|No tribe of American Indians
is more surrounded by mystery than the Crows, whose hunting grounds
were in what is today Montana. Many students of tribal history believe
that they are descended from members of a 16th century Spanish expedition
because some Crows had blue or gray eyes and brown hair.
The Crows were continually at war with the Sioux, Cheyenne, Blackfect
and other tribes. About 1835, the Crow fought a bloody battle against
the Blackfeet, retold much later by a Blackfeet chief, Little Plume,
who witnessed it as a young boy:
"Early on the morning of the third day, the Blackfeet rallied
their entire strength and made a desperate assault, and against
fearful odds, succeeded, just as night came on, in driving the Crows
out their entrenchments .... For two more days the fighting continued,
the Crows all the time giving ground slowly. Twelve miles west of
the present city of Great Falls they made their last stand ....
It took the Blackfeet nation 20 years to recover from that battle,
for many great warriors had been killed... and our old warriors
used to say as long as there remained a Crow and a Blackfeet, so
long would there be war."