Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre  » Entertainment  »
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Located on Highway 785, 18 km northwest of Fort McLeod, Alberta, Canada
  • I was more interested in actually seeing those cliffs that the buffalo plunged off to their deaths than I was to see a museum, but this interpretive centre is so much better than a stuffy old museum, and this interesting, ancient site is well worth the drive
  • There is an area where several tipis are set up, and I learned later that this is a camp ground where visitors can stay and sleep in a tipi and learn about native culture from a real Blackfoot guide
  • My favourite feature of my visit to Head-Smashed-In was wandering outside the centre, and being able to walk right up to the cliffs
  • For me, it was an experience that allowed me to feel, not just learn, about the prehistoric aboriginal peoples’ culture

    • by Jessie Bahrey
      TRUSTWORTHY

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      With a name like Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, it is a destination that gets the imagination going. Since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, this site has become famous throughout North America as one of the oldest and best preserved buffalo jumps in the world. The North American Plains aboriginal people inhabited this area for more than 5,000 years, and the interpretive centre is full of archaeological evidence and information about these people and their ancient practice of chasing buffalo over the cliffs and carving up the meat in a camp below, to eat it and also store it for future use. I was very interested to see this place, as I had always been interested in the rather romantic stories of the Plains Indians

      on their beautiful horses living in tipis, sweeping over the vast Prairies. I was more interested in actually seeing those cliffs that the buffalo plunged off to their deaths than I was to see a museum, but this interpretive centre is so much better than a stuffy old museum, and this interesting, ancient site is well worth the drive.

      When we first drove up toward the centre, I looked across the windswept prairie grass and could almost envision the natives on their horses. It was a bit eerie to know that this method of hunting and processing the meat, which always seemed a little barbaric to me, actually took place here for many centuries. There is an area where several tipis are set up, and I learned later that ...


      • this is a camp ground where visitors can stay and sleep in a tipi and learn about native culture from a real Blackfoot guide. We continued driving toward the interpretive centre, and I was surprised to see that the building was built into the cliffs. Inside, after paying the very low admission fee of $9 each, we wandered around on our own; we could’ve also used headsets for a virtual tour, or waited for a guided tour, but we decided to wander on our own, which is a nice option. Along with a theatre for presentations, a cafeteria, and the ever-ubiquitous gift shop, there are five levels of archaeological items showing the Blackfoot peoples’ every-day lives and their buffalo-jump hunting technique. It is fascinating, and I was very
        surprised to see just how many items, ranging from hunting weapons to pots and clothing, are available to examine. It is a very well-arranged museum, and very user-friendly. I don’t always enjoy these types of places, but this one is excellent.

        My favourite feature of my visit to Head-Smashed-In was wandering outside the centre, and being able to walk right up to the cliffs. For me, it was an experience that allowed me to feel, not just learn, about the prehistoric aboriginal peoples’ culture. It was like the difference between watching something and actually doing it. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is an excellent educational experience, and will appeal to anyone interested in history.

        The interpretive centre is open year-round, 7 days a week, and also offers special programs throughout the year.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 591407760160431/k2311a0714/7.14.09
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