Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Cliff Jumping

The first half of this week I was supposed to go to Lethbridge with my kids to spend some time with my parents, but my mom broke her clavicle, and my dad said don't come. I know this sounds backwards like I should be there helping my mom, but my dad works from home so he's with her, and if I showed up right now she'd put on her hostess face and wear herself out by our sheer presence.
If we'd gone to Lethbridge we would have hit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump on the way home, but with our change in plans we made the trip down to the Jump and back today.

I was working on a self-portrait when someone offered to help me out by taking my picture, and I'm glad I accepted because I hadn't noticed that the shrub behind us was trimmed to resemble a bison, and that wouldn't have turned out in my arm's length photo.
The first thing we did was settle ourselves down for the native dancing that is done on Wednesdays. It was highly entertaining. Our host first talked to us about how Natives have been misrepresented in old Westerns. I thought okay, here we go, a little sensitivity training. But I was wrong. So very wrong.

He had everyone do the Warrior-Chasing-John-Wayne-Indian-Call. What????
I couldn't believe it.

Then he explained that the warriors yip and yell but it's the women who do the "Shrill" (to express their approval in some way) and that it isn't done with the hand, rather, with the tongue. There you go.

We were then treated to some dancing - this was the Shawl Dance.

This one was really called the Chicken Dance.

The kids and I all joined in when we were invited to participate, but I got to hold hands with the Bustle Dancer.

After the dancing we checked out the interpretive centre and climbed up to check out the jump.
We'd already seen the movie indoors about how the buffalo would go over, and Chloe was a little afraid to follow our interpreter to the actual jump. I assured her that we wouldn't go right up to the edge, and we didn't, but I like that my picture makes it look like we did.

A storm was rolling in over the canola fields on our way home and was probably the prettiest sight of the day. At least for me.

Some of the kids thought this was the prettiest sight of the day and wanted me to buy them Slurpee's, taquitos, fried chicken & potato wedges (only at Claresholm's 7-11). I reminded them of dad's rule about no food in the new van and then they told me that last time they drove through with dad he bought them all that food. It seems that we break the rules for food that Ken wants himself.

So though Ken was downtown working today, he was with us in spirit as the kids shimmy-shaked their Slurpee's (to keep the syrup evenly distributed) and ate their chicken (heavy on the napkins).


jaclyn said...

first comment!!! (I really have nothing to say, I just wanted to be first comment)

Elizabeth said...

Summer excursions, yay!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

That canola is plain rich and luxurious looking. I'm glad you got someone to take that picture, too, and that you pointed out the buffalo shrub.

cheetah (aka rglhm) said...

Jaclyn, you are funny!
Just seeing that 7/11 sign made me happy. Though your other pictures are great! SUch nice shots.

Price Cream Parlor said...

LOve the canola field photo! What fun outings you do with your fam!

melanie said...

The colors are amazing in your photos. I love the buffalo shrub. Yeah for summer fun!

Emily said...

Hi Barb- (I'm Lucy's sister from Lethbridge and since I may be meeting you in a week or 2 figured I could
I have lived here for 12 years and have never been to Head Smashed In...looks like a decent field trip! And gotta love the 7-11 in Clarseholm (my kids used to call it Clare's house).
Oh and I feel like a bit of kindred facebook profile pic is orange! :)

Denise said...

This post was both fun and educational. I'm ashamed to say, I never knew there were canola fields. I mean, I use canola oil, but I've never given much thought to where it came from. So I hit up wiki and learned something new. Thanks!

P.S. I love the holding hands picture.

Jill said...

That photo of the saffron field and sky is gorgeous! I would have had to stop and take dozens of photos of that and to make sure I soaked up the scene.

Michelle A. said...

What a great day Barb! I love the canola field photo very cool! Is that the price of your gas? Ours is still 1.40! So funny about the new mini van and food story! Fun post Barb and beautiful photos of the dancers.

Emily said...

Hmm..I seem to make rules according to my food "needs" as well. I mean really, I'm going to eat in the car so I figure I can either let the kids or listen to them whine which would make my eating not as fun, so, we all eat.

sarah said...

Hi, Barb. This is Marie's friend again. I just wanted to say that I'm native, and it's so true about the women doing the shrill thing. I can't do it, but when I go to native ceremonies, my aunt and cousins all do it. I just don't have the knack, i guess....
I haven't been to Head Smashed in such a looong time, I should go back sometime...

Marie said...

I don't know how I managed to grow up in Southern Alberta and never visit Head Smashed In. It looks great.

Amanda L. said...

What an interesting summer excursion! Glad you learned all about the 'real' Native calls.

That storm rolling in is amazing. I love the colors of that shot.

Food rule change at my house all the time too.

Katie A. said...

Wow, very cool. There is a buffalo jump just a few miles away from where my parents live. I've been there several times, but it's just a walk-yourself-around deal, there is no host or presentations.

My roommate during my freshman year in college danced in pow-wows. I got to watch her make her "jingle dress." Neat.

Cecilia said...

Sounds like a great day out with the kids! You're such a great Mom!

Tasha said...

You are such a fun mom! What a great outing! I hope your mom heals up soon and you are able to visit!

Leslie said...

wow, that storm photo is beautiful. so are the rest of your pics. what a happy blog. :)

michelle said...

I had no idea what a canola field looked like! Gorgeous. I'd never heard of Head Smashed In either. What an education experience.

I love the Slurpee story.