Imagining Head-Smashed-In: Aboriginal Buffalo Hunting on the Northern Plains (Athabasca University Press)

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9781897425008: Imagining Head-Smashed-In: Aboriginal Buffalo Hunting on the Northern Plains (Athabasca University Press)
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Winner of the 2009 SAA Public Audience Book Award

For millennia, Aboriginal hunters on the North American Plains used their knowledge of the land and of buffalo behaviour to drive their quarry over cliffs. Archaeologist Jack Brink has written a major study of the mass buffalo hunts and the culture they supported before and after European contact. By way of example, he draws on his 25 years excavating at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in southwestern Alberta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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About the Author:

Jack W. Brink is Archaeology Curator at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Canada. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his M.A. from the University of Alberta. His interests also include the study of rock art images of the northern Plains, and he enjoys working with Aboriginal communities on heritage issues.

Review:

Imagining Head Smashed-In brings alive the past as well as the archaeological process, in an engaging description of how archaeology really happens, which complements Brink's impressive command of the data.

(Citation from the Society for American Archaeology Public Audience Book Award 2009-01-01)

Brink takes readers on an exploration of the site, telling its story in an irresistible personal voice into which he pours his heart and soul. What comes through is the author's deep respect for his subject. (Ken Tingley Edmonton Journal 2009-02-08)

A writer committed to a subject that most of the world considers marginal, yet approaches it with I-will-be-heard confidence, can win the heart of even the most recalcitrant reader. Jack W. Brink, a curator at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, has that ability. He's spent 25 years studying the way Prairie natives kept themselves alive for millennia by hunting buffalo, a subject that in his hands becomes absorbing, dramatic and almost urgent. (Robert Fulford National Post 2009-03-30)

Pick up this book and add it to your collection; it is a must read for anyone interested in the past, anyone studying history of the plains, and everyone just looking for some fresh, new and upbeat reading material. Imagining Head-Smashed-In is a tale about courage, ingenuity and the struggle for survival. (John Copley Alberta Native News)

At the place known as Head-Smashed-In in southwestern Alberta, Aboriginal people practiced a form of group hunting for nearly 6,000 years before European contact. The large communal bison traps of the Plains were the single greatest food-getting method ever developed in human history. Hunters, working with their knowledge of the land and of buffalo behaviour, drove their quarry over a cliff and into wooden corrals. The rest of the group butchered the kill in the camp below.

Author Jack Brink, who devoted 25 years of his career to "The Jump," has chronicled the cunning, danger, and triumph in the mass buffalo hunts and the culture they supported. He also recounts the excavation of the site and the development of the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, which has hosted 2 million visitors since it opened in 1987. Brink’s masterful blend of scholarship and public appeal is rare in any discipline, but especially in North American pre-contact archaeology.

Brink attests, "I love the story that lies behind the jump—the events and planning that went into making the whole event work. I continue to learn more about the complex interaction between people, bison and the environment, and I continue to be impressed with how the ancient hunters pulled off these astonishing kills."

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Book Description Au Press, Canada, 2008. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. At the place known as Head-Smashed-In in southwestern Alberta, Aboriginal people practiced a form of group hunting for nearly 6,000 years before European contact. The large communal bison traps of the Plains were the single greatest food-getting method ever developed in human history. Hunters, working with their knowledge of the land and of buffalo behaviour, drove their quarry over a cliff and into wooden corrals. The rest of the group butchered the kill in the camp thor Jack Brink, who devoted 25 years of his career to "The Jump," has chronicled the cunning, danger, and triumph in the mass buffalo hunts and the culture they supported. He also recounts the excavation of the site and the development of the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, which has hosted 2 million visitors since it opened in 1987. Brink's masterful blend of scholarship and public appeal is rare in any discipline, but especially in North American pre-contact archaeology.Brink attests, "I love the story that lies behind the jump-the events and planning that went into making the whole event work. I continue to learn more about the complex interaction between people, bison and the environment, and I continue to be impressed with how the ancient hunters pulled off these astonishing kills.". Seller Inventory # BTE9781897425008

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