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Buffalo (Bison)

BUFFALO (BISON)

BUFFALO (BISON). Until the end of the last Ice Age, bison were a minor species in North America. As a warming climate destroyed much of the forage upon which Ice Age megafauna such as mammoths and mastodons relied, and as human hunters destroyed those megafauna who remained, bison emerged as the dominant species of the Great Plains. The grasslands may have supported as many as 30 million bison, but changing ecological factors such as drought, blizzards, wolf predation, and the competition of other grazing animals probably caused the bison population to fluctuate considerably.

For thousands of years, Native Americans hunted bison from foot. They surrounded herds, setting fire to the grasses to enclose the animals for the kill. In other instances, they drove herds into corrals or over cliffs. Such techniques demanded the cooperation of large communities. Success was unpredictable, however, and most pedestrian bison hunters combined their pursuit of the herds with other subsistence strategies such as planting or gathering.


The arrival of horses to the plains transformed the relationship between hunters and the bison. Spanish colonists introduced horses to North America in the sixteenth century; the animals diffused into the Great Plains in the early eighteenth century. By the end of the century, several Native American groups, among them the Sioux, Cheyennes, and Crows, had abandoned their former resource strategies and reinvented themselves as nomadic, equestrian bison hunters. That strategy sustained the nomads until the 1830s, when steamboats began to ascend the Missouri River, inaugurating a trade in bison robes that lasted until the late 1860s. Nomadic hunters supplied Euro-American traders with tens of thousands of robes annually, significantly depleting the bison population in the Great Plains.

In the 1870s, Euro-American hunters, in combination with drought and the arrival of millions of domestic livestock to the grasslands, nearly exterminated the remaining bison. While the United States government neither organized nor prosecuted the destruction of the bison, certain of its representatives endorsed it. Congressional efforts to put a stop to the slaughter in the mid-1870s were stymied by Interior Department officials who anticipated that the destruction of the bison would force the Sioux, Cheyennes, and other Native American groups to submit to the reservation system. The species was reduced to a few thousand by 1883.

In the early twentieth century, the American Bison Society, an organization made up largely of wealthy and influential easterners, managed to install a small number of bison on federal preserves as part of a nostalgic and nationalist project of frontier and wilderness preservation. A larger number of bison survived on ranches that raised them as profitable novelties. By the end of the twentieth century there were roughly 250,000 bison in North America descended from the few survivors of the nineteenth century, and bison meat had gained favor as an alternative to beef.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Isenberg, Andrew C. The Destruction of the Bison: An Environ-mental History, 1750–1920. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Andrew C.Isenberg

See alsoGreat Plains ; Indians and the Horse ; Tribes: Great Plains .

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buffalo (in zoology)

buffalo, name commonly applied to the American bison but correctly restricted to certain related African and Asian mammals of the cattle family. The water buffalo, or Indian buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, is found in S Asia. It is a large, extremely strong, dark gray animal, standing nearly 6 ft (180 cm) at the shoulder and weighing up to 2,000 lb (900 kg). Its widely spread horns curve out and back in a semicircle and may reach a length of 6 ft (180 cm). For many centuries it has been domesticated as a draft animal, but wild forms still exist in Borneo and herds descended from domesticated animals live in a wild state elsewhere. Water buffalo live in swampy areas and near rivers, where they wallow in the mud. Wild water buffalo are extremely fierce and have been known to kill fully grown tigers. The domestic forms are somewhat more docile. They are used throughout S Asia to pull plows and carts; they are of little importance as dairy animals, as their milk is scant. Their diet consists chiefly of grass. The anoa, Anoa depressicornus, also called dwarf buffalo or wood buffalo, is the smallest of the buffalo, standing only 40 in. (100 cm) high at the shoulder; it is found in Sulawesi. Its slightly larger relative, the tamarou, Anoa mindorensis, is found in the Mindoro region of the Philippines. Both are forest dwellers. The large, fierce cape buffalo is found in Africa. Buffalo are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.

See D. A. Dary, The Buffalo Book (1974).

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buffalo

buf·fa·lo / ˈbəfəˌlō/ • n. (pl. same, -loes or -los) 1. a heavily built wild ox (genus Bubalus, family Bovidae) with backswept horns, found mainly in the Old World tropics. See also water buffalo. ∎  the North American bison. 2. (also buf·fa·lo fish) a large grayish-olive freshwater fish with thick lips, common in North America. • Genus Ictiobus, family Catostomidae: several species. • v. (-loes, -loed) [tr.] (often be buffaloed) inf. overawe or intimidate (someone): she didn't like being buffaloed. ∎  baffle (someone): the problem has buffaloed the advertising staff.

