Hunting and Gathering
The important role of bison in Mandan life was expressed in material culture but also in religious practices and ceremonies.
The Mandan people gathered many wild plants. Plants such as juneberries, chokecherries, plums, grapes, buffalo berries, strawberries, and prairie turnips were important food sources. People gathered wood from the river's bottomlands for lodge construction. They used the willows lining the banks of rivers and creeks to make baskets, mats and lodges, and grass for insulating lodges and cache pits. Green ash was ideal as a hard wood for the mortar and pestle or for handles for hoes or other tools. Plants were
Dance of Mandan women wearing regalia of the White Buffalo Cow Society. Hats of the White Buffalo Cow Society were made of rectangular pieces of hi e from the sacred white buffalo.
Buckbrush brooms were used to sweep the earthlodges.
Much wood was needed for lodge construction. Wood and willows were gathered from the bottomland.
Waterscreened material from each excavation unit dries on canvas cots. All material is bagged and sorted under laboratory conditions. Faunal experts identify remains such as bison, deer, fish, rabbit, and elk that provided meat and were sources of hides, furs, plumage, and other raw materials.
Prairie turnips were harvested using a digging stick. These starchy roots, when peeled, could be eaten fresh, or dried and stored.
Chokecherries were processed with a grinding stone and were an important source of nutrition.
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Native Americans.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bullboats (within shouting distance of this marker); Mandan Origin Stories (within shouting distance of this marker); Mandans and the Practice of Farming (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Potande and the Mandan Fishery (about 400 feet away); Glaciation and Forming the Missouri River Trench (about 500 feet away); Square Buttes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Double Ditch State Historic Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Stone Shelter (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bismarck.
Also see . . . Double Ditch State Hist. Site. (Submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.