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Locating the Site


Map 2: Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.
[Graphic] Map 2 with link to higher quality map.
(National Park Service)

For centuries the Upper Missouri River valley drew Northern Plains Indians to its wooded banks and rich soil. These groups were essentially agricultural-based societies who lived in villages along the Missouri and its tributaries. At the time of European contact, these communities were the culmination of 700 years of settlement in the area.

The Hidatsas settled Awatixa Xi'e Village around 1525, Hidatsa Village around 1600, and Awatixa Village (Sakakawea Site) in 1796. Intermarriage and trade between the Hidatsas and Mandans cemented their relationship, and eventually the two cultures became almost indistinguishable. With the Arikaras to the south, they formed an economic force that dominated the region.

Questions for Map 2

1. Examine Map 2, a detailed map of the villages that today make up Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. Use the map scale to compute the distance between the villages. What do you think the distances between the villages might suggest about the relationship between and within the groups?

* The map on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Map 2, but be aware that the file may take as much as 35 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.