Hidatsa Horticulture topic of Saturday morning class

Hidatsa Horticulture topic of Saturday morning class A free class titled "Hidatsa Horticulture" will be presented from 9:30 to 11 a.m. April 1 at the W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion. The class will be presented by Dr. Patrick Collison of Yankton.

Collison, an ENT specialist in the Yankton Clinic by occupation, said he got interested in this study as a hobby but he has since been fascinated by the Hidatsa as early farmers and has taken courses when possible to learn more about them and their techniques of farming and of storing their produce and seeds to protect them from freezing and from loss by theft.

The Hidatsa tribe is important to us in the Northern Plains because they were an agricultural people at the time of Lewis and Clark's journey through the northwestern portion of this continent. They hunted only to supplement their otherwise vegetable and fruit diet. They formed a loosely organized group with the two other tribes who practiced agriculture in the Northern Plains, the Arikara and the Mandan.

These people did selective breeding among their dogs as well as with plants. Dogs were sled and travois pullers, trained to work. Plant seeds were selected for their desireable qualities of flavor, size and color much as the agricultural stations have done during the past century. Through the ingenious work of these early residents, we have tomatoes, corn, squash, tobacco and other plants.

In the illustrated talk at the museum, Collison will present the scope of this creative work of the Hidatsa people. This is the first class of the spring series. All are open to the public. They will be held in the Discovery Room beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Classes are sponsored by the Friends of the Museum and organized by Karen Mahood, education chair.

For further information, call (605) 677-5228.

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