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BULL HOLLOW, Okla. (AP) — Ryan Mackey quietly sang a sacred Cherokee verse as he pulled a handful of tobacco out of a zip-close bag. Reaching over a barbed wire fence, he scattered the leaves onto the pasture where a growing herd of bison — popularly known as American buffalo — grazed in northeastern Oklahoma.

The offering represented a reverent act of thanksgiving, the 45-year-old explained, and a desire to forge a divine connection with the animals, his ancestors and the Creator.

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