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Hidatsa [archive]

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The Hidatsa (hi-dat-sah) were called GrosVentre (Grow van tru) by French trappers and traders.


The Hidatsa are currently connected with the Mandan and the Arikara tribes. These tribes are referred to as the Three Affiliated Tribes. Today the Hidatsa share reservation life and businesses with the Mandan and Arikara near Fort Berthold.


The Hidatsa value education. Education is one of the most important needs toward providing sound futures for the people of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (3). These tribes are currently giving people the opportunity to earn G.E.D.’s or participate in activities involving life-coping skills. There is also a community college that offers classes in several areas over satellites.

The Three Affiliated Tribes put on a number of annual culture fests. These include events for people to participate in and learn about the culture of the Hidatsa from past and present. Wide ranges of activities that the Hidatsa have valued for several thousand years are offered for everyone to participate in. Some of the activities include archeology talks, flint knapping, bead working, porcupine quill-work, brain tanning hides, black smith trade items, Northern Plains dances, Indian flute music, tipi raising/folding and etiquette and more. Music is also an important part of the cultural fests.


A hero known as Charred Body led the original thirteen clans of the Hidatsa on a magical arrow that flew down from the world above to a site along today’s Turtle Creek not far from Mandan, North Dakota. Here Charred Body bested the local monsters so that his people could begin their existence as human beings (2). The story explains the origins of the Hidatsa and the world they live in.


Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation."The Three Affiliated Tribes.(2000, 1999)

"The National Park Service."Links to the Past.(3 March 2000)

Additional Reading

 Hidatsa Indians
 Hidatsa Language
 Hidatsa Words
 North Dakota Native Americans

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