Plains Indian (Upper Missouri) Buffalo Tail Swatter Whisk
Upper Missouri Region
The tail of a bison was sewn onto a stick to make it rigid. It was then used to sprinkle water onto hot rocks to create steam during a sweat lodge ceremony. It was also used around camp to swat flies or chase off mosquitoes.
Generally the tail swatter was made from a winter bull bison. In the summer, the buffalo swish their tails to shoo flies off their backs and wear the hair off the tip of their tails. By late fall, the tail hair grows back on the bulls and cows allowing a suitable swatter to be made.
Artifacts by Sioux Replications / All images © Franz Brown
|Artifacts Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3|