Cache Pits
Photo courtesy of Archaeological Research Center, South Dakota State Historical Society

     The Middle Missouri people dug cache pits, or holes, inside their houses. They stored food in them for the winter. A cache pit was like a cellar. Women dug the pits six to eight feet deep. They shaped each one like a jug. Then the women lined the cache pits with dried prairie grass and buffalo hide. TheCache Pits Diagram women gathered and dried food during the summer. They placed it inside the pit. They used ladders to climb in and out. This drawing shows how a cache pit looked underground. The photograph shows the floor of a Middle Missouri house. The big holes were cache pits. The smaller ones were post holes. The shallow hole in the center is a fire pit.


Figure redrawn by Lynet Dagel from Gilbert L. Wilson, Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians, copyright 1983 by the South Dakota State Historical Society. Used with Permission.