buffalo hide

4

Meet the “beefalo” - a hybrid between a wild bison and a domestic cow. These animals are often bred not merely for novelty, but also because they are heartier in cold weather, don’t suffer from many diseases that normal stock are susceptible to, and because they produce leaner meat than their domestic counterparts. 

I actually started looking into these guys because I purchased a strange pelt on Craigslist last weekend that looked, from the listing photos, to be an abnormally-dark buffalo hide. But when I saw the skin in person, it was clear this was not the case. The hide had characteristics of both domestic cow and wild bison, and because I’d heard of beefalo before without having done much research on the breed, I decided to look into a bit more in-depth. 

Bingo. The skin looks like a blackish-brown bison skin with a ‘mane’ and everything, but the hair is a bit more coarse and wiry than you’d expect from a full-blooded bison. The seller initially thought the pelt was from an enormous black bear, to give you an idea as to what kind of fur this thing has. I’ll have to snap some photos of it tomorrow when I’ve got better light.

For now, enjoy the novelty of these amazing hybrids. 

Mask (Nganga Diphomba)
Artist: Master of Kasadi
Date: 19th–early 20th century, inventoried 1937
Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo, near Tshela, Kasadi village
Culture: Kongo peoples; Yombe group
Medium: Wood (Ricinodendron heudelotii Baill.), pigments, buffalo hide and hair, metal tacks
Credit Line: Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
This artwork is part of Kongo: Power and Majesty, The Met