Winter Village of the Minatarres - Hidatsa Tribe

Winter Village of the Minatarres Hidatsa Tribe

The Hidatsa Tribe was referred to as the Minnetaree by their allies, the Mandan. This print—Winter Village of the Minatarres—is based on a sketch by Karl Bodmer (a Swiss artist who accompanied Prince Maximilian on a North-American expedition in the early 1830s). 

The village (Elha-sa) was near Fort Clark (which is located in present-day North Dakota). Bodmer and the Prince spent the winter of 1833-1834 there. About eighty households lived in the village (which Prince Maximilian described in his journal).

Who were the Native Americans known as the Hidatsa? Who were the Mandan?

We can begin to answer those questions by changing the tense of the verbs because the Hidatsa and the Mandan are still living in America. From the area we know as the Dakotas, they still live in North Dakota.

Keith Bear, and Mary Louise Defender Wilson, can help us to learn about their people by telling us some of the Mandan Hidatsa and Sioux stories. Thanks to the Library of Congress, we can watch their concert online.

The Library tells us more about these two performers. First, let’s meet Keith Bear (and learn his Mandan name):

Keith Bear's name in the Nu E'ta (Mandan) language means Northern Lights, or "He Makes the Sky Burn with Great Flame." A self-taught flute player, Bear has been performing since 1986. His critically acclaimed performances include traditional storytelling and the sacred Buffalo Dance, a ceremony which only honored tribal members may perform.

During the summer of 1995, Bear made his professional acting debut in the feature film, "Dakota Sunrise." Born and educated in North Dakota, Bear lives on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

Keith Bear performs first. Move the cursor forward, on this Library of Congress link, to watch his part of the concert.

Next, let’s meet Mary Louise (whose name, in Dakotah, is Gourd Woman:

Mary Louise Defender Wilson, also known by her Dakotah name, Gourd Woman-Wagmuhawin (wha' gmoo ha wi'), was born in 1930 on the Standing Rock (Sioux) Indian Reservation of North Dakota. She has spent a lifetime telling stories and performing songs and dances about the life, land and legends of the Dakotah (Sioux) and Hidatsa people.

Click on the image for a full-page view ... and ... enjoy the concert!

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Sep 20, 2018

Media Credits

Image online, Library of Congress.


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"Winter Village of the Minatarres - Hidatsa Tribe" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Sep 20, 2018.
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