This history of the Crow Indians links their nineteenth-century nomadic life and their modern existence. The Crows not only withstood the dislocation and conquest that was visited upon them after 1805, but acted in the midst of these events to construct a modern Indian community - a nation. Their efforts sustained the pride and strength reflected in Chief Plenty Coups' statement in 1925 that he did 'not care at all what historians have to say about Crow Indians,' as well as their community's faith in the beauty of its traditions and its inventions. Frederick Hoxie demonstrates that contact with outsiders drew the Crows together and tested their ability to adapt their traditions to new conditions. He emphasizes political life, but also describes changes in social relations, religious beliefs and economic activities. His final chapter discusses the significance of the Crow experience for American history in general.
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(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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US Kirkus Review »
A remarkable history of the Crow nation that demonstrates the resiliency of a people in the face of extraordinary odds. Hoxie, an editor of the Cambridge Studies in North American Indian History series, of which this book is a part, seizes upon an apt metaphor for the Crow Indians' trail through 19th and early 20th century American history: the parade. In the first known encounter between Anglo and Crow, recorded by Canadian trader Francois Antoine Larocque in 1805, Crow warriors paraded through a village bedecked in splendid costumes; from that moment, through an ad hoc parade toward Crow Agency, Mont., in 1990, the Crow people have been marching along with the times. But unlike the Cherokee Indians' Trail of Tears and similar government-enforced marches, the Crows' parading has been largely of their own volition. Hoxie demonstrates this through the central event of his story - the relocation in 1884 of approximately 900 Crow Indians from Stillwater, Mont., to the Little Bighorn River and nearby Pryor Creek, a parade that would play a significant role in the survival of the Crow nation into this century. While the idea of relocating to the fertile area near the Little Bighorn was initiated by white Indian Agent Henry Armstrong, the details of the move were dictated by Crow leaders led by Chief Plenty Coups, a warrior who was commited to cooperation with whites. Realizing that their former hunting lifestyle was no longer viable, these leaders chose to become farmers and ranchers. The relocation represented not an end, therefore, but a new beginning that would allow the Crow nation to participate, along with America's diverse cultures, in this country's future. As Hoxie here convincingly argues, reports of the Crows' demise have been greatly exaggerated. (Kirkus Reviews)
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