Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump - Fort MacLeod, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 49° 42.341 W 113° 39.209
12U E 308685 N 5509288
Quick Description: This site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1968, a Provincial Historic Resource on June 26, 1976, and a World Heritage Site in 1981.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 2/9/2013 11:39:52 PM
Waymark Code: WMGBF4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
Views: 3

Long Description:
For 60 centuries, the Blackfoot have used this site to harvest buffalo by running herds off the 10 metre cliff at the site, immobilizing them so they could be easily killed and butchered. Until the arrival of Europeans, the Blackfoot had no horses, so had to hunt on foot. Having a site of this nature made their hunts much easier and much more productive.

The foot of the cliff, where they butchered the buffalo, made for a perfect campsite, as it also provided fresh water, while the cliff itself provided both their food and protection from the wind.

An old Blackfoot legend tells of a young Blackfoot who wanted to watch the buffalo run off the cliff from below and was buried by the falling herd. When uncovered, the young warrior was found dead with his head smashed in.

From History Alberta:
"Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is an archaeological site known around the world as a remarkable testimony of the life of the Plains People through the millennia. The Jump bears witness to a method of hunting practiced by native people of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years.

Due to their excellent understanding of the regional topography and bison behaviour, native people hunted bison by stampeding them over a precipice. They then carved up the carcasses and dragged the pieces to be butchered and processed in the butchering camp set up on the flats beyond the cliffs.

In 1981, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as a World Heritage Site placing it among other world heritage monuments such as the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and the the Galapagos Islands."

Alberta Register of Historic Places webpage: (visit link)
Type of Marker: Cultural

Sign Age: Historic Site or Building Marker

Parking: Parking is provided at the entrance

Placement agency: Government of Alberta

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