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Mandan Flood Myth [archive]

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Mandan flood myth

NOTE: This account comes from George Catlin's nineteenth-century book, Manners, Customs and Conditions of North American Indians.

In the middle of the ground, which is trodden like a hard pavement, is a curb (somewhat like a large hogshead [barrel] standing on its end) made of planks (and hound up with hoops) some eight or nine feet high, which they religiously preserve and protect from year to year, free from mark or scratch, and which they call "the big canoe"; it is undoubtedly a symbolic representation of their traditional history of the flood.

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