"Tatanka", the Lakota word for buffalo, came to Sullivan County from Nebraska. He is part of the Bison-tennial Public Art Project by the Indiana Association of United Ways. Tatanka was purchased by the Tourism Commission of Sullivan County for the people of Sullivan County and will be housed at the Sullivan County Historical Museum. Tatanka will be available to visit your organization, events or schools on request. He will also help us celebrate the Sullivan County and Merom Bicentennials in 2017.
There are approximately 120 fiberglass bison being decorated in the State of Indiana celebrating our State Bicentennial. Tatanka is being painted by local artist Steve Tucker. Steve is embellishing Tatanka as the great revered beast he is, as well as honoring the history of Sullivan County by depicting our Native Americans, and Daniel Sullivan, the Revolutionary War general for whom our county is named.
The American Bison, or buffalo, was considered a sacred animal to the Native Americans. They relied on every part of the animal to provide food, clothing, shelter, and tools. Bison once numbered in the tens of millions on the plains of the United States, however European settlers hunted them almost to extinction. The last bison in Indiana were reported around 1810. Due to careful breeding and protection, we once again have a healthy population of approximately 500,000 bison being protected on public and private lands.
While visiting the Sullivan County 4-H Fair, Tatanka will be blessed by Reg and Susan Petoskey of the Sullivan County American Indian Council.
Tatanka loves selfies, so feel free to get your picture taken, but please be careful, as he is still under construction!
Chi Miigwetch ~ Thank you!
Tourism Commission of Sullivan County
Donna Adams, Jim Conner, Lynn Hamilton, Teresa Trotter, Twila Usrey