The Near Annihilation of America's Buffalo in Pictures
Taken towards the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th, these photographs tell a tragic story. Millions of American bison, also known as American buffalo, were reduced to little more than mountainous piles of bleached white bones, many of the animals slain by bullets from the guns of men. At the time, of course, the perpetrators of the hunts that led to the buffalo’s near extinction held a very different point of view to that of most people today. Far from inciting feelings of disgust or horror, the slaughter of bison was seen by European settlers as a means to wealth, a healthy pastime, and most chilling of all, as a way to end the primary source of sustenance for the Plains Indians and so drive them from their land.