Black Foot of the Crow

©Lee Paul Long Horse, Blackfoot, White Calf – about 1863 If Crow legends could be measured by degrees of credibility, then the story of Chief Black Foot staggers the imagination. All Native Americans share one thing in common: a veneration of their ancestors which most Whites don’t understand. Sometimes it is with grandfather tales or stories told by tribal historians. Sometimes it is with prophecies or the spiritual visions of tribal shamans. Sometimes it is with legends, like the story of Chief Black Foot, a legendary ghost story if ever there was one. It begins about 1795 with the birth of Kam-Ne-But-Sa in the Absaroka Mountains of the western Bighorn Basin, at a time when there were no white men present. His mother’s name was Strikes Plenty Men, and in Crow tradition, he belonged to her clan, the Sorelips. He had one brother named Busy Wolf. There may have […] Read More

Old Man at the Beginning

Crow – A story of the Crow People of Montana and Wyoming At the beginning of the world, there was nothing but water. It was dark in the world, and no one saw the water of the world. Then the Old Man of the Crow People came into the world, and he looked all around and said, “Is there nothing in this world but water?” Off in the distance, Old Man saw that there were two little ducks swimming about. These ducks had red eyes. Old Man called them to him. They came swimming, paddling in the world of water. Old Man said to them, “Is there nothing in this world but water?” The elder duck answered, “We have never seen anything in this world but water, but we think that there may be something down under the water. We feel it in our hearts.” “Dive down, Younger Duck,” said […] Read More

Origin of Tobacco – Crow and Hidatsa

A long time ago the Indians roamed the West like the buffalo, one family scattered and returned by change. There were no separate tribes. One of the Indians was a woman of powerful beauty. She gave birth to twin sons, but she did not know who their father was. The beautiful woman sang her sons to sleep with a heartbreaking lullaby, and everyone who heard it took pity on her. Finally, the Earth agreed to claim the first son, and the stars took the second son as one of their own. From then on, the people called them Earthboy and Starboy. When the boys were near manhood, they began to behave a little differently from their friends. Earthboy stopped following the buffalo everywhere and began to stay close beneath the willows of his home, searching for pretty rocks and carefully observing the slow growth of the plants. Starboy also […] Read More

The story of Starboy and Earthboy

“A wise Crow storyteller my grandfather once told me when I was young and full of youth the story of Earth boy and Star boy. This happened long ago many ancestors before my grandfather, when the people of the plains were like the buffalo many and free to roam where ever they wanted. This is before the white man came and killed the buffalo and the first people of the plains. It was before we became different tribes we were all one no Crow, no Arapaho, no Cheyenne, no Sioux, we were one tribe the people of the plains. It was in a large plains village a woman who was very beautiful became with child and she gave life to two boys and they were twins, she was very sad because she did not know who the father of the twin boys were. But she did the best she […] Read More