Posted by: danielfee | October 4, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 10-04-2012

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump – Alberta, Canada

Buffalo at Jump

The Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump in Alberta Canada is a designated World Heritage Site. It is among the oldest, largest and best preserved of the buffalo jump sites across the western plains of Canada. To the west of the jump is the Olsen Creek Basin served as a gathering area for the buffalo. The Blackfoot Indians would form a wedge along what was called the driving lanes, which was wide near the basin and narrowed as they reach the cliff. The most athletic of the tribe would disguise themselves and then run into the heard and start a stampede driving the buffalo towards the cliff. At the bottom of the cliff the dead buffalo would be gathered by the tribe and every part would be used or eaten to get them through the long cold winters. According to legend, around 1850 a young boy wanted to witness the plunge of the buffalo as they were driven over the sandstone cliff. He stood under the shelter of a ledge and watched the beasts fall past him. But the hunt was unusually good that day and as the bodies of the buffalo mounted he became trapped between the animals and the cliff. When his tribe came to do the butchering they found him with his skull crushed by the weight of the animals. Thus they named the place “Head-Smashed-In.”

 

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