Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump




When we decided to head out to Waterton National Park for the weekend we thought we do some sightseeing in the Southern Alberta that we never seem to get the chance to do.
One of thethings on our list was the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump which is maybe an hour south of Calgary.  I had no idea what it was really other than it was a National Heritage site and that Greg’s Dad + Stepmom went there last year and enjoyed it.  
The Mountain Goats we saw on our way into the Buffalo Jump.
This was one of the sweetest things we saw all weekend. This was right by the entrance to the site.
Tipi’s owned by the Buffalo Jump.  You can sleep in them.  There was a school trip and they were staying over night in them.  How exciting was that going to be?
The entrance. 
What the Indians pulled their babies around in.  So cute – reminds me of the cocoon that Penelope was photographed in. 
So the above is what the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump is. Greg was surprised that I didn’t clue in from the name.  To me it just sounded like the name of the tribe that ran it or who’s land it was on.   I really had no idea.  None.  This was basically the start of modern day slaughterhouses.
Basically the Indians would ran after the Buffalo and they would fall off the cliff.  If they were alive at the bottom, they would be finished off down there (bad choice of words I know, I am sorry).  They had to kill the buffalo all at once because if one escaped then that Buffalo would warn the other buffalos and they would not come near the area.  This also answers a life long question I have had: Do animals talk to each other.  Clearly they do.  Good to know.  :)
This was Greg helping Finley view the tipi’s and other farm houses in the area.  She loves telescopes!
Finley loved the inside of the interpretive center.  She was fascinated by pretty much everything in it.
The tipi.  Finley tried on several occasions to get into the tipi despite being warned not to do so.  She was also quite fond of the fur that hung on the tipi and kept petting it.
I was ok with most of what happened there until I saw this.  This bothered me and also Greg.  It was extremely disturbing.  I get killing the buffalo the best way you could in the 1700s because you needed meat to survive (the same reason we buy meat at the butcher) but to eat fetal calves made me want to vomit.  Do people still eat this anymore?  I do not know and perhaps don’t want to know either. 
A cool looking skull.
Me with the girls in front of a buffalo I am sure Finley wanted to take home with us.
You can see the people at the top which is where the jumping took place.  We were at the bottom where they landed.  It was definitely a long fall for the poor buffalo.  If you didn’t know it was the kill site then you could never tell.  It was full of wild flowers and trees + shrubs.
It was definitely an interesting experience and I am really glad I went.  Would I ever go back?  Maybe once Finley + Pip were older or for a school trip but otherwise I would say no.  I definitely learned a lot and I appreciate what they did and how they did things (to a certain extent) and it was interesting to see how we have evolved over the last 400 years in how we get our meat.
I do recommend that you visit if you ever get the opportunity because it was definitely educational.

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