An exhibit showcasing prehistoric bison hunting practices and the importance of the bison to Native Americans is coming soon to the Fort Morgan Public Library and Museum.
“Awakening Stories of Ancient Bison Hunting” opens Wednesday, June 1, and runs through July 31.
The free exhibit brings to life bison hunting as it was practiced for thousands of years by Indians on the Colorado High Plains. It focuses on the Kaplan-Hoover Bison bonebed, a bison-hunting site located near Windsor, Colo.
One of the largest arroyo hunting sites known in the Americas, the bonebed was unearthed during the building of a new subdivision on bluffs west of Windsor in 1997. Researchers from the anthropology department at Colorado State University have determined that it is from the Late Archaic Period and is 2,700 years old. It contains bones from nearly 200 bison.
The Awakening Stories exhibit looks at the importance of bison to Native American cultures over the centuries. Panels present insights and interpretations by American Indians, archaeologists and bison ecologists. “American Buffalo: Spirit of a Nation” is the title of a DVD that accompanies the exhibit. Produced by the National Wildlife Federation, it explores tribal programs aimed at restoring bison herds.
Also part of the exhibit is a selection of traditional cultural items made from buffalo materials. An arm shield of brain-tanned buffalo hide was made by Leroy White Man, Northern Cheyenne Nation. Other artifacts include a medicine bowl, bison calling items, smudge pot, rattle and bison horn.
Exhibit hours are Mondays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m.to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
The Kaplan-Hoover bonebed site was purchased with a grant award from the Colorado Historical Society-State Historical Fund, which allowed the excavation to be reburied for long-term preservation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Awakening Stories of Ancient Bison Hunting” is sponsored by the Northern Colorado Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society. It is managed by the City of Greeley Museums. The exhibit was funded by Colorado Historical Society-State Historical Fund, Colorado Endowment for the Humanities, Colorado Archaeological Society, City of Greeley Museums and Color Key Displays, Inc.
For more information contact Brian Mack at 970-542-4011 or email@example.com.
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Awakening Stories of Ancient Bison Hunting, Image Copyright City of Greeley Museums
Smudge Bowl, Made by Mark Soldier Wolf, Northern Arapaho Nation
Bison Horn, Made by Mark Soldier Wolf, Northern Arapaho Nation