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buffalo

buffalo Any of several horned mammals and a misnomer for the North American bison. The massive ox-like Indian, or water, buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is often domesticated for milk and hides. Height: 1.5m (5ft). Family Bovidae.

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buffalo

buffalo Common name for several species of cattle-like mammals (Bovidae) occurring in Africa south of the Sahara and in south-eastern Asia. The N. American Bison is sometimes incorrectly called ‘buffalo’.

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Buffalo

BUFFALO

BUFFALO. The city of Buffalo, New York, lies at the northeast end of Lake Erie where it flows into the Niagara River, and then into Lake Ontario. Because of its strategic position, Buffalo became a shipping and transportation hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Buffalo was established in 1804 as part of the speculative land development of the American West. In the War of 1812, it was seized and burned by British forces from Canada. Buffalo, as a gateway to the Great Lakes, was selected as the western terminus of the Erie Canal when it was constructed in the 1820s. With the opening of the canal in 1827, Buffalo became the storage and transshipment center for the flow of grains and raw material out of the American Midwest, and for the flow of manufactured goods into that burgeoning region.

By 1840, Buffalo's population had grown to 18,000, making it the largest city west of the Appalachians. The railroads arrived in the 1840s, enhancing Buffalo's role as a transportation center and gateway to the Midwest. By the mid-nineteenth century, the need for iron and steel for both ship construction and the railroads prompted the beginnings of heavy industry at Buffalo.

The combination of Lake Superior iron ore from the Mesabi Range in Minnesota and proximate coking coal from Pennsylvania, both cheaply moved by lake steamers, made Buffalo an ideal location for steel foundries and fabricators. By 1900, Buffalo was the second largest producer of steel in the country. With strong shipping, commercial, and industrial activity, Buffalo's financial and service sectors also expanded. This strong economic growth attracted waves of immigrants both from the American countryside and from Europe. These workers became increasingly militant, creating a strong union movement.

The twentieth century opened with bright prospects for further expansion of the heavily industrialized Buffalo, particularly with the opening of automobile factories and related industry. Indeed, the period during the two World Wars saw strong employment and prosperity in the city. But the Great Depression of the 1930s showed the fragility of industrial concentration, and the city of Buffalo defaulted on its debts and went bankrupt. Further, the rise of national corporations took local control away from Buffalo. Finally, with the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959, ships were able to move directly from the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean, and Buffalo's commercial and shipping activities contracted sharply. The attendant economic difficulties and labor unrest precipitated the flight of manufacturers, which further aggravated the decline of the Buffalo economy.

Buffalo's urban problems and "white flight" led to population declines from 530,000 in 1950 to barely 300,000 in the 1990s. New York State attempted to ease the city's social and economic difficulties by funding public work projects and rebuilding the State University of New York at Buffalo. At the end of the twentieth century, Buffalo—as part of the Great Lakes Rust Belt—continued to struggle with the decline of manufacturing urban centers throughout the American Midwest.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brown, Richard Carl. Buffalo, Lake City in Niagara Land: An Illustrated History. Woodland Hills, Calif.: Windsor, 1981.

Goldman, Mark. High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983.

———. City on the Lake: The Challenge of Change in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1990.

Larned, Josephus Nelson. A History of Buffalo, Delineating the Evolution of the City. New York: Progress of the Empire State Company, 1911.

MichaelCarew

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Buffalo

BUFFALO

BUFFALO (Heb. מְרִיא, meri; av "fat cattle" or "fatling"), animal which in biblical times was sacrificed and the flesh eaten (ii Sam. 6:13; i Kings 1:9, 19). The Dead Sea Scroll text of Isaiah 11:6 has yimru instead of meri ("they shall pasture") for the masoretic reading "Meir" and this corresponds to the Septuagint reading. The reference is to the water buffalo, the Bubalus bubalis, which until the end of the 1940s roamed in the Ḥuleh marsh, where the Bedouin reared it for food. It is also reared in the Beteha Valley at the foot of the Golan Heights, the biblical Bashan, which was famed for its buffaloes (Ezek. 39:18). The buffalo originates from a wild species found in India. It is a powerful animal suitable for work and was employed in Ereẓ Israel for plowing. In addition to the identification of the meri with the buffalo (see also the Bible translation of Saadiah Gaon who uses the Arabic word jamūs), some have identified the buffalo with the te'o (תְּאוֹ) listed as a clean animal (Deut. 14:5) and which Isaiah mentions as being caught in a net (51:20). This identification is improbable, however, since in Ereẓ Israel it was a domesticated and not a wild animal. The te'o has also been identified with the bison (Bison bonasus). Others have identified the buffalo with the koi (כּוֹי) mentioned in the Talmud in connection with the doubt whether it belongs to the category of behemah (domesticated cattle) or ḥayyah (wild beast), which would involve differing regulations concerning ritual slaughter (cf. Ḥul. 80a, where four opinions are expressed as to its identity).

