Mandan Village
Photo courtesy of the State Historical Society of North Dakota

     The Mandans were a peaceful tribe who lived along the Missouri River. Their homes were large round mounds called earth lodges. The lodges were made from tree trunks, willow branches, dirt, and sod. These houses were cool in summer and warm in winter. Ten to thirty people lived in each lodge. The Mandans were farmers. They planted corn, beans, tobacco, pumpkins, sunflowers, and squash. Their villages were the trading centers for all the tribes of the upper Missouri River. Their ancestors moved up the Missouri River from what is now Nebraska over seven hundred years ago.