Skip to main content
Select Source:

Crow

Crow

ETHNONYMS: The Crow often refer to themselves as the Apsaalooke or Absaroka, which are commonly translated as "Children of the Large-Beaked Bird. " Although this bird probably was a raven, a misinterpretation by early Euro-American trappers led to their addressing the Apsaalooke as the Crow.

Orientation

Identification and Location« The historical homeland of the Crow was in south-central Montana and north-central Wyoming, along the Yellowstone and Big Horn river drainages, north to the Musselshell River, east to the Powder River, south to the Wind River Mountains, and west to Yellowstone Lake and the Rocky Mountains. Located in the heart of former Crow territory in south-central Montana near Billings, the Crow Indian Reservation is close to 2. 3 million acres (5.7 million hectares) in size, of which nearly a third is owned by non-Indians. The environment is a mixture of grassland prairies, cottonwood-treed alluvial river valleys, and deciduous and coniferous foothill and mountain forests rich in edible roots and berries and suitable for grazing herd animals.

Demography. In 1833 the Crow population was estimated to be 6, 400. After smallpox epidemics, the loss of the buffalo, confinement to a reservation in 1868, and the allotment process, by the early 1930s the population had decreased to 1,625. As a result of improved health care and economic opportunities, the 1998 Crow population approached 10, 000 enrolled individuals.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Crow language is part of the Siouan linguistic family, with close affiliation with the Hidatsa of North Dakota. In the 1990s up to a third of the population continued to speak the native language.

History and Cultural Relations

A historic migration of the Crow from the Lake Winnipeg region of Canada into the Bighorn and Yellowstone river drainages of Montana and Wyoming predated the arrival of the horse. After their acquisition of the horse as early as the 1730s, Crow life was socially, politically, and religiously transformed. Among the enemies of the Crow were the Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Dakota; the Hidatsa and Shoshone were allies. With the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868, the Crow entered into a trust relationship with the U. S. government and were confined to a reservation. Catholic missionary activity and schools were established, undermining many aspects of tribal culture, particularly ceremonialism. With the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and other subsequent federal legislation, the Crow began reasserting their sovereignty and entered into government-togovernment relations with the United States.

Settlements

Before the acquisition of the horse the Crow lived among the Hidatsa in earthen-lodge sedentary farming communities along the Missouri River. After the Crow became bison hunters, the four-pole-styled, buffalo-hide conical tipi was adopted. The tipis could be moved easily, becoming horse-dragged travois on which family property and provisions could be transported. Noted for their long poles up to twenty-five feet in length, Crow tipis were typically unpainted. During the 1990s much of population lived on the reservation in rural homesteads or in Crow Agency, Lodge Grass, Pryor, and Wyola. A significant Crow population lives off-reservation in Billings, Montana.

Economy

Subsistence. After the acquisition of the horse, a sedentary horticultural-based economy revolving around the cultivation of crops such as maize was transformed into a transhumant buffalo-hunting economy. Large game animals such as buffalo, elk, and deer were hunted using communal and individual techniques and bow and arrow technology. Coinciding with the destruction of the bison herds in the 1860s and 1870s and the implementation of the Dawes Act of 1887, sedentary farming, cattle raising, and a cash-based economy were encouraged by governmental and missionary agents.

Commercial Activities. During the 1990s, while unemployment rates remained high, job opportunities were found primarily in education and health care delivery and in local, tribal, and federal government agencies. Cash income is acquired by leasing land to white farmers and ranchers and from a tribal severance tax on coal mining. With the location of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument on the reservation, limited income is obtained through tourism.

Industrial Arts. Using buffalo or mountain sheep horn, a composite sinew-back bow was made for both hunting and warfare. Women's dress styles included a distinctive elk-tooth front and back decoration. Although elaborately beaded articles of clothing and other objects continue to be produced by many families, this craft seldom is commercialized and the products are not sold publicly. Basketry, pottery, weaving, and intricate woodcarving were not practiced.

Trade. During the era of the buffalo-hunting economy an annual rendezvous with sedentary horticultural tribes such as the Hidatsa and Mandan occurred. Balanced, reciprocitybased exchanges included Crow buffalo hides and meat for Hidatsa maize and other cultivated foods.

