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Crow Indian Tribe


Crow Indian Tribe

Chief Swallow Bird

The Native American Crow Indian Tribe (also called the Apsáalooke, Absaroka or Apsaroke) speak a Siouan language and were originally from the State of Ohio near Lake Erie.  The Crows were forced to abandon their traditional territory due to the influx of white settlers into the Eastern Woodlands of the United States.  From there they migrated to Canada, just south of Lake Winnipeg.  In Canada, the Crow Indians found themselves in competition with the neighboring Cheyenne Tribe and migrated further west.  Eventually, both the Crow and the Cheyenne Tribes were displaced even further west by the Lakota Sioux.  In the late 1800's, the Crow lived as far west as the Yellowstone River Valley in Wyoming.  Today the majority live in a federal reservation south of Billings, Montana.   Historically the Crow Indians were  enemies of both the Lakota Sioux and the Cheyenne Indian Nations. However, the Crow Indian Tribe was generally friendly with the Anglos and the Crow Indians were given a relatively large reservation of about 9,300 square kilometers by the Federal Government. Perhaps not surprisingly, Crow Indian warriors enlisted with the US Army as scouts to fight against the Lakota-Sioux and Cheyenne during the Great Sioux War.  The Crow warrior, Chief Swallow Bird, as shown in the photograph above, had tattoos on his face, as was common with the Crow Indian Tribe.  This photograph shows the distinguishing Apsaroke Crow hair style.  Currently the Crow Indian Tribe refers to themselves as the Apsáalooke Crow Tribe and has a population of about 12 thousand Native Americans. 


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