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Illustration: The HidatsasBut she was still an outsider. She worked hard and contributed to the tribe´s welfare. She learned to help make their lodges and to grow, harvest and prepare their foods. She learned to speak their language. She learned their customs. But she wasn´t one of them. Most Agaidikas reject the claim that she was adopted by a Hidatsa family. They say the Hidatsas in time may have treated her well, but she was still a captive rather than an equal.
Photo: belt It was in their village that she first saw a white man. Unlike the Agaidikas, who lived in what was still a distant wilderness for European Americans, the Hidatsas lived within the white man´s known and rapidly expanding world. By 1800, the year Sacajawea was captured, white explorers and traders had long since established relations with the Hidatsas and other Plains tribes.
Photo: Lucille Pohipe Eldridge Photo: Lemhi Speak Text "I went to the place where she lived with the Hidatsas. You could see the circles where their lodges were. They kept their vegetables under the ground and their horses inside the lodges. Sacajawea learned to garden from them and learned new ways to gather and prepare foods. But she didn't forget her Lemhi ways. They were what she used to gather food on the expedition."  Lucille Pohipe Eldridge

She had never seen anyone like the pale men with their strangely colored hair, shaggy faces and alien ways. They used iron pots for cooking. They were almost never without their rifles, disturbing reminders of the day she saw her mother die. They traveled on the Missouri River in awkward-looking boats and drank a strong-smelling beverage that made them stagger and laugh. Sometimes it made them mean. They had brightly colored beads and ribbons, which they traded for things they wanted more. And they always wanted more.
Sacajawea never mastered the white people´s language. She learned to speak Hidatsa, but the white language she found stranger still.

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The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho -
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