Today we were passing through North Dakota and spotted a sign that read Earth Lodge Village. So, I turned. Why? Because that’s how we roll. Brenda and I travel some of the roads less traveled, and sometimes they are less traveled for good reason.
This mode of travel allows us to see some things that others might have missed, and this was one such time.
We followed a road around these hills to a replica of what a village of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikra tribes would have built. And as usual, our timing seemed to be guided as Gary Snow happened to be there preparing to leave. Gary works with the tourism office of North Dakota and the Three Affiliated Tribes. He was gracious enough to spend a few minutes being put on the spot for an interview. Earth Lodge Village Part 1.
When we returned on Thursday, I had the chance to spend more time looking at the displays within the main lodge building. As Gary pointed out, this lodge would have been the largest and was located in the center of the village. It served as a gathering place for tribal business, activities, and ceremonies. Within the main lodge are displays of the tools they used to work and garden.
This day there was Mandan squash and beef hanging in the lodge to dry. There had been a teaching session just days before where young people were learning the old ways of preserving food. This time spent teaching the young is something I also believe in very much. The ways of our forefathers and those before us need to be preserved as our cultures mix.
Now I’d like to show you the main lodge, and then Gary will join us to explain some of the displays… Earth Lodge Village Part 2
Before I close I would like to give you a closer look at some of the items displayed in the lodge.
Here are a few links to the Wikipedia articles about these three tribes.
MANDAN TRIBE HIDATSA TRIBE ARIKARA TRIBE
At this time, we will be moving along on our journey and thinking about the history we have learned. I’ve said before the REAL history is out there and one must go find it. The history we are almost always taught has a different twist than reality. The authors interpretation, publishers editing, and the presentation by the instructor all flavor or color the history we learn. Go see for yourselves the places and things that have been passed down through the generations. If you are fortunate enough to find a person like Gary, listen and question what you know, and also listen with that part of you that hears the echo of the stories from the past.
I alluded on Facebook that I would write a post about our visit to Fort Totten. It is claimed to be the best maintained fort west of the Mississippi by some travel guides. I must apologize that I have not written that yet. You see, for Brenda and I that was not a pleasant visit. It’s not that the Fort isn’t a well maintained historic site, it is, and that in itself is part of the problem for me. I viewed that Fort as a shining success for a new and upcoming nation. However, it was at the cost of much sorrow and the destruction of several established nations. I will attempt to write an accounting of our visit to that place at a later date.
“Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure.”