Bison hunting was an activity fundamental to the economy and society of the Plains Indians peoples who inhabited the vast grasslands on the Interior Plains of North America, prior to the animal's near-extinction in the late nineteenth century. A number of Indians west of the continental divide crossed the Rocky Mountains in traditional tribal hunts on the Northern Great Plains; the species' dramatic decline was the result of habitat loss due to the expansion of ranching and farming in western North America, industrial-scale hunting practiced by non-indigenous hunters, increased indigenous hunting pressure due to non-indigenous demand for bison hides and meat, cases of deliberate policy by settler governments to destroy the food source of the native Indian peoples during times of conflict. The steppe bison was found in North America more than a million years ago, well before the first humans are believed to have arrived, it is believed to have evolved into the giant Ice Age bison which lived from 200,000 years ago to 30,000 years ago.
It was in turn replaced by Bison occidentalis, believed to have come from Eurasia, Bison antiquus which evolved separately from B. priscus. The first human arrivals in North America, the Paleo-Indians, are believed to have hunted these last two species, but did not rely on them to the exclusion of other large herbavorous mammals such as mammoths, camels and ground sloths. Around 11,000–10,000 years ago, the majority of the large game species in North America became extinct due to overhunting, or some combination of these and other factors. One of the few large survivors was B. antiquus, but its average size declined until it evolved into the smaller modern American bison around 5,000 years ago. The modern American bison is split into two subspecies, the wood bison in the boreal forests of what is now Canada, the plains bison on the prairies extending from Canada to Mexico; the plains subspecies became the dominant animal of the prairies of North America, where bison were a keystone species, whose grazing and trampling pressure was a force that shaped the ecology of the Great Plains as as periodic prairie fires and which were central to the survival of many American Indians of the Great Plains.
To the corn-growing village Indians, it was a valued second food source. However, there is now some controversy over their interaction. Charles C. Mann wrote in 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, pages 367 ff, "Hernando De Soto's expedition staggered through the Southeast for four years in the early 16th century and saw hordes of people but didn't see a single bison." Mann discussed the evidence that Native Americans not only created the large grasslands that provided the bison's ideal habitat but kept the bison population regulated. In this theory, it was only when the original human population was devastated by wave after wave of epidemic after the 16th century that the bison herds propagated wildly. In such a view, the seas of bison herds that stretched to the horizon were a symptom of an ecology out of balance, only rendered possible by decades of heavier-than-average rainfall. Other evidence of the arrival circa 1550–1600 in the savannas of the eastern seaboard includes the lack of places which southeast natives named after buffalo.
Bison were the most numerous single species of large wild mammal on Earth. Russel Means states. Coyotes will sometimes cut one bison off from the herd and chase it in a circle until the animal collapsed or gave up due to exhaustion. Working on foot, a few groups of Native Americans at times used fires to channel an entire herd of buffalo over a cliff, killing far more than they could use; the Olsen–Chubbuck archaeological site in Colorado reveals some techniques, which may or may not have been used. The method involves skinning down the back in order to get at the tender meat just beneath the surface, the area known as the "hatched area". After the removal of the hatched area, the front legs are cut off as well as the shoulder blades. Doing so exposes the hump meat, as well as the meat of the Bison's inner organs. After everything was exposed, the spine was severed and the pelvis and hind legs removed; the neck and head were removed as one. This allowed for the tough meat to be made into pemmican.
Castaneda saw Indian women butchering bison with a flint fixed in a short stick. He admired how they completed the task. Blood to drink was filled in emptied guts. A Crow Indian historian has related a number of ways to get bison. By the help of songs, drive lines of stones and a medicine man pointing down the line with a pair of hindquarters in his hands, the Crows drove many bison over a cliff. A successful drive could give 700 animals. During winter, Chief One Heart's camp would maneuver the game out on slick ice, where it was easier to kill with hunting weapons. Henry Kelsey described a hunt on the northern plains in 1691. First, the Indians surrounded a herd, they would "gather themselves into a smaller Compass Keeping ye Beast still in ye middle". The hunters killed as many. In the dog days, the women of a Blackfoot camp made a curved fence of travois' tied together, front end up. Runners drove the game towards the enclosure, where hunters waited with lances as well as bows and arrows; the Hidatsa near Missouri River confined the buffalo on the weakest ice at the end of winter.
