tȟatȟáŋka oyáte // a day at the buffalo ranch neukieritzsch

Tȟatȟáŋka-buffalo-bull-Buffalo-Ranch-Neukieritzsch.jpg

Studying all things Native American and in particular Lakȟóta for quite a while now and knowing about a buffalo farm near Leipzig for almost three years, a visit at this Buffalo Ranch was on my must-do list for a long time already.

I’ve seen buffalos at the Leipzig Wildpark before, but I wanted to see a whole herd of it and also wanted to try buffalo meat. So Ro and I and a friend of us with his two little sons went to Neukieritzsch the other week. It was a pretty cold and slightly rainy day, but we packed everything for a picnic anyway.

When we arrived, all the buffalos were in very far distance, some of them lay on the ground and others were just standing around. But after a while, when they finally had recognized us, they smoothly got up and the whole herd of about 20 heads of buffalo started walking towards us very slowly and calm (This literally gave me goose bumps!). We stood right behind the fence (which was a pretty thin one) and if we had wanted to we could have touched the friendly buffalos since they came very, very close. Except for this bull pictured above which was the most respectable one and a really thrilling one to watch too.

I told the boys that in former times the Lakotas used everything from the buffalo, such as the tanned hide not only for clothing and moccasins but also to build their tipis. I tried to remember all the other parts and their use. This sustainable concept of only hunting/shopping meat when meat is really needed and using almost all body parts of a creature and leaving the rest for other four-legged or winged ones and therefore producing in fact no garbage at all really fascinates me.

Since we could witness that the Neukieritzsch buffalos live appropriate to their species’ needs, aren’t penned in stables but can graze all year round outside, we went to the little farm shop and gave buffalo meat a try. We bought meat, sausage, jerky, and mini salamis. The latter one we ate right away with all the bread rolls, veggies, and cookies we had packed for the pic nic. As far as I can tell now, the taste of buffalo meat is similar to beef but the texture of the meat itself is way more soft.

Well, I don’t know what took me so long to get there but I know for sure now that I will be coming back sometime soon.

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