Carved Buffalo Effigy

Date: 1100-1300 (Mill Creek)

 

Description: This stone appears to have been hand-shaped into a bison effigy, and is thought to come from the Mill Creek culture. Stones like this could have been used as amulets or they could have been totems, images of guardian animal spirits worn for protection and guidance. The bison or American Buffalo was very important to Native Americans even in prehistoric times, and special shaped stones like this help to emphasize that importance. It is an impressive piece, especially considering that this would have been made and shaped by hand with tools made from stone, wood or ceramic. For its age, it is in superb condition. This figure comes from the Homer Anderson collection, and is one of the many stone and ceramic pieces donated to the Sioux City Public Museum from his estate.

 

Donor: Cindy Owen