When it cra
Madison Buffalo Jump State Park
Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is a Montana state park located seven miles south of the Interstate 90 interchange at Logan in Gallatin County, Montana in the United States. The park preserves a canyon cliff used by Native Americans as a buffalo jump, where herds of bison were stampeded over the cliff as an efficient means of slaughter; the main geographic features of the jump site remain unchanged since the days of the jumps. Archaeologists have found tons of bison bones buried at the base of the cliffs, they have uncovered the remains of tipi villages. The buffalo jump at Madison Buffalo Jump State Park was used by numerous Native American tribes for 2000 years, dating as far back as 500 B. C. and ending around 1750 A. D; the indigenous peoples stampeded the herds of bison off the cliff without the aid of guns. They used the bison for food, clothing and shelter; the bison were forced into a stampede by young men known as runners. The runners were trained for speed; the bison were forced into groups by linear cairns and logs that were placed to funnel the bison into specific locations on areas in behind the cliff face.
The introduction of the horse to North America by European explorers and settlers brought about the end of the buffalo jumps. The State park has not changed much over the years; the buffalo jump along the Madison River was used by numerous tribes including the Hidatsa, Lakota, Nez Perce, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Crow, Gros Ventres and Assiniboine. The families of the runners from the tribes would camp at the base of the cliffs. From there they were able to process the bison; the meat was used for food and the meat, not eaten right away was dried. Skins were used for tipis and horns and bones were used for various types of tools; the park is 638 acres of which the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation owns 617 acres, with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks owning the remaining acreage. There is a small picnic area near the parking lot. An interpretive hiking trail leads visitors to the top of the cliff. Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is a day-use park, open year-round for hiking, wildlife observation, limited picnicking.
Madison Buffalo Jump State Park Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Madison Buffalo Jump State Park Trail Map Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
History of agriculture
The history of agriculture records the domestication of plants and animals and the development and dissemination of techniques for raising them productively. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa. At least eleven separate regions of the Old and New World were involved as independent centers of origin. Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 20,000 BC. From around 9500 BC, the eight Neolithic founder crops – emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas, flax – were cultivated in the Levant. Rye may have been cultivated earlier but this remains controversial. Rice was domesticated in China by 6200 BC with earliest known cultivation from 5700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Pigs were domesticated in Mesopotamia around 11,000 BC, followed by sheep between 11,000 BC and 9000 BC. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan around 8500 BC. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 7000 BC.
Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 5000 BC. In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 8000 BC and 5000 BC, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Bananas were hybridized in the same period in Papua New Guinea. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was domesticated to maize by 4000 BC. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 3600 BC. Camels were domesticated late around 3000 BC; the Bronze Age, from c. 3300 BC, witnessed the intensification of agriculture in civilizations such as Mesopotamian Sumer, ancient Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilisation of South Asia, ancient China, ancient Greece. During the Iron Age and era of classical antiquity, the expansion of ancient Rome, both the Republic and the Empire, throughout the ancient Mediterranean and Western Europe built upon existing systems of agriculture while establishing the manorial system that became a bedrock of medieval agriculture. In the Middle Ages, both in the Islamic world and in Europe, agriculture was transformed with improved techniques and the diffusion of crop plants, including the introduction of sugar, rice and fruit trees such as the orange to Europe by way of Al-Andalus.
After the voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Columbian exchange brought New World crops such as maize, sweet potatoes, manioc to Europe, Old World crops such as wheat, barley and turnips, livestock including horses, cattle and goats to the Americas. Irrigation, crop rotation, fertilizers were introduced soon after the Neolithic Revolution and developed much further in the past 200 years, starting with the British Agricultural Revolution. Since 1900, agriculture in the developed nations, to a lesser extent in the developing world, has seen large rises in productivity as human labour has been replaced by mechanization, assisted by synthetic fertilizers and selective breeding; the Haber-Bosch process allowed the synthesis of ammonium nitrate fertilizer on an industrial scale increasing crop yields. Modern agriculture has raised social and environmental issues including water pollution, genetically modified organisms and farm subsidies. In response, organic farming developed in the twentieth century as an alternative to the use of synthetic pesticides.
Scholars have developed a number of hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an antecedent period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Current models indicate that wild stands, harvested started to be planted, but were not domesticated. Localised climate change is the favoured explanation for the origins of agriculture in the Levant; when major climate change took place after the last ice age, much of the earth became subject to long dry seasons. These conditions favoured annual plants which die off in the long dry season, leaving a dormant seed or tuber. An abundance of storable wild grains and pulses enabled hunter-gatherers in some areas to form the first settled villages at this time. Early people began altering communities of flora and fauna for their own benefit through means such as fire-stick farming and forest gardening early. Exact dates are hard to determine, as people collected and ate seeds before domesticating them, plant characteristics may have changed during this period without human selection.
