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A visit to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

The Story

The vividly named Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump commemorates a hunting technique used by the indigenous people who lived in what is now southern Alberta. In this 1991 report from CBC-TV's Wonderstruck, a Blackfoot Indian explains how her ancestors dressed in animal hides to lead the buffalo over the cliffs and an archaeologist describes why this practice was necessary.

Medium: Television
Program: Wonderstruck
Broadcast Date: May 11, 1991
Guest: Jack Brink, Linda Eagle Speaker
Host: Bob McDonald
Duration: 6:03

Did You know?

• A buffalo jump is a cliff formation which North American Indians historically used to kill masses of buffalo (or bison), so that they could use the animals for food, clothing and shelter. The practice of luring the buffalo to the cliff was considered a communal event and began as early as 12,000 years ago. It continued until at least 1,500 AD, around the time that horses were introduced in North America. 

• Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.



UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada more