National Geographic : 1951 Sep
MANDA "Let Him Pitch!" 284 Luckless the Contestant if He "Pulls Leather" Out of the corral gate at Mandan rodeo rockets a leaping demon topped by a daring buckaroo. The rider must stay with his mount for 10 spine-jarring seconds to remain in competition. Horses used in North Dakota shows are not trained buckers but wild mustangs straight from the ranges. a setting the height of the capitol is accen tuated (page 293). "Some people criticize us for building a sky scraper statehouse on the prairie," Russell Reid, superintendent of the State Historical Museum, told me, "but nobody can say the taxpayers didn't get their money's worth in the construction. Fire destroyed the old capi tol in 1930, and the new one went up in the depths of the depression when prices for every thing were down. The architects scoured the country for ideas and gave us an edifice with interior space 80 percent usable-one of the most efficient public buildings in the United States-for a total cost of only $2,000,000." Mr. Reid has in the museum a fine collection of Indian relics. Many decades before Pierre de la V6rendrye-first white man to set foot on the territory that is now North Dakota came up the Missouri in 1738, industrious Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras were tilling the soil there and raising good crops.* The warlike, nomadic Sioux who ranged around the Turtle Mountains, westward into Montana and south into South Dakota, were bitter enemies of the farmer folk. Today, most of the agricultural Indians live * See "Indians of Our Western Plains," by Matthew W. Stirling, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, July, 1944.