October 31, 2013

Gifts return home

By Jerry W. Kram

Gift giving in an integral part of the culture of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people. They not only exchange ceremonial gifts among themselves but also to people outside the tribes they wish to honor.

Some of those gifts came home Tuesday when the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum was given a donation of quilts, blankets, headresses and a vest and moccasins that were given to Dr. Gerd. D. Ebel by tribal members when he practiced medicine in Watford City from 1974 to 1995.

Dr. Ebel’s son, Rainer Ebel, lives in Canada with his wife Suzanne. He thought the most appropriate home for these gifts, after his father died in Bismarck in 2010, would be in the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum in New Town. He presented the material to Museum Administrator Marilyn Hudson and tribal cultural historian Calvin Grinnell on Tuesday.

Ebel said his father’s practice was centered in Watford City, but that he treated patients from Montana to Minnesota. He provided many services to tribal members, especially from the Mandaree area, including sports physical for students.

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