Native American Buffalo Robes
A Study of their Role in Plains Indian Societies
and a Guide to Traditional Tanning Techniques

by Markus Klek


152 pages, paperback, English language,
black and white as well as color images
ISBN 978-3-8334-8926-6
published by BoD Verlag, Germany, 2008

Available through or contact the author at

This book illustrates the role which buffalo robes played within Plains Indian societies of the 18th and 19th century. It presents a one of a kind documentation of the almost inexhaustible amount of different uses, people made of tanned buffalo skins, as clothing, shelter, ritual paraphernalia, shrouds, coasters, trampolines, stretchers, drums and the like. Additionally, the unique connection between the robes material, social and spiritual values are being examined resulting from the overall significance of the buffalo.
Furthermore the author has compiled a detailed, hands-on description of the traditional tanning techniques necessary to produce braintanned buffalo robes.

Extensive research of ethnographic data combined with personal tanning expertise and supplemented with a multitude of historic and contemporary photographs and images, as well as an extensive list of museums around the world owning buffalo robes, make this work a welcome addition to Plains Indian and Primitive Skills studies.

“A recommended book for those who appreciate a deeper insight into indigenous cultures and those who value practical information..."
Jens Lay, Deutsches Ledermuseum, Germany

“Those interested in Plains Indians will find lots of interesting details and inspirations.”
AmerIndian Research Magazin, Germany

"The author has created a standard work. The content of the book mirrors a thorough and impressing study of the available literature. Markus Klek offers a work that leaves no open wishes.“
Dietmar Kuegler, Magazin für Amerikanistik, Germany

“The dedication Markus has put in this book is apparent in the research too, he put both his hands and head to the task. The fascinating history of so many uses of the robe, as well as the detailed description of the tanning process contained between the covers, make this book a welcome addition to the traditional skills library.”
Jim Miller, director of “Willow Winds Outdoor School”, Michigan, USA




E-mail your comments to "Markus Klek" at
Markus Klek resides in Germany.

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