1600 - Mandans, Hidatsa, thrive on the Upper Missouri

Painting of a Mandan Village by George Catlin

       By 1600, the Mandan civilization was thriving on strong social controls, hierarchies, clan relationships, and social organization.  Their villages were now home to as many as 2000 people.  Rectangular lodges had evolved into the circular ones that would be associated with village Indians of the upper Missouri.   Earth lodges, forty to fifty feed in diameter, were home to as many as forty people, and a typical village had as many as 200 lodges arranged around a central plaza.  It was during this time that the Mandans, who were becoming wealthy traders, came under attack from nomadic tribes.