Sunday, November 13, 2022

Bull Hook Bottoms, Iktomi, and The Jump.


I grew up in the Great Northern Desert.  Or, Northern Montana if you will.  Havre is a small town on the Northern Highline of Montana directly south of an area that was once called the Bull's Hook.  It is a bend in the Milk River that travels south abit then north again before heading towards the Missouri river.  

Originally called Bull Hook Bottoms, Havre is home to the nations largest Buffalo Jump.  As the story goes, Iktomi the spider tried to trick a man into running at the lead Buffalo of a heard and provoke him into a rage.  Iktomi made up a story about the Buffalo to make the man angry and run at the herd.  Great Spirit was listening to the conversation and whispered into Buffalo's ear, "Sacrifice for man and feed his people, feed his family."  

Buffalo ran at the man and the herd followed, but instead of running over Man they ran around him and over the Jump sacrificing themselves for the tribe of Man.  Man's tribe had food for the winter and skins for their tipis.  They had bone for knives, and sinew for sewing.  Man had all he needed for his people.  It was good, HO.  

For his deceit, Iktomi was made to serve Man and his tribe by creating the Great Travois with which man uses to carry his belongings and give rest to his Elders.  The Travois is pulled behind Man's best Dog, Tashunka Wakan, the Horse.  Iktomi was again made the fool.  

Bull Hook Bottoms was renamed Havre after Le Havre France, by an eccentric wealthy entrepreneur sometime during the 1800's.   The time before either versions of the town is where the Assiniboine made their home, when the Jump was used, the Buffalo sacrificed, and Iktomi tried to lead Man astray only to serve Man in the Heyoka way.

Peace and Balance,


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