The Way of the Warrior: Stories of the Crow People

The Way of the Warrior: Stories of the Crow People

The Way of the Warrior: Stories of the Crow People

The Way of the Warrior: Stories of the Crow People

Synopsis

With vigor and insight, Crow elders tell their favorite stories of the exploits of memorable leaders from years past in The Way of the Warrior. Rousing adventures and unforgettable warriors inhabit these tales: the impetuous Rabbit Child, who rushes to his fate as he keeps a sacred vow; the rise to power and dreaded revenge of Red Bear, one of the greatest and most spiritually powerful Crow leaders; the dazzling success and even greater shame of Spotted Horse; and the legendary bravery of Top of the Mountain.

Decades ago, the storytellers represented in this volume -- including Carl Crooked Arm, Plain Feather, and Cold Wind -- recounted these tales to two Crow brothers, Henry Old Coyote and Barney Old Coyote Jr. The Old Coyote brothers recorded, transcribed, and translated into English the accounts, which have now been edited and introduced by Barney's granddaughter, Phenocia Bauerle. Bauerle's editing has preserved the power of the traditional Crow oral tales and makes them accessible to non-Crow readers,as well. The result is a work that entertains and teaches readers about traditional Crow leaders and their world. This remarkable collection of stories also shows that the values that guided and inspired the Crow people in the past remain meaningful for them today.

Excerpt

It was during the summer of 2000 that I first read the Crow narratives “Rabbit Child: A Crazy Dog of the Crows, ” “The Saga of Red Bear, ” “Elusive Fame and Glory: The Stor y of Spotted Horse, ” and “The Years Following the Red Lodge, ” transcribed by the brothers Henr y and Barney Old Coyote. I was directing an advanced level undergraduate research project with Phenocia Bauerle, and she asked if she could include the work done by her grandfathers Barney and his brother Henry. (In the Crow tradition, uncles also are regarded as fathers, and great uncles as grandfathers, and so on.) I should mention that my attachment to the Old Coyote family goes back nearly thirty years. When I came to Montana State University in Bozeman in September 1973 I met Barney Old Coyote Jr., who had been hired as the first professor of Indian Studies in July 1970. He had created and was the director of the fledgling Native American Studies program while also teaching Crow in the Modern Languages Department. We became compatriots, as each of us was to bring diversity to both the campus faculty and academic disciplines. Yet when we knew each other then, I had no idea that Barney Old Coyote Jr. was a distinguished World War II veteran, or that Henr y and Barney had already transcribed the stories you will be reading in this volume. Phenocia's mother, Patricia Bauerle, is also a treasured friend of many years. While Pat is primarily known in Bozeman as a gifted junior high school teacher, I would be remiss if I did not mention that when she was president of the Indian Club at Montana State University during the mid-I970s, she organized the first Native American Awareness Week, which culminated in an annual Montana State University Pow-Wow, an event that has continued to enrich our university life and the entire Bozeman community for twenty-five . . .

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