Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump – Photography by Mary Mikawoz
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Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

This is the world famous Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Fort McLeod, Alberta. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981. It is part of the history of the Blackfoot people and culture. 

According to Wikipedia and the Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, “The buffalo jump was used for 5,500 years (some say as much as 12,000 years ago) by the indigenous peoples of the plains to kill buffalo by driving them off the 11 metre (36 foot) high cliff.” 

According to legend, it wasn’t because of the buffalo’s heads smashing over the cliffs that it received its name but because a young Blackfoot boy wanted to see the buffalo hunt and started to climb the cliffs but the kill was so great that year that he was crushed under the weight of the falling buffalo. It is for this reason that the location has its name. 

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