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Sacajawea: Taken from her homeIllustration: Taken from her home

sacajaweahe Agaidikas´ traditional enemies at the beginning of the 19th century were the Blackfeet and the Sioux Indians. The Hidatsas, who recently had acquired horses and extended their range, were relative newcomers to the Agaidikas´ territory. The newcomers smiled when they saw the lightly defended Agaidika camp. The girls picking chokecherries would be easy pickings for the Hidatsa warriors.

Photo: Saddle

Like the Agaidikas, the Hidatsas were skilled horsemen. Unlike the Agaidikas, they had rifles. Plains Indians whose raids lengthened with the acquisition of horses, the Hidatsas traded with white men the Agaidikas didn´t know existed.
Sacajawea´s life with her people ended in a few terrifying moments.
Her band was camped where three rivers meet in what is now western Montana. Her father, brothers and most of the other men had left to hunt buffalo. A few men and some older boys had stayed with the women and children.
As always, Sacajawea was carrying her knife. Some of the Agaidikas had bows and arrows. All were habitually alert to the possibility of danger. But the attack was so sudden and overwhelming that they had no chance.
The horses and gunfire seemed to explode from the trees. Terrifying in their red and black war paint, the riders fired with deadly accuracy. All around her, Sacajawea´s relatives and friends were falling.


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Photo: bottom shadow