Trip Planner:   USA  /  South Dakota  /  Deadwood  /  Museums  /  Tatanka: Story of the Bison

Tatanka: Story of the Bison, Deadwood

(4.3/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web)
Learn how the North American bison population plummeted from 60 million to less than 1,000 at Tatanka: Story of the Bison. Walk among life-sized statues of 14 bison pursued by Native Americans on horseback, and learn how indigenous people depended on the animal for food, clothing, tools, and much more. Don't miss the short film starring actor Kevin Costner, who strives to bring the park into the public eye. Using our custom trip planner, Deadwood attractions like Tatanka: Story of the Bison can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • So glad we visited this tribute to the Native American people. The opening video had us all in tears and really set up the story and history of these wonderful human beings and their interaction with ...  more »
  • Wonderful presentation, the artifacts are very cool. The outdoor sculptures are amazing and worth seeing. 
  • What an interesting story! We stayed twice as long as we planned to stay. While the small group that was with us got up right after one of the presentations, we stayed and had a wonderful discussion w...  more »
Google
  • We spent about an hour there. The staff was very friendly and encouraged our 2 toddlers to be hands-on with the museum items. This made it much more fun for them. They enjoyed going in the tee-pees and running around on the lawn. The story of the bison is unbelievable. We easily got in and out with our 25' gooseneck trailer.
  • It's a decent place to spend an hour looking at the indoor museum exhibits followed by the outdoor bison sculptures. The location isn't exactly a museum but more of a memorial to the bison herds that once roamed the Plains. It was interesting and we'll maintained.
  • Not a very large museum, but worth your time if you want to learn about the relationship the native Americans had with the bison. Started by Kevin Costner after he filmed Dances with Wolves, it has an amazing group of sculptures outside as well.
  • Thank you, Phil, for the guided tour you gave our family. Understanding the Lakota culture directly from a descendant, supplemented by the museum exhibit and video, was an experience that enlightened me.
  • A tourist stop that is almost more of a memorial to the bison herds which used to roam the continent, Tatanka was originally intended to be a resort including a railroad spur. When the funding fell through, Kevin Costner had already ordered the bison sculptures and needed a place to put them; enter Tatanka. All of the admission fees go back into further development, Kevin Costner does not receive a penny. We opted to do a self-guided tour and skipped the video presentation. The small museum houses a number of artifacts and they are constantly adding to the collection. The displays discuss the many uses the Native Americans had for the bison, methods of hunting and processing, and the history of the near-extinction of the bison herds. Stepping outdoors leads you to a short walking loop where you see the one and a quarter scale bronze sculptures of 14 bison and 3 Native Americans on horseback. It is a poignant scene, frozen in time as the riders chase the bison over a cliff -- one of the easiest and safest ways they used to obtain enough bison for the tribe's needs. One thing of which to be aware, the admission fees posted on the website may or may not be accurate. When we arrived, we found the admission was $9 per adult instead of the posted $7.50. If this is a concern, call ahead to verify.