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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Bismarck in Burleigh County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Mandan Origin Stories

 

— Double Ditch State Historic Site —

 
Mandan Origin Stories Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, November 2, 2019
1. Mandan Origin Stories Marker
Inscription.  Mandan origins and history have been passed on orally. These origin stories are memorized and passed from generation to generation, telling the history of a people. These traditions provide information regarding the origins of sacred bundles and their purpose for ceremonies. According to one oral tradition, the ancestral Mandans emerged from beneath the earth near a body of water, sometimes identified with the mouth of the Mississippi River. Led by Good Furred Robe they migrated northward up the Missouri River and eventually reached the Heart River, where they joined the others created by Lone Man and First Creator.

According to another origin tradition, the Heart River was the center of the world. It was here that Lone Man and First Creator built the world. Lone Man created the east side of the Missouri River as level and relatively treeless, while First Creator made the west side rugged with ravines. Scattercorn relayed this story to anthropologist Alfred Bowers:

Then they decided to fix up the land, for it was too boggy. First Creator took the right side of the Missouri River and Lone Man the left side. They laid out the land

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to suit themselves, and, when they had finished, they met again. Lone Man said, "I laid out my land flat. I made lakes and only a little timber here and there so that people on the warpath can see a long ways.” First Creator said, "I made many ravines, hills, and rocks; I made plenty of springs. I think I made the best land."

Captions:
Scattercorn with her scapula hoe.
The west side of the Missouri River, which according to one oral tradition was made by First Creator.
The east side of the Missouri River created by Lone Man.

 
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
 
Location. 46° 56.292′ N, 100° 54.13′ W. Marker is near Bismarck, North Dakota, in Burleigh County. Marker can be reached from Double Ditch Loop 0.4 miles north of Edgewood Drive, on the right when traveling north. Marker is on skids so location may vary slightly. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bismarck ND 58503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mandans and the Practice of Farming (within shouting distance of this marker); Hunting and Gathering (within shouting distance of this marker); Bullboats (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Potande and the Mandan Fishery

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(about 600 feet away); Square Buttes (about 700 feet away); Double Ditch State Historic Site (about 700 feet away); Stone Shelter (about 700 feet away); Glaciation and Forming the Missouri River Trench (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bismarck.
 
Also see . . .  State Historical Society of North Dakota on the Double Ditch State Historic Site. (Submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Jan. 22, 2021