Ceremony at Wahkpa Chu'gn set for Longest Day
June 20, 2013
The management of Havre’s own world-class archaeological site is inviting people to observe a traditional religious ceremony the morning of this year’s longest day.
A traditional Native American ceremony is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Friday at Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump behind the Holiday Village Mall.
Wahkpa Chu’gn manager Anna Brumley said people can access the site to attend the ceremony either at Wahkpa Chu’gn’s upper or lower entrance, and they are welcome to ride the site’s Polaris down the walkway.
“We hope you'll join us for this solemn, educational event,” she said, adding that seating will be provided.
The ceremony was scheduled as part of a celebration of the summer solstice. On June 21 the northern hemisphere will experience the most hours of daylight, before the days start shortening and the nights grow longer.
The ceremony is tied to the history of Wahkpa Chu’gn itself — the site has a millennia-long history of traditional Native American use.
The diggings at the site — which are displayed in buildings there, in a rather unique presentation of a bison kill site — have found three Native American cultures used the site to kill and butcher bison starting at least 2,000 years ago.
People attending the ceremony — which can last about two hours — are asked to be respectful and silent during its observance. No photographs will be allowed during the ceremony itself.
A reception is scheduled at the John and Anna Brumley Interpretive Center, located in the Holiday Village Mall parking lot at the top of the site, following the ceremony.