Thanks to Sam May and the Antlers Ranch, the Meeteetse Museums is butchering a cow bison with stone tools.
Why? This project is a kind of archaeology known as “experimental archaeology” and its purpose is to better understand how things were done in the past. By butchering the bison with stone tools, participants will gain an understanding and deeper appreciation for Indigenous technology and subsistence practices. Since butchering leaves marks on the bones, the bones will be added to the Museums’ comparative collection for researchers to use in the future. Nature’s Design in Cody, WY is donating the cleaning of the bones for the collection (thank you!).
How? Dr. Lawrence Todd will provide stone tools and be facilitating their use in the butchering event. Guests can participate for $50 (or members for $25), for this cost, they will get the once-in-a-lifetime experience of butchering a bison with stone tools and be able to keep their tool after the event. Additionally, participants will get a commemorative t-shirt! Stone tools will be knapped on October 22nd at the Meeteetse Museums from 1 pm – 4 pm. Participants in the knapping workshop do not need to be butchering to take part in the knapping.
What will happen to the bison after butchering? Due to state law, the Museums cannot give meat to anyone helping butcher. However, every part of the bison will be used. Jason Baldes will be able to take parts of the bison for the Eastern Shoshone bison education project, the bones will be added to the Museums’ comparative collection, and finally, the hide will be tanned and then auctioned.
This event is part of the Museums’ much larger Bison of the Bighorn Basin Project. As such, it will be filmed to create a short YouTube video so participants will sign a release before their participation. Participants must RSVP by October 5th to ensure there are enough stone tools for everyone involved in the project and that the shirts can be ordered. More details including time and location will be announced soon.
If you would like to be more involved with this project, the Museums is looking for a donor to cover the $840 cost of tanning the bison hide. Additionally, we will need volunteers to keep measurements, help with photos, and more. For more information, to RSVP, or to volunteer with this project please contact email@example.com.
– Interested participants must RSVP by October 5th by calling (307) 868-2423
– Chili will be served to all registered participants for lunch
– There is a $50 participation fee, this fee is dropped to $25 for members
– Participants receive a chili lunch, t-shirt, and keep their stone tool but due to state law cannot take any bison meat
– Event takes place on October 23rd at 10 am on the Antlers Ranch
– Flint knapping workshop the day before from 1 -4 pm