We found out that Kevin Costner (the actor) wanted to "tell the bison's story" so he had Tatanka built. 30-60 million bison once roamed the great plains of North America. By the end of the 19th century, less than 1,000 bison survived.
Tatanka is a Lakota word that means "bull buffalo" but Tatanka meant more than that to the Lakota people. Ceremonies and daily life revolved around sacred reverence for Takanta.
The Lakota people only killed Tatanka as a means of survival NOT like the "white" people who killed the bison for sport and profit.
The bronze figures are beautiful, and we were there for quite a while, taking photos from all angles.
These bronze figures depict a "buffalo jump." Before coming to this place, I had no idea what the heck that meant. After coming here, I was not happy to find out.
A buffalo jump is a way of killing buffalo. Riders chase the buffalo toward a hidden drop off and, of course, they fall to their death. How something so beautiful (the bronze figures) can depict something so brutal. . .
After visiting this place, I was sad just thinking about all the bison being killed back in the "olden" days.
If that was Kevin Costner's purpose, I guess it worked.