An Ancient Bond with the Land
Hunting the Bison
Constructing a bison pound involved enormous labour. People built converging rows of small rock and brush cairns that could stretch for a kilometre or more across the prairie. These rows formed drive lanes between which the bison were driven towards the pound.
The location of a pound was governed by the local landscape, a knowledge of bison behaviour, and the availability of building materials. The walls of the pound were built using hundreds of wooden poles, cut with stone axes. These poles were interwoven with brush and covered with hides, so that the bison could not see a route for escape.
Over thousands of years, people developed and adopted new and more efficient weapons to hunt bison. Thrusting spears were superseded by darts propelled with an atlatl or spear-thrower, and then by the bow and arrow. There were also many changes in the styles of weapon tips.