Iniskim: Buffalo Calling Stone

Photopolymer intaglio, 76×56 cm, 2018

“According to some historic accounts and oral histories, First Nations on the Plains thought that fossil-bearing beds of Alberta’s badlands around Dinosaur Provincial Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) were the home of Grandfather Buffalo, which may reference dinosaur bones prevalent among the hoodoos. At the other end of the size scale, when segments of ammonite shells disarticulate (break apart into their individual chambers), they look like tiny bison. These are thought to be gifts to be used to call bison for hunting or as bringers of other good luck. Iniskim (ammonite sections) have been found at archaeological sites of the ancestors of Plains First Nations across the U.S. and Western Canada, with evidence that Iniskim use extends back for millennia.”

Read more on this series and the wonderful story of Ammonites in Alberta, in the article: Rainbow Fossils and Bison Calling.

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