Crow - A
Siouan tribe which ranged the eastern vicinity of the Rocky Mountains.
They are said to have been given their name by the Cheyenne, who in first
meeting them found they had a pet "medicine crow." however, their
own name, Absarokee meant "Crow People," or "Bird People."
Crow were at one point a part of the Hidatsa, or Gros Ventre, dwelling
along the Missouri River. According to their tradition two of their
chiefs had a dispute over the division of the paunch of a buffalo during
a hunt, and each went his way with an equal number of followers.
Those known as the Crow went farther west than the others. Because
of this fight over the ventre, or stomach of the buffalo, they were
at one time known as the Gros Ventre of the Prairies. This name,
however, later was identified with the Atsina.
The Crow men were fine looking, tall, and
well formed, although the women were said to have been small and inferior.
The French called them "the handsome men." Maximilian, the German
author, who wrote Travels in the Interior of North America, considered
them the proudest of any Indians he met.
The Crow wore their hair cut in front in
a bang, but when they were in full dress this portion was made to stand
up by mixing it with clay and glue. The remainder of the hair was
braided on both sides. In dress they wore a hooded coat made of a
blanket, preferring blankets of red and white stripes.
The Crow were constantly at war with the
Cheyenne, Dakota, and Arapaho. After 1876 they remained at peace
with the white man and many served as army scouts in the western Indian
wars. The Indian form of their name, Absarokee, appears as a place
name in North Dakota, and more prominently as Absaroka, a range of mountains
and a national forest Yellowstone National Park
within this Site
][ Gros Ventre ]