to admire these animals from afar. Tip: a buffalo is usually calm when their tail hangs down and naturally sways. When the tail is standing up straight, the buffalo may be preparing to charge!