Mandan religion was centered around a belief in supernatural powers that were shared by all living things. Sacred bundles full of natural objects represented some of the powers that could be obtained through participation in ceremonies. The Mandan believed in several gods, (one for the rains, one god ruled the dead, etc.,) but their most prominent god wasn't really a god at all, but rather what they called the "Big Canoe." The Big Canoe is similar to what Jesus/Moses did. He was not a god but a prophet. The Big Canoe carried the Mandans forefathers to the land they lived in now. Archaeologists believe that this "Big Canoe" is also related to the Christians' Noah's Ark, because the story is very much the same, with a white bird who carried an olive branch to the people on the boat to show that there was land that was dry. A ritual that I found very intriguing was that they do not bury their dead, but dress them and wrap them in a new buffalo hide, and set them on scaffolds, a little higher than anybody in the tribe could reach, with the feet of the deceased facing east. Then, when the scaffolds collapse from wear, the family will pick up the skull of the skeleton, and place it among other skulls, in a circle 8 or 9 inches apart from each other. You could see the women with their sewing materials or a hide that needs tanning, going out to the plain to spend a better part of the day conversing with the bones of their deceased like they are really there in person. Then when dark falls, or when they are done conversing, they go back to their lodge to come back another day.