From the Heart of Crow Country
The Crow Indians' Own Stories
"This is an unusual, perhaps unique book. Medicine Crow is the oral historian of his tribe, but he was also the first Crow Indian to graduate from college and to earn a graduate degree. Thus, trained in Western anthropology as well traditional Indian historical methods, he combines the two to make an exemplary study of his people, whose traditional territory includes much of the state of Montana. It is an extraordinarily cross-cultural piece of work: for instance, Medicine Crow notes that a certain elder is a distant relation of Sir James George Frazer, the renowned mythologist who wrote the great study The Golden Bough. He also cites, in addition to written documents, oral histories that trace Crow migrations back as many as 500 years, and he tells appropriate legends as he does. A must-have for libraries in Crow country and recommended for others with active Indian studies collections."--Booklist
"In 1932, Medicine Crow began to compile a vast array of information on Crow history and culture and, sixteen years later, was designated tribal historian and anthropologist by the Crow Tribal Council. From the Heart of the Crow Country highlights the author's talent as a storyteller."—American Indian Quarterly. "Homespun slices of Crow archaeology, mythic history, and living memory . . . Always rewarding."—Ethnohistory.
The world of the Crow Indians comes to life in this extraordinary collection of stories from respected elder and famed storyteller Joseph Medicine Crow. Raised by traditional grandparents, who remembered life before the reservation days, Medicine Crow as a child would listen to stories that his grandfather and other elders told during sweat baths. He also learned about the Indian wars of earlier years from White Man Runs Him, one of Custer's Crow scouts. Medicine Crow became a passionate collector of stories and information about Crow life and history. This volume is a fascinating and informative collection of legends, humorous tales, history, and detailed accounts of life and culture, all told from Crow points of view.
Born in 1913, Joseph Medicine Crow lives in Lodge Grass, Montana, and travels extensively, speaking on the Crows and their culture. Herman J. Viola is the former director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Anthropology Archive and Human Studies Film Archive and is the author of numerous works, most recently Little Bighorn Remembered: The Untold Indian Story of Custer's Last Stand.
168 pp ~ illustrated — ©2000