Museum Exhibits

The South Dakota Experience

Three museum galleries that illustrate the history of the state from its earliest inhabitants to present day. Discover the rich culture of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota Indian tribes. Experience the stories of the explorers, trappers, settlers, miners, and statesmen who helped establish South Dakota. Examine the changes and challenges that South Dakotans experienced in the 20th century.

Oyate Tawicoh'an [O-ya-ta Ta-wi-cho-han]
The Ways of the People

In the language of the Oceti Sakowin, the nation some call the Sioux, Oyate Tawicoh'an means The Ways of the People. Learn about the history, values and beliefs of the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota.

Proving Up

Proving Up explores the state's history from the placing of the Verendrye Plate in 1743 to the final fight for the state capital in 1904. Share the adventures of explorers, trappers, settlers, miners, and statesmen that established South Dakota.

Changing Times - South Dakota in the 20th Century

Examine the changes and challenges South Dakotans experienced during the 20th century. The state flourished when rail lines and automobiles rolled in and struggled when the Depression hit. Throughout the 1900's some settlers left, but most dug, rooted in this place, and grew to love it.


The Hogen Gallery

"Selections from the Collections: The Big and the Small"     


The Observation Gallery

Upstairs from the main gallery our Observation Gallery features a fantastic view of the State Capitol Building and the Missouri River bluffs.

"Where the Wild Things Grow in South Dakota"

South Dakota is home to a wide variety of native plants. A plant is considered native if it occurs naturally in an ecosystem without being introduced by people. American Indians of the region were experts at recognizing and using the plants in the plains environment. Plants were used for food, medicine, household items, adornments, and as part of a rich spiritual life.    

The museum galleries also feature temporary and traveling exhibitions



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