An example is the semi-tough rachis and larger seeds of cereals from just after the Younger Dryas in the early Holocene in the Levant region of the Fertile Crescent. Monophyletic characteristics were attained without any human intervention, implying that apparent domestication of the cereal rachis could have occurred quite naturally. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa. At least 11 separate regions of the Old and New World were involved as independent centers of origin; some of the earliest known domestications were of animals. Domestic pigs had multiple centres of origin in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 BC and 9000 BC. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan around 8500 BC. Camels were domesticated late around 3000 BC, it was not until after 9500 BC that the eight so-called founder crops of agriculture appear: first emmer and einkorn wheat hulled barley, lenti
Petroforms known as boulder outlines or boulder mosaics, are human-made shapes and patterns made by lining up large rocks on the open ground on quite level areas. Petroforms in North America were made by various Native American and First Nation tribes, who used various terms to describe them. Petroforms can include a rock cairn or inukshuk, an upright monolith slab, a medicine wheel, a fire pit, a desert kite, sculpted boulders, or rocks lined up or stacked for various reasons. Old World petroforms include many other megalithic monuments. Petroforms are shapes and geometrical patterns made from arranging large rocks and boulders over large areas of open ground, unlike the smaller petroglyphs and graphs which are inscribed on rock surfaces, they were made in North America by native peoples for astronomical, sacred, mnemonic devices, teaching purposes. The specific names of these rock formations and the uses varied by religious group. Presently, some of these sites are still being used by First Nations and others.
The first stone phase at Stonehenge has been dated to about 2600 BCE. Stone circles are still being made in Wales as part of the Eisteddfod movement, which incorporates this among other elements from the Druidic revival. Desert kites were used by 3000 BCE; some of the North American petroform shapes are over 2,500 years old. It is difficult to date all of them because of a lack of soil deposits in some areas. Like the petroglyphs, many petroforms have complex and lengthy teachings that have been passed down orally by the Ojibway, other First Nations, the Midewiwin; some teachings may have been lost, along with the peoples that made some of the oldest petroforms in North America. In some North American states and provinces, there are laws to protect these important archaeological and historical sites. There were few studies or specific mention of Manitoba petroform sites until the 20th century; the first detailed studies and descriptions of some sites in Manitoba were done by J. Steinbring and R. Sutton after the 1950s.
Presently, many Ojibway or Anishinaabe ceremonies in North America involve the making of turtle shaped fire pits for sacred fires. In some instances, rocks are aligned near the entrance and fire of sweat lodge ceremonies that symbolize the Moon, the Sun and other things. Rock piles are still made to important locations. A large turtle petroform of piled up boulders was made in the Whiteshell Park area of Manitoba. In some cases, petroforms were made by non-literate cultures who have left no written record of whatever reasons led them to construct these forms. Oral history was passed along by many native groups, a few groups had complex symbolic writings on rock, birch bark scrolls, other media; some petroforms were used as astronomical calendars, with rocks aligned to solstice and equinox sunrises and sunsets. They are found in higher areas, on hills, mounds and natural rock formations. Higher ground allowed humans to observe the horizon to mark and measure astronomical events; some rock alignments point out four or more directions, lunar events, the rising and setting of planets, some stars, other astronomical events.
Some petroforms can be used in more complex ways for astronomical predictions, mapping of the sky and ground, for complex ceremonies that help to memorize many oral stories and songs. Petroforms are similar in some ways to medicine wheels which are aligned with sunrises and sunsets, solstices, lunar events, star patterns. Petroforms mirrored the night sky, the patterns of the stars, similar to astrological signs and symbols; the Sioux have oral stories of the serpent in the sky, a turtle, a bear, other patterns seen in the stars. What is known today as Orion's belt was one prominent, bright star formation, along with the central and stationary north star, now named as Polaris. What is now known as the planet Venus is the bright morning and evening star, noticeable and at times is the first and last to appear. Petroform sites in North America can be found in Manitoba, Alberta, Minnesota, Montana, along the Mississippi River, the Missouri River, elsewhere, it has been suggested that megalithic monuments including Stonehenge may have incorporated important astronomical alignments.
