Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
South Saint Paul in Dakota County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Kaposia: Dakota Village on the Mississippi River

 
 
Kaposia: Dakota Village on the Mississippi River marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By McGhiever, June 11, 2012
1. Kaposia: Dakota Village on the Mississippi River marker
Inscription.  Kaposia was first located on the east bank of the Mississippi River on a low terrace below the bluff in present-day St. Paul. It was established after 1750 by a group of Mdewakanton Dakota whose succession of chiefs were each known as Little Crow. The name Kaposia is said to refer to the "light ones" living there who traveled swiftly and often. The village was relocated to the west side of the river, in present-day South St. Paul, as a result of the Treaty of 1837.

Kaposia
Up to 400 Mdewakanton Dakota Indians lived in the seasonal village of Kaposia during the early 1800's. Also known as Little Crow's village, it was situated on the banks of the Mississippi River. To Kaposia's residents, the river and its surrounding land held both practical and spiritual significance.

Village Life Along "Haha Wakpa"
The Mississippi River, known as "Haha Wakpa" (river of the falls) to the Dakota, provided Kaposia residents with water for drinking and bathing, plant and animal foods, rich soil for gardens, and a "highway" for transportation. Bottomland gardens provided corn, beans, tomatoes, squashes and melons, while the

Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
river itself provided fish, muskrat and beaver. The river transportation system connected these "big canoe people" and their sources of sustenance.

The Mdewakantons resided in Kaposia mainly during the warmer months of the year, and village life responded to the seasons. The breakup of ice and running of sap marked the return to the village in the spring, when sugar-making parties were formed. Hunting parties sought game such as rabbits, fowl, and deer. Seeds, roots, berries and other plants were collected in season, the most important being wild rice. Foods were dried for preservation. Dancing, music and games such as the challenging sport of lacrosse were regular parts of life. After the first hard frost, the band would separate into smaller groups of one to four families, with most seeking out sheltered creek valleys for the winter. Indian burial mounds were located on the bluff overlooking he village.

Summer Lodges
About a dozen permanent bark houses provided summer shelter at Kaposia. These structures were built of a frame that may have been white pine or elm, and covered with elm bark. While of various sizes, most dwellings could house more than two dozen people. Outside the entrances large platforms were constructed for food drying, storage, and sleeping on hot summer nights. Inside, platforms covered by skins or rush mats were used for sitting and

Marker is just off the footpath near the railroad bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By McGhiever, June 5, 2020
2. Marker is just off the footpath near the railroad bridge
sleeping. Mobile tepees covered with buffalo hides were also used as shelters at Kaposia.

What Became of Kaposia?
The treaty of Traverse des Sioux required the Kaposia Mdewakantons to move from the Mississippi River to reservation land along the Minnesota River in 1853. Kaposia descendants are now found principally at Santee, NE, Flandreau, SD, Shakopee, MN, and Prairie Island, MN, and included dispersed Wahpekute Dakota.

Taoyateduta
Taoyateduta, known also as Little Crow, led the Kaposia band during a time of increasing contact with European immigrants and enormous changes for Dakota people. He was photographed by Julian Vannerson and Samuel Cohner in 1858 in Washington, D.C.
 
Erected by City of South St. Paul, National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1750.
 
Location. 44° 55.009′ N, 93° 3.049′ W. Marker is in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, in Dakota County. Marker is in Kaposia Landing park, at the northeast corner near the railroad swing bridge. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 800 Bryant Avenue, South Saint Paul MN 55075, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kaposia Village (approx. ¼ mile away); Holman Field (approx.

Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
1.4 miles away); Charles W. Holman (approx. 1.4 miles away); Battle Creek Regional Park (approx. 1.7 miles away); Riverside Hangars (approx. 1.7 miles away); Swift & Company (approx. 1.8 miles away); Saint Paul Downtown Airport Seaplane Harbor (approx. 1.9 miles away); Northwest Airways Hangar Passenger Terminal (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Saint Paul.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2020, by McGhiever of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This page has been viewed 998 times since then and 286 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 7, 2020, by McGhiever of Minneapolis, Minnesota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=151038

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to Amazon.com. We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Jul. 14, 2024