For Canada Day, we made a trip to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Fort Macleod, Alberta. Click on this link to take you to UNESCO to read about the significance of the site, and how it was used. In short, it was an ideal geological formation for driving herd animals over. They plunged to their deaths, enabling many families to work together to process the animal for meat, hides, and literally almost all other parts. This jump is well-preserved and the interpretive center is well done. My first few photos represent a small number of the artifacts on display. Further down, there are photos from the interpretive trail that passes by the bottom of the cliffs.
Winter Count Robe – used to record the passage of years, and a significant event that occurred in that year.
Initial steps of making stone arrows. These tools are very similar to tools found in caves in France.
The finished product.
A stone scraper attached to an antler using sinew. This tool was used to scrape the insides of hides, to clean them and make them smooth.
Hammers, arrows, spears and spear thrower.
Many tools, bags, and implements made from the buffalo.
The jump cliffs viewed from a lookout at the top of the interpretive center.
A tipi at the beginning of the interpretive trail.
Taken below the cliffs. You can see the lookout at the top left corner of the photo.
Ascending the slope. I am not crouching – this grass tuft is taller than me.
The sandstone cliffs
The interpretive centre built into the hill.
Possibly the most descriptive name for a UNESCO site ever haha, very interesting hunting method, saves them from having to slaughter the animals themselves!
The site is named in memory of a young man who stood under the cliff, watching the buffaloes fall in front of him like a waterfall. He was crushed by the animals eventually, hence the name. I imagine there were a number of buffalo skulls crushed as well though.
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Ah I see. Makes one wonder why he didn’t back off a little… 😛