Awatixa Xi'e Village
Awatixa Xi'e Village, also known as the Lower Hidatsa Village, was established as early as 1525 CE and continuously occupied until about 1780-1785. Home to the Awatixa Hidatsa subgroup, the village covered an area of about 10 acres and contained at least 50 earthlodges. An estimated 500-600 people lived in the village until it was abandoned after a smallpox epidemic swept through the villages. The survivors moved away to other villages and established the short-lived Rock Village before returning to the area to establish the Awatixa or Sakakawea Village.
Today, the village site is accessible to visitors from a short quarter-mile trail that extends from the Visitor Center to the village. This Village Trail leads to the Awatixa or Sakakawea Village a half-mile later.
Did You Know?
Almost every part of the bison had a practical application in everyday Hidatsa life, including the “buffalo chips” which could be used for fuel or baby powder.