Buffalo Bill Cody (born February 26, 1846 - died at age 70 on January 10, 1917) was a buffalo hunter, Indian fighter, scout and showman. After a varied career on the American West, Buffalo Bill created a traveling show called "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World". The show featured displays of horsemanship by American Indians. Sitting Bull and other famous American Indians from the Old West appeared in the show, as well as other notable personalities such as Wild Bill Hickock and Annie Oakley. The show sometimes featured a recreation of Custer's Last Stand as well a staged skirmish in which Indians attack a settler's cabin only to be driven off by the timely arrival of Buffalo Bill Cody and his men.
The show toured throughout the United States and Europe, delighting audiences with a stereotyped view of the American Old West, which by then had been largely tamed. Some writers have stated that Buffalo Bill Cody's show was influential in creating the formula for movie Westerns, and shaping public perception of what the Old West had really been like. Buffalo Bill Cody was a man of contradictions: although born on the frontier, he visited the capitals of Europe and the great cities of the eastern United States. Though he presented himself as a rough hewn frontiersman, a buffalo hunter and Indian fighter, Buffalo Bill Cody was in fact a champion of the rights of women and Native Americans. He also advocated for the preservation of the American Buffalo. When he died, this unique product of the American West received tributes from King George V of the United Kingdom, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and President Woodrow Wilson.
In 1905 Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show visited the glittering capital of France. Below is a photographic record of the event, showing Buffalo Bill together with a troupe of American Indians displaying feats of horsemanship and
American Indians in Buffalo Bill Cody's Show. These horsemen are waiting behind a screen before charging out on to the field as part of the traveling show's performance in Paris, 1905. The Native Americans are dressed in full feather regalia.
American Indian Cavalry displays in dressed in splendid feathered head dresses and armed with lances trots past spectators in Paris, 1905.
An Native American Horseman With Buffalo Bill Cody - Paris, 1905
American Indians, part of Buffalo Bill's show, painting their teepee.
An Indian Village in Paris
Buffalo Bill Cody in conversation with an American Indian member of his show.
Russian and Japanese visitors to Buffalo Bill Cody's show. What is interesting about this is that at the same time as these pictures were taken, Russia and Japan were at war in the Far East.
Two American Indian women in Paris caring for a crying infant. One has to wonder how out of place these formerly nomadic hunter gatherers must have placed being in the middle of the City of Lights.
Native Americans in War Costumes
Buffalo Bill's cavalry on Parade.
American Indian Village in Paris