Our bison was carved by the carvers who created the Missoula, Montana Carousel that opened in 1995. The Missoula carousel, and the positive impact it had on their community, were the inspiration for both the Salem and the Albany carousel. The carvers in Montana carved a horse named “Big Sky” for the Salem Carousel and created Thunder the Bison for the Albany carousel. They have continued to carve animals to give to other carousels. The bison celebrates Montana and the Native American Heritage of the region. On his shoulder is a shield decorated with the design of a sunburst, the symbol of good fortune. Also symbolic of Indian culture, four large eagle feathers are along the bottom of the shield and seven small feathers are attached at the top of the shield. This big guy’s shaggy head and tail turned slightly to the right. The saddle area is draped with an animal hide. Depicted on the hide are Native American symbols, feathers, and a hunter on horseback shooting an arrow. Bitterroot, the Montana state flower, is tucked under the hide as if ready to be used for food or trade.
Thunder, the Bison: sponsored by Brenda & Gary Burch