Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Several men visit the Mandan village. Ordway learns how the Mandan store their corn and watches them play a hoop and pole game. The buffalo have left the area, and the hunters return to Fort Mandan unsuccessful.

From the journals...

Several of the chiefs and warries were out at a play which they call [blank] they had flattish rings made out of clay Stone & two men had Sticks abt. 4 feet long with 2 Short peaces across the fore end of it, and neathing on the other end
two men would run at a time with Each a Stick & one carried a ring. they run abt. half way and then Slide their Sticks after the ring. they had marks made for the Game but I do not understand how they count the game.

John Ordway

Mandan hoop and pole

Painting the stick and hoop used to play Mandan 'stick ball'

Painting by Karl Bodmer circa 1833.