Place: North America
The Round bull boat is so named because the hide that covers the frame comes from the bison bull.
Bull Boat, circa 1939
Chief Crow’s Heart, Hidatsa Nation
Fort Berthold Reservation, Elbowoods, North Dakota
The Round bull boat is so named because the hide that covers the frame comes from the bison bull. Plains tribes like the Mandan and Hidatsa fashioned a frame from willow saplings. Then they stretched the bison, and later cow, hide tightly over the frame.
Traditionally, women built and used these temporary boats on the Missouri River and its tributatries as a means of transportation and communication between villages.
I observed several canoes made of a single Buffalo skin, with three squaws, cross the (Maropa) river today in waves as high as I ever saw on this river – quite uncomposed. – Captain William Clark, 9 October, 1804
Origin: Elbowoods, North Dakota, USA