The tribe today are part of the Mandan and Arikara Nations, which occupy the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. The Hidatsa originated from the neighbourhood of a lake northeast of their later home and identified by some of their traditionalists with Mini-Wakan or Devils Lake in North Dakota. They formed alliances with the Mandan and Arikara tribes in the mid 19th century.
The Hidatsa were traders, hunters and farmers who cultivated their lands through growing corn, tobacco, squash and beans for which they would exchange for meat products and horses. However unlike the Mandan the Hidatsa would regularly sent out war parties where they would battle the Shoshone and Blackfeet. For the Hidatsa's, battle was the way that young men established themselves as important figures in the tribe.
The Hidatsa language is closely related to that of the crow, with whom they remained closely affiliated with. In the late 18th/early 19th century there were more than 2,000 Hidatsa, containing around 450 warriors. However a smallpox epidemic in 1837 severely reduced the numbers of the Hidatsa and Mandan people. The remaining tribe members relocated to a village north where they met up with the Arikara.
As far as successes go they would be nothing too dramatic but they were very productive in their trade and together known as the Three Affiliated Tribes they were quite strong and respected but the outbreak of smallpox in 1837 significantly reduced their numbers. The tribe would be most famous for kidnapping Sacagawea around the 1800 time. Who would later be a very important part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.