Visited here last month while vacationing in North Dakota. We started out in the visitor center seeing the exhibits and watching the film about living in an indian village which is very good. We then went outside the center and saw the recreated earth lodge which was also furnished inside. I really was intrigued with the earth lodge which is roomier inside than it appears outside and also a few degrees cooler. We also took the path to the first Hidatsa village site where remains of the earth mounds can be viewed. The area is pretty and it was a nice walk. You are able to view a mowed field with mounds where the earth lodges once stood. It is rather amazing that these mounds have endured over all these years since I believe the last earthlodges were built in the late 1800's. An earthlodge typically only lasted five to ten years before having to be rebuilt. There are two other village sites we could have walked further to for a visit, but due to time constraints we only walked to the first village which was maybe 1/4 mile from the Visitor Center. You can walk 5+ miles on trails through this National Park site. I found the life of the Hidatsa/Mandan people quite interesting so I bought a book at the Visitor Center regarding Bird Woman's gardening/farming practices and life in the village. It was a fascinating read as Bird Woman was interviewed by an anthropologist in the late 1800's and was noted to be one of the last of native peoples in this area to live in one of these villages before the Indians in her village were placed on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Reading her story later made my visit to Knife River come alive again and enriched my visit. I would recommend Knife River as a very interesting and pretty historical site and a valuable reminder of Indian culture/life in this area of North Dakota. It is free to visit this site.
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