Caught between the warlike Sioux to the south and the mighty Mandan nation to the north, their earthlodges devastated by waves of smallpox the Arikara were struggling for survival on the Missouri River in the early 1800's. Quick to realize the wealth brought north by early traders and trappers the Arikara demanded tolls of goods from river travelers and these confrontations sometimes turned violent. One of the most significant battles between American trappers and Indians occurred between the Missouri Fur Company and the Arikara in the spring of 1823 along the banks of the Missouri. Fifteen mountain men were lost in this engagement. Dressed for battle, this Arikara warrior is armed with a bow and arrows tipped with sheet steel. His leggings, possibly traded for at one of the Autumn trade fairs held at the Mandan villages, are quilled in a Mandan pattern. Though often at war with one another the Arikara and Mandan adopted each other's style of dress and wore their hair in a similar fashion.