The desert kites of Syria and the Negev—long lines of stones—are interpreted as aids to hunting large game animals like gazelles, wild asses. There are similar structures on most continents; the inuksuit of the Arctic act as navigation aids, an aid for hunting, or to mark important locations. The rock marker helped the hunter to find the best route across the land. Someone left a marker to help anyone else passing through the area, to help with not getting lost; these markers can have practical and universal purposes. Some petroforms are located along canoe routes as well. Human made. Rock ridges would have been natural trails through wet terrain. Whiteshell Provincial Park petroforms are located on top of the granite ridges that snake through the forest and wetlands landscape; the Dolmens widespread in Europe and much of Asia are interpreted as Neolithic burial chambers. Large boulders make excellent long term markers for important and sacred places, just as burial plots are marked by large stones today.
Some petroforms could be close to ancient burial areas, or near sa
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a buffalo jump located where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the prairie 18 km west of Fort Macleod, Canada on highway 785. It is home of the museum of Blackfoot culture. Joe Crowshoe Sr. – Aapohsoy’yiis – a ceremonial Elder of the Piikani Nation in southern Alberta, was instrumental in the development of the site. The Joe Crow Shoe Sr. Lodge is dedicated to his memory, he dedicated his life to preserving Aboriginal culture and promoting the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and in 1998 was awarded the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for "saving the knowledge and practices of the Blackfoot people." The buffalo jump was used for 5,500 years by the indigenous peoples of the plains to kill buffalo by driving them off the 11 metre high cliff. Before the late introduction of horses, the Blackfoot drove the buffalo from a grazing area in the Porcupine Hills about 3 kilometres west of the site to the "drive lanes", lined by hundreds of cairns, by dressing up as coyotes and wolves.
These specialized "buffalo runners" were young men trained in animal behavior to guide the buffalo into the drive lanes. At full gallop, the buffalo would fall from the weight of the herd pressing behind them, breaking their legs and rendering them immobile; the cliff itself is about 300 metres long, at its highest point drops 10 metres into the valley below. The site was in use at least 6,000 years ago, the bone deposits are 12 metres deep. After falling off the cliff, the injured buffalo were finished off by other Blackfoot warriors at the cliff base armed with spears and clubs; the carcasses were processed at a nearby camp. The camp at the foot of the cliffs provided the people with everything they needed to process a buffalo carcass, including fresh water; the buffalo carcass was used for a variety of purposes, from tools made from the bone, to the hide used to make dwellings and clothing. The importance of the site goes beyond just providing food and supplies. After a successful hunt, the wealth of food allowed the people to enjoy leisure time and pursue artistic and spiritual interests.
This increased the cultural complexity of the society. In Blackfoot, the name for the site is Estipah-skikikini-kots. According to legend, a young Blackfoot wanted to watch the buffalo plunge off the cliff from below, but was buried underneath the falling buffalo, he was found dead under the pile of carcasses, where he had his head smashed in. Head-Smashed-In was abandoned in the 19th century after European contact; the site was first recorded by Europeans in the 1880s, first excavated by the American Museum of Natural History in 1938. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1968, a Provincial Historic Site in 1979, a a World Heritage Site in 1981 for its testimony of prehistoric life and the customs of aboriginal people. Opened in 1987, the interpretive centre at Head-Smashed-In is built into the ancient sandstone cliff in naturalistic fashion, it contains five distinct levels depicting the ecology, mythology and technology of Blackfoot peoples within the context of available archaeological evidence, presented from the viewpoints of both aboriginal peoples and European archaeological science.
The centre offers educational public and school programs which can be booked throughout the year. Each year Head-Smashed-In hosts a number of special events and native festivals known throughout the world for their color and authenticity, including Buffalo Harvest Days, which brings together First Nations artists and craftspeople who display a wide variety of jewelry, clothing and crafts. Visitors can witness traditional drumming and dancing demonstrations every Wednesday in July and August at 11 a.m and 1:30 p.m. at the centre. There is now a permanent exhibition at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Lost Identities: A Journey of Rediscovery made its first appearance here in 1999, but now it is back to stay; the exhibition, is a collaboration of many historical societies and museums that have given voice to otherwise silent photographs. These photographs have been unidentified for some time, but "the exhibit travel led to the Aboriginal communities" finding the voice and story behind the photographs taken in these communities.