bibliography:

Lewysohn, Zool, 129; H.B. Tristram, Nat Hist, 56, 72; F.S. Bodenheimer, Ha-Ḥai be-Arẓot ha-Mikra, 2 (1956), index; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 20–21.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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Buffalo

Buffalo (icon, myth, and sacrifice): see MAHIṢA.

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Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo: Introduction
Buffalo: Geography and Climate
Buffalo: History
Buffalo: Population Profile
Buffalo: Municipal Government
Buffalo: Economy
Buffalo: Education and Research
Buffalo: Health Care
Buffalo: Recreation
Buffalo: Convention Facilities
Buffalo: Transportation
Buffalo: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1803 (incorporated 1832)

Head Official: Mayor Anthony M. Masiello (D) (since 1994)

City Population

1980: 357,870

1990: 328,175

2000: 292,648

2004 estimate: 282,864

Percent change, 1990-2000: -10.8 %

U.S. rank in 1980: 39th

U.S. rank in 1990: 50th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 69th (State rank: 2nd)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 1,243,000

1990: 1,189,340

2000: 1,170,111

Percent change, 1990-2000: -1.6 %

U.S. rank in 1990: 33rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 42nd

Area: 52.51 square miles total (2000)

Elevation: 599 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 47.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 38.5 inches of rain; 93.3 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Healthcare services, transportation, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, tourism, research

Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (April 2005)

Per Capita Income: $14,991 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 19,017

Major Colleges and Universities: University of Buffalo; Buffalo State College; Erie Community College

Daily Newspaper: The Buffalo News

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Buffalo

Buffalo Industrial city and port on the e shore of Lake Erie, nw New York, USA. It was first settled in 1803 by the Holland Land Company. Its rapid industrial growth was encouraged by its position at the w terminus of the Erie Canal (opened 1825). President William McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition held here in 1901. It is home to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and has two universities. Industries: flour milling, motor vehicles, chemicals, railway engineering. Pop. (2000) 292,648.

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buffalo

buffaloaloe, callow, fallow, hallow, mallow, marshmallow, sallow, shallow, tallow •Pablo, tableau •cashflow • Anglo • matelot •Carlo, Harlow, Marlowe •Bargello, bellow, bordello, cello, Donatello, fellow, jello, martello, mellow, morello, niello, Novello, Pirandello, Portobello, Punchinello, Uccello, violoncello, yellow •pueblo • bedfellow • playfellow •Oddfellow • Longfellow •schoolfellow • Robin Goodfellow •airflow • halo • Day-Glo •filo, kilo •armadillo, billow, cigarillo, Murillo, Negrillo, peccadillo, pillow, tamarillo, Utrillo, willow •inflow • Wicklow • furbelow • Angelo •pomelo • uniflow •kyloe, lilo, milo, silo •Apollo, follow, hollow, Rollo, swallow, wallow •Oslo • São Paulo • outflow •bolo, criollo, polo, solo, tombolo •rouleau • regulo • modulo • mudflow •diabolo • bibelot • pedalo • underflow •buffalo •brigalow, gigolo •bungalow •Michelangelo, tangelo •piccolo • tremolo • alpenglow • tupelo •contraflow • afterglow • overflow •furlough • workflow

