The Knife River villages were a series of settling places for the Hidatsa Indians. These peoples called the area along the Missouri bottomlands, north of present-day Bismarck, their land. Buffalo Bird Woman, an expert Hidatsa gardener, told her story to anthropologist, Gilbert L. Wilson. He spent the seasons of a year observing, translating and recording the cultivation, harvest and rejoicing that accompanies bountiful crops. Around the earth lodges they chanted and danced
Come with me to the land of spring, where riverland bear and red fox frolic,
Come hear the rustle of corn on the wind, silent as night till the owl speaks.
Stay, my people, with the Spirit that dances on stalks of beans grown tall for winter,
Stay with me and the Spirit that dances with gourd-songs drumming as embers vanish.