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GeographyMapping Unknown Lands
Indian Spatial Concepts
Formal Navigation by Lewis & C
 

The Missouri River and Mandan Villages



his map was drawn in 1906 or 1907 by Sitting Rabbit, a Mandan, and is judged by authorities on traditional American mapping to be one of the finest examples of pictographic mapping. Although the map is a correct representation of the course of the Missouri and several tributaries near the Mandan villages, it is also a picture, using images to portray location and meaning: the earthen lodges of the Mandans, a herd of buffalo, a horse corral. Totemic symbols are used to identify villages. Example: the device in the upper center that looks like an airplane is actually a pair of crossed snowshoes.

--John Logan Allen

Indian Spatial Concepts
Formal Navigation by Lewis & C


 
From Discovering Lewis & Clark ®, http://www.lewis-clark.org © 1998-2014
by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Washburn, North Dakota.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton
13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001)