Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WAHKPA CHU'GN

2000 years ago, the Besant people chose a steep cliff overlooking a running river as a fine spot for chasing buffalo off the precipice so they could kill and harvest them for sustenance. The Avonlea people repeated the activity around 1250 years ago, followed by the Saddle Butte peoples around 600 years ago.

The site is now a well run archeological and educational endeavor where you may imagine the frenzied activities that occurred many years ago between man and beast. To facilitate the kill, ancient people built corrals to keep the wounded buffalo from getting away during the slaughter. They thought if one escaped, it would tell the rest of the herd about the trap and the buffalo harvest would end.

Distinct layers of bone may be seen in the vertical walls of the dig. Looking at the density of bones you sense the vast number of buffalo that met their demise here.


After the tour, Judy and I pose near a pint sized buffalo used as a target for modern hunters as they attempt the ancient method of hurling an atlatl for hunting big game. Hold still, now . . .

Eons have passed and erosion has softened the descent from the heights. The bucolic valley by the river has only begun to unfold the events that helped to sustain the ancestors of these lands.

To be continued . . .

2 comments:

Gayle said...

Looks beautiful and COOL. How nice. It rained here today, believe it or not. I think we got an inch or so. Rain gauge is cracked. You're still better off where you are. Take yer time comin' home. Two more months of oppressive heat.

Trisha said...

Nice! An area I have not had the privledge to visit yet. The close up of the monster next to the little monster is FRIGHTENING---not!