The facility was designed by an architectural firm in Calgary. The design was awarded the Governor General's Gold Medal for Architecture in 1990. List of Canadian provincial parks List of World Heritage Sites in North America Archaeology of Native North America, 2010, Dean R. Snow, Prentice-Hall, New York. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre
Tanning is the process of treating skins and hides of animals to produce leather. A tannery is the place. Tanning hide into leather involves a process which permanently alters the protein structure of skin, making it more durable and less susceptible to decomposition, possibly coloring it. Before tanning, the skins are unhaired, degreased and soaked in water over a period of 6 hours to 2 days; this process was considered a noxious or "odoriferous trade" and relegated to the outskirts of town. Traditionally, tanning used tannin, an acidic chemical compound from which the tanning process draws its name; the use of a chromium solution was adopted by tanners in the Industrial Revolution. The English word for tanning is from medieval Latin tannāre, deriv. of tannum, from French tan, from old-Cornish tann. These terms are related to a hypothetical dʰonu meaning fir tree in Proto-Indo-European.. Despite the linguistic confusion between quite different conifers and oaks, the word tan referring to dyes and types of hide preservation is from the Gaulic use referencing the bark of oaks, not fir trees.
Ancient civilizations used leather for waterskins, bags and tack, armour, scabbards and sandals. Tanning was being carried out by the inhabitants of Mehrgarh in Pakistan between 7000 and 3300 BC. Around 2500 BC, the Sumerians began using leather, affixed by copper studs, on chariot wheels. Tanning was considered a noxious or "odoriferous trade" and relegated to the outskirts of town, amongst the poor. Indeed, tanning by ancient methods is so foul smelling, tanneries are still isolated from those towns today where the old methods are used. Skins arrived at the tannery dried stiff and dirty with soil and gore. First, the ancient tanners would soak the skins in water to soften them, they would pound and scour the skin to remove any remaining flesh and fat. Next, the tanner needed to remove the hair from the skin; this was done by either soaking the skin in urine, painting it with an alkaline lime mixture, or allowing the skin to putrefy for several months dipping it in a salt solution. After the hairs were loosened, the tanners scraped them off with a knife.
Once the hair was removed, the tanners would "bate" the material by pounding dung into the skin, or soaking the skin in a solution of animal brains. Bating was a fermentative process. Among the kinds of dung used were those of dogs or pigeons; the actual tanning process used vegetable tanning. In some variations of the process, cedar oil, alum, or tannin were applied to the skin as a tanning agent; as the skin was stretched, it would absorb the agent. Following the adoption in medicine of soaking gut sutures in a chromium solution after 1840, it was discovered that this method could be used with leather and thus was adopted by tanners; the tanning process begins with obtaining an animal skin. When an animal skin is to be tanned, the animal is killed and skinned before the body heat leaves the tissues; this can be done by the tanner, or by obtaining a skin at a slaughterhouse, farm, or local fur trader. Preparing hides begins by curing them with salt. Curing is employed to prevent putrefaction of the protein substance from bacterial growth during the time lag from procuring the hide to when it is processed.
Curing removes water from the skins using a difference in osmotic pressure. The moisture content of hides and skins is reduced, osmotic pressure increased, to the point that bacteria are unable to grow. In wet-salting, the hides are salted pressed into packs for about 30 days. In brine-curing, the hides are agitated in a saltwater bath for about 16 hours. Curing can be accomplished by preserving the hides and skins at low temperatures; the steps in the production of leather between curing and tanning are collectively referred to as beamhouse operations. They include, in order, liming, removal of extraneous tissues, bating or puering and pickling. In soaking, the hides are soaked in clean water to remove the salt left over from curing and increase the moisture so that the hide or skin can be further treated. To prevent damage of the skin by bacterial growth during the soaking period, biocides dithiocarbamates, may be used. Fungicides such as 2-thiocyanomethylthiobenzothiazole may be added in the process, to protect wet leathers from mold growth.
After 1980, the use of pentachlorophenol and mercury-based biocides and their derivatives was forbidden. After soaking, the hides and skins are taken for liming: treatment with milk of lime that may involve the addition of "sharpening agents" such as sodium sulfide, amines, etc; the objectives of this operation are to: Remove the hair and other keratinous matter Remove some of the interfibrillary soluble proteins such as mucins Swell up and split up the fibres to the desired extent Remove the natural grease and fats to some extent Bring the collagen in the hide to a proper condition for satisfactory tannageThe weakening of hair is dependent on the breakdown of the disulfide link of the amino acid cystine, the characteristic of the keratin class of proteins that gives strength to hair and wools. The hydrogen