BUFFALO AND THE IRONHORSE
BUFFALO AND THE IRON HORSE wall hanging bronze by Chris Navarro
THE BUFFALO AND THE IRONHORSE
Bronze, 9.5’’x 34’’ x 11.5’’
Two competing symbols of white and American Indian cultures, the “iron horse” and the buffalo, help explain the conflict and change on the Great Plains. By the 1880s, powerful, steam-belching railroad locomotives (or iron horses, as the Indians called them) replaced the near-extinct buffalo. The advance of iron horses not only hastened the demise of the buffalo, but also forever transformed the environment and the lives of human animal cultures of the Great Plains. A culture and historical era that had defined life for Plains Indians for thousands of years came to an end as iron horses crossed the prairies where millions of buffalo once had grazed.