Crow Indian Tribe
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" I was born upon the prairie where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew free breath. I want to die there, and not within walls." - Ten Bears, Comanche Chief


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The Crow, also called the Absaroka or Apsáalooke, are a tribe of Native Americans who historically lived in the Yellowstone river valley and now live on a reservation south of Billings, Montana, and the current chairman of the tribal council is Carl Venne. Noted writer Joe Medicine Crow is tribal historian. The tribal headquarters are located at Crow Agency, Montana. The tribe hosts a large pow-wow, rodeo, and parade annually; the 87th Crow Fair was held at Crow Agency from August 13 - August 15, 2004.

The Crow language is a member of the Missouri Valley Siouan languages. They split from the Hidatsa tribe in present-day North Dakota either around 1400-1500 CE (according to cultural anthropologists) or 900-1000 CE (according to linguistic anthropologists).

The traditional shelters of the Crow are tepees made with buffalo skins and wooden poles. They are known to contruct some of the largest tepees. Inside they have mattresses to sleep on along the borders of their shelters, and a fire place, which the smoke escapes from through a hole in the top of the tepee. Many Crow families still own and use the tepee, especially when traveling. Crow Fair has been described as the largest gathering of tepees in the world.

Traditional clothing the Crow wore depended on gender. Women wouldn't dress very fancy because they were mostly around their shelters. They wore dresses made of mountain sheep or deer skins, decorated with elk teeth. They would cover their legs with leggings and their feet with moccasins. Crow women had short hair, unlike the men. The men dressed differently, with a shirt, trimmed leggings with a belt, a robe, and moccasins on their feet. Their hair was actually long, in some cases reaching or even dragging the ground, and sometimes decorated with certain items.

The Crow were a matrilineal (decent through the maternal line), matrilocal (husband moves in with wife's family), and matriarchal tribe (females obtaining high status, even chief). Women held a very significant role within the tribe.