The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hosted a private program for the students of Ojeda Middle School where different aspects of the Texas Buffalo Soldier lifestyle were discussed and demonstrated along with the history and lifestyles associated with life in the 1800’s.  Buffalo Soldiers were black slaves and freedmen who fought in battles since the mid-1800s, including the Spanish-American War and both World Wars. The Ninth, 10th, 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments were comprised of Buffalo Soldiers. Texas Buffalo Soldiers bring history to life with stories, costumes and tools.

The Department set-up 6 interpretive stations consisting of:

  • Buffalo Soldiers History – origin and history of the Buffalo Soldiers and what it means to be a Buffalo Soldier today
  • Native American History – history demonstrations over the Native American lifestyle
  • Vaquero History – lessons about life as a cowboy on the frontier during the 1800s
  • Cathy Williams and Women of the Frontier – historical practices for making clothes, blankets, soap, candles and churning butter, milk, and cream
  • Animal Tracking on the Frontier – investigate paw prints and excrement to track animals in the wild
  • Western Games – hands-on opportunities to play with old fashioned toys and games

Students enjoyed learning about life in the 1800s and were looking for more ways to get involved after their day of learning and fun.

“In addition to a valuable educational experience, this is a wonderful opportunity for students to get a headstart to a great career,” said Rebecca Gomez, Ojeda Parent-Community Liaison. “Texas Parks and Wildlife offer volunteer opportunities for students at the age of 12 years of age.”

Texas Buffalo Soldier shows hides to students  Educator wears fur hat and period clothesStudents exploring 1800s toys  Students gather around table of 1800s artifacts