First Peoples Buffalo Jump

First People's Buffalo JumpTake a journey into the past in this beautiful Street View virtual tour of the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park outside of Great Falls. Back, millennia ago, before Rome, or Greece, or even before the earliest civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia, Montana’s landscape was ruled by massive herds of majestic buffalo.

As far back as 20,000 years ago, even before horses were introduced to North America, the First Peoples, indigenous tribes who lived throughout Montana harvested buffalo herds at this buffalo jump. To the First People, buffalo was an essential part of life, providing perfect, warm, fur coats for the harsh winter and an essential food for the entire tribe. Before horses, the First Peoples would carefully select and coax a group of buffalo away from the main herds.

Boys wearing wolf pelts would agitate them so they bunch up and are become nervous, with a boy wearing a buffalo calf hide calling to lead the herd towards the jump. With the wolves pressing from behind, and the calf calling for help leading them the herd would be spooked into a run over the cliff.

Now, walk in the footsteps of the First Peoples and the ancient buffalo, watch for prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, great horned owls and coyotes. Tiptoe alongside the cliff side and look down for a safe place to jump to avoid the stampeding buffalo.

The visitor’s center and interpretive walking path make this one Montana’s most beautiful State Parks, describing in vivid detail how the First Peoples were able to work between many tribes, work together, and develop sophisticated tactics to survive and flourish in the Montana landscape.

Click and Drag to Explore the Street View Tour

This video, fifteen feet before the cliff looking over First Peoples Buffalo Jump shows what they buffalo would see just before the the cliff.

Fifteen feet before the cliff looking over First Peoples Buffalo Jump. Before horses, they would agitate and coax a small herd of buffalo with boys wearing wolf and buffalo calf pelts. To the buffalo, it was an easy run towards the endless prairie.

Posted by Inside MT on Wednesday, July 15, 2015