Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 30 Knife River Indian Villages & Minot ND

Knife River Indian Villages NHS in Central ND

is where the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Indian tribes had their villages when the Lewis & Clark & the Corps of Discovery wintered in 1803-4 and met Sakakawea.

When Lewis & Clark arrived, the villages were composed of earth lodges estimated to contain about 10,000 people - the 2nd largest city in America.

The tribes were non-nomadic & grew crops.

The villages were the centers of trade in the northern plains with other tribes & French & later American fur trappers.,

The earth lodge was built according to one remaining Native American woman's oral history passed down from her mother. As with many other Indian cultures, the housing, possessions & family was controlled by the women.

The earth lodge was built by the women, the men erected the 4 posts & beams. The lodge housed an extended family of 20 - 30 in an area about 40 ft. around.

We had a great ranger talk describing all the artifacts, tools & utensils , etc. The earth lodge and artifacts were some of the most impressive Indian stuff we've seen & learned on this trip.

an antler rake, digging stick & a hoe made from the scapula of a buffalo

We stopped at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, the site of Fort Mandan, about 1/2 hour from the Indian Villages on the other side of the Missouri River.

I took alot of pictures of the Indians artifacts

and dioramas to use in class.

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