The buffalo was life to the Plains Indian until the white man’s goods replaced the animal. The Indian used virtually all of the animal for one thing or another. He also used the buffalo as an intermediary through which the Great Spirit could be addressed.
The buffalo hunt was an important facet of Indian life. The Indians of the “soldier society” enforced the rules of the hunt. They would keep the Indians who were participating in the hunt in a line behind them so that when the hunters charged the herd, it was done much like the beginning of today’s horse race, everyone even, with no one ahead. When the call for the charge went up, the hunt began and it was every man for himself.