Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump – Canada Day 23

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Day 23 Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump Sunday 10th May 2015

An incredible history of 6,000 years. There was much to fascinate us here. One thing that I was drawn by was that for thousands of years the local Plains people had co-operated to provide food through the Buffalo Jump with no overall diminishing of buffalo numbers. Within a short span of years of killing for sport and hides settlers drove buffalo to extinction.

The sixth floor lead out to the upper site of the Buffalo jump

blog23 jump (1)Once back in the Interpretative Centre each floor told different aspects of the lives of the people of the plains. Including the story of the jump and the culture and spiritual preparation and meaning around it.

Unlike later settler hunters the First nation peoples used every part of the buffalo they could.

blog23 hidecalendar_combine_imagesItems included a calendar maintained on hide maintained until a final symbol designates over-killing of the buffalo

There was a heartbreaking yet stunning gallery of black and white photographs of First nation peoples after colonisation and in an array of traditional and European dress. The exhibition asks for identification of people and places now lost. Expressions were vivid – some young men having that ‘Fuck You’ look others looking lost.

After the centre a walk around a trail at the bottom of the jump overlooking field and prairie; including a Tipi ring with stones still circled and the butchering site.

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Backto Fort MacLeod and Century II the cheapest accommodation yet at $69 and despite Chris’s fears we would be in a dive the likes of bad movies – we found it comfortable, clean, good shower, good bed.

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