Navigating Narratives focuses on the eight days in 1804 that the Corps of Discovery was in Titonwan territory. It examines the interactions between Titonwan citizens and Corps members through their first-person accounts of September 23 to September 30. Unfortunately, there is no known Titonwan account of those days. The only known narratives are the daily journal entries by Corps members William Clark, Patrick Gass, John Ordway, and Joseph Whitehouse (surprisingly, Meriwether Lewis did not write a single journal entry during that time period).
Opens June 2023 at
Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, Chamberlain, SD
2024 at The Brinton Museum, Big Horn, WY
2024 at South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, SD
All subsequent accounts of the expedition's time in Titonwan territory draws from one or more of these journalists' entries. Following is brief atmospheric, astronomical, and geographical information for each day, and a short synopsis distilled from the journal entries. The temperature, wind direction and travel distance are from tables of data by Lewis and Clark. The sun and moon information is from timeanddate.com with Pierre, South Dakota, as the reference location.
23 September 1804, Sunday.
Sunrise temp 50 wind SE, 4 pm temp 86 wind SE.
Sunrise 6:38, Sunset 6:46. Solar noon 12:43.
Moonset 11:54 am, Moonrise 8:47 pm. Illumination 81%.
Travel distance 20 miles.
The expedition meets face to face with a few Teton boys, the first interaction between the Titonwan nation and the United States.
24 September 1804, Monday.
Sunrise temp 54 wind E, 4 pm temp 82 wind W.
Sunrise 6:40, Sunset 6:44. Solar noon 12:42.
Moonset 1:08 pm, Moonrise 9:40 pm. Illumination 71%.
Travel Distance 13.5 miles.
The expedition meets with five Teton men, the first interaction between adults from the two nations. The meeting is not cordial; the expedition stays in their boats while the men stay on shore. The expedition later meets on shore with Buffalo Medicine (a chief), the first interaction between leaders of the two nations.
25 September 1804, Tuesday.
Sunrise temp 50 wind SW, 4 pm temp 79 wind W.
Sunrise 6:41, Sunset 6:42. Solar noon 12:42.
Moonset 2:12 pm, Moonrise 10:44 pm. Illumination 59%.
Travel Distance 1 mile.
The expedition conferences on a sandbar at the mouth of the Bad River with three chiefs—Black Buffalo, Partisan, and Buffalo Medicine—and around 40 men of the Sichanghu oyate of the Titonwan nation. This is the first formal interaction between representatives of these nations. The conference nearly results in a fight between the two groups.
26 September 1804, Wednesday.
Sunrise temp 54 wind W, 4 pm temp 78 wind SW.
Sunrise 6:42, Sunset 6:40. Solar noon 12:41.
Moonset 3:04 pm, Moonrise 11:55 pm. Illumination 48%.
Travel Distance 4.5 miles.
Lewis visits the Sichanghu village, and later he and Clark attend a feast and dance on shore hosted by Titonwans.
27 September 1804, Thursday.
Sunrise temp 52 wind W, 4 pm temp 86 wind SW.
Sunrise 6:43, Sunset 6:38. Solar noon 12:41.
Moonset 3:44 pm. Illumination 36%.
Travel Distance 0 miles.
The day features back and forth visitations by the two groups; Sichanghus tour the keelboat while Corps members visit the village. That evening Sichanghus host another feast and dance for the expedition.
28 September 1804, Friday.
Sunrise temp 45 wind SE, 4 pm temp 80 wind SE.
Sunrise 6:44, Sunset 6:37. Solar noon 12:41.
Moonrise 1:08 am, Moonset 4:16 pm. Illumination 26%.
Travel Distance 6 miles.
The expedition determines to leave the Sichanghus, but the Sichanghus determine to inhibit the expedition's departure. The conflicting motives nearly results in the expedition firing on the Sichanghus. Later, Buffalo Medicine boards the keelboat.
29 September 1804, Saturday.
Sunrise temp 45 wind SE, 4 pm temp 67 wind SE.
Sunrise 6:45, Sunset 6:35. Solar noon 12:41.
Moonrise 2:21 am, Moonset 4:42 pm. Illumination 17%.
Travel Distance 11 miles.
From its boats, the expedition tells Titonwans on shore that it will not come ashore again until it reaches the Arikara nation.
30 September 1804, Sunday.
Sunrise temp 42 wind SE, 4 pm temp 52 wind SE.
Sunrise 6:47, Sunset 6:33. Solar noon 12:40.
Moonrise 3:32 am, Moonset 5:04 pm. Illumination 10%.
Travel Distance 20.5 miles.
The expedition passes the northern-most Titonwan village, an Oglalan village, and pauses briefly to speak to them from the keelboat. Later, Buffalo Medicine leaves the keelboat to return to his village. The expedition continues upriver, leaving Teton territory.
For each of the eight days visual artists, poets, and musicians created works that relate in some way to one or more of that day's journal entries. These creatives are the core artists of the exhibit.
Logo of Navigating Narratives exhibition. Click on it for information about its design.