On Monday, as part of my time in Canada, I went to the world heritage site Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. It's this deserty prairie place, with a cliff where buffalo would jump off, in Alberta, Canada. I guess it's not all snowy and arctic after all. And the first question I asked myself as I walked inside the museum was: Did only buffalo with their heads smashed in jump off the cliff? Or did they get their heads smashed in when they jumped off the cliff?
It turns out that it was where lots of Native Americans lived, and the buffalo was a pretty big staple in their diet. So what they would do is get all the buffalo herd going one way, and then rile up the herd and get them running, and eventually the herd would run off the cliff and the fall would kill them. Apparently, the Native American tribes thought they could fool the buffalo into thinking that they, the humans, were buffalo as well by wearing buffalo skins. This just seems ridiculous to me. I mean, I know buffalo have bad eyesight, so maybe if they were around the same shape and size they could pull it off. But I think there's a pretty big difference between the hulking beast that is the buffalo and a guy wearing a bison skin.
Turns out that the place got its name from when a guy tried to watch the buffalo from under the ledge, like a waterfall of buffalo, and got his skull cracked under the sheer weight of all the buffalo carcasses. Yeesh.
Later, I saw this one exhibit where you could see Native American tools under a video microscope. It was interesting, but it got a lot more fun when I realized that I could put other stuff under there, too.
Oh yeah, and the people in some of the Native American art looked like Zach's ancestors.
Writer's note: Sorry for the bad image quality, but while I'm in Canada, I don't have a scanner on hand, and I need to go to Staples to get the images digitized. I hope this doesn't ruin your ability to enjoy the content of the pictures.
Colin O'Donnell, an awesome, inventing, gaming Aspergers kid on his various exploits.