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Buffalo

BUFFALO

BUFFALO , the second largest city in New York State and the seat of Erie Country. Erie County had a Jewish population in 2004 of between 15,000 and 18,000. In heavy industry, the principal support of Buffalo's economy, Jews have occupied relatively minor roles. They are chiefly involved in trade distribution and professional services. In 2004 a major hi-tech bioinformatics and health sciences campus was built in Buffalo, attracting Jewish scientists and researchers in growing numbers. It is expected that this, along with new economic initiatives, will help to stem the tide of the region's dwindling Jewish population. There were 13 congregations in Greater Buffalo in 2004: three Conservative, five Orthodox, one Reconstructionist, three Reform, and one Traditional. The first Jew in the area came during the War of 1812, when Captain Mordecai Myers was assigned to the Williamsville cantonment. In 1825 Mordecai Manuel *Noah launched his short-lived utopian plan for a Jewish homeland, the city of Ararat, near Buffalo. Jewish settlers came to Buffalo in the decades following 1825, a period of great growth for the city. The first Jew to arrive was L.H. Flersheim, who emigrated from Germany in 1835 and taught his native language in the public schools. Jewish merchants and manufacturers soon followed Flersheim. Buffalo's first retail clothing store was opened by Mordecai M. Noah's nephew in the 1840s. Congregation Beth El, composed of Polish and German Jews, was established in 1847. Needy German-Jewish arrivals were aided by the Jacobsohn Society, organized in 1847 on the community self-help idea. The society lasted into the 1860s and also established Buffalo's first Jewish cemetery. Differences in background created dissension in Beth El, and in 1850 the German element seceded to form Beth Zion, one of a succession of splinter groups to emerge from the original congregation. By 1864 the various Reform elements had united to form Temple Beth Zion. Eventually, Beth El became a Conservative congregation.

Most Buffalo Jews are descendants of the Eastern Europeans who came after 1880. These newcomers worked as peddlers, tailors, junkmen, and storekeepers, and with the immigration, the main location of the Jewish residential population shifted from lower Main Street to the East Side. A community house, a Jewish library, and about twelve Orthodox synagogues were set up in the area.

While the synagogues were unable to bring unity into the ghetto, the lodges and charitable organizations were a unifying force. A ḥevra kaddisha appeared early in the life of Buffalo Jewry. Montefiore Lodge of B'nai B'rith dates from 1866 and was the first of many groups which provided social companionship and mutual aid. In the 1850s the Buffalo Young Men's Hebrew Association, one of the first in the U.S., aided Jews traveling through the city and also offered cultural programs. Other institutions that were set up included an orphans' home, operated in conjunction with Rochester Jewry, a sheltering house, and Zion House, established by Beth Zion's Sisterhood to care for the newly arrived Russian Jews. Zion House was popularly known as the Jewish Community Building and formed the nucleus for the Federated Jewish Charities of Buffalo, which was established in 1903. The Federated Jewish Charities incorporated several rival societies and became the direct ancestor of the present United Jewish Federation. While Buffalo Jews early established afternoon and Sunday Hebrew schools, it was not until the late 1920s that a bureau of Jewish education was established which in 1928 established The High School of Jewish Studies, which today has over 200 students. In 1959 the Kadimah School created an elementary and middle school. The weekly Buffalo Jewish Review has been published since 1917.

Following World War i the Jewish East Side began to deteriorate. Greater Jewish affluence and the increased speed of urban transportation resulted in a general exodus, first to the West Side of the city, then to the Humboldt-Utica-Ferry section of mid-Buffalo, and still later to the North Park-Hertel Avenue part of North Buffalo. The Humboldt area was served by Temple Beth David, established in 1923, and Congregation Ohel Jacob, established in 1926. In North Buffalo, Anshe Zedek, later named Ner Israel, eventually merged with Beth David which had also resettled in the northern part of the city. Temple Emanu-El, Conservative, was founded in the mid-1920s. In 1967, Emanu-El and Beth David joined as Shaarey Zedek. Then many of the former East Side congregations were now situated in the North Park area. As industries expanded in western New York, bringing general prosperity, Jews moved to Kenmore, the town of Tonawanda, Snyder, and other suburban settlements. Beth Zion (Reform), Beth Am (Reform), Sinai (Reconstructionist), Beth El (Conservative), Havurah (Reform), B'nai Shalom (Traditional), Amherst Synagogue (Orthodox), Kehillat Ohr Zion (Orthodox), Shaarey Zedek (Conservative), and Young Israel (Orthodox) are among the congregations in the suburbs.

While Beth Zion decided to rebuild its main sanctuary in the central city after it was destroyed by fire in 1961, the congregation also has a suburban branch. The population shift has continued from North Buffalo to the suburbs. In 2004 the Jewish population was higher in the suburbs than in the city.

bibliography:

S. Adler and T.E. Connolly, From Ararat to Suburbia: History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo (1960); Falk, in: Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, 1 (1879), 289–304; Plesur, in: Niagara Frontier (Summer, 1956), 29–36.

[Milton Plesur]

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buffalo

buffalo XVI. prob. immed. — Pg. bufalo (mod. bufaro). corr. to It. bufalo (whence F. buffle) :- late L. bufalus, L. būbalus — Gr. boúbalos antelope, wild ox.

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