6,000 square- foot visitor
center, the "Buffalo
hike the trails, hear stories, view the cliffs,
& behold the panoramic vista of Big Sky Country!
For more than 1,000 years, prehistoric men and women of the Great
Plains hunted bison by driving them over cliffs. Ulm Pishkun, is possibly the
largest buffalo jump in the world, was used as a jump site between 900 and 1500 A.D.
Below the cliffs that stretch more than a mile, the soil reveals compacted bison
bones nearly 13 feet deep.
Lewis describes how buffalo jump was practiced
" one of the most active and fleet young men is
selected and disguised in a robe of buffalo skin ... he places himself
at a distance between a herd of buffalo and a precipice proper for the
purpose; the other Indians now surround the herd on the back and
flanks and at a signal agreed on all show themselves at the same time moving
forward towards the buffalo; the disguised Indian or decoy has taken care to
place himself sufficiently near the buffalo to be noticed by them when they
take to flight and running before them they follow him in full speed to the
precipice; the Indian (decoy) in the mean time has taken care to secure
himself in some cranny in the cliff... the part of the decoy I am informed
is extremely dangerous."
Wednesday May 29, 1805
The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Volume 4)
Gary E. Moulton, Editor
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