Division of Labor. Men were primarily responsible for game hunting, ranching, and tribal governmental and military activities. Women were primarily responsible for house-hold, child rearing, food preparation, and wild plant food collecting activities. Because they owned tipis, women erected and took down the lodges. These dichotomized roles were replaced during the late twentieth century with greater opportunities for women to become involved in political and economic affairs.

Land Tenure. While pursuing a horticultural economy, it was likely that women had a significant influence on land use and inheritance decisions. After the advent of a transhumant buffalo-hunting economy, there was no individual ownership of land. Crow hunting territories were defended against enemy use. Individual land tenure was promoted by the imposition of the Dawes Act.

Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The Crow maintain a matrilineal clan structure with thirteen named clans. The clans are grouped into six unnamed and loosely organized phratries as well as into two primary bands, the Mountain and River divisions, along with a third minor band, the Kicked-in-the-Bellies. The bands are composed of all thirteen clans. Within the clans and extending into the phratry and band groups, members recognize mutual obligations to assist one another.

Kinship Terminology. A "Crow kinship" system is practiced. Cross-generational equivalence is extended to the males in both the matrilineal clan ("older" and "younger brothers") and the father's mother's clan ("fathers"), while sisters within the matrilineal clan are classified as "mothers. " The aassahke ("fathers" or "clan uncles") continue to provide a pivotal kinship relationship. A clan uncle is any male member of the father's mother's clan. Such individuals are to be respected like "medicine, " with gifts of food and blankets provided to them during give-aways. In turn, aassahke bestow on a child an "Indian name, " sing "praise songs" for one's accomplishments, and offer protective prayers.

Marriage and Family

Marriage. Exogamy extended to the members of both the matrilineal and the father's mother's clan. There were no proscriptive marriage rules. In seeking a marriage, a groom would give a bride-price of a horse to the bride's family. Although parents had considerable influence over a young daughter, a woman was not coerced to marry someone she disdained. Matrilocal residence, polygyny, mother-in-law avoidance, and the levirate generally were practiced. No ceremony marked a marriage union, with either a husband or a wife able to secure a divorce easily and free to remarry. Under Christian missionary influence, polygyny is much less frequently practiced and a formal wedding ritual has been introduced.

Domestic Unit. During prereservation times the primary household structure expressed matrilineal, multigenerational influences. This extended family unit typically included maternal grandparents, sisters and their spouses, and the children of those sisters. During the 1990s it was not uncommon to see grandparents residing with their children and multiple sibling marriages with the children living together in a single household, though not necessarily following matrilineal influences.

Inheritance. In a matrilineal society material property and spiritual possessions typically pass along the female line to brothers and sisters and their heirs. Honoring the specific requests of a dying person, property also could go to nonkinsmen and to all the members of the immediate family. On occasion spiritual objects such as medicine bundles might be ritually deposited into a river instead of being passed to a relative.

Socialization. Early child rearing was performed by the women of the family. A descriptive name would be ceremonially bestowed, with the name's attributes influencing the child's life. Few constraints were placed on children. Pre- and early teens began imitating adult camp activities. No formal puberty rituals were conducted for boys or girls, though girls were prohibited from interacting with others during their first and all subsequent menstruations. Vision questing by male youth helped secure a guardian spirit that would guide a young man throughout his life. Berdaches were not discouraged and were relatively common in prereservation times. Public and Catholic boarding schools have assumed much of the responsibility for socialization.

Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. Crow society continues to be nonstratified and equalitarian. Complementing the kinshipbased clans are reservation district-based groups. A central organizing principle around which much of Crow society revolves is understood in the Crow term for clan, ashammaleaxia, literally meaning "as driftwood lodges. " As an individual piece of driftwood may not survive the powerful eddies and boulders of the Yellowstone and Bighorn rivers, an individual Crow may have difficulty surviving the river of life with its potential adversaries, whether the Blackfeet or unemployment and discrimination. By tightly lodging itself with other pieces of driftwood along the river's bank, the driftwood is protected. Individual Crow are protected and nurtured when lodged securely in the extensive web of mutually supportive kinship, social, and economic ties.

Political Organization. After the acquisition of the horse male leadership roles such as the "chief came to be based on achieving a series of war deeds or coups. Four generally recognized coups signified chiefly status: touching an enemy during combat, taking an enemy's weapon, taking a tethered horse, and leading a raid on an enemy known as a "pipe holder. " The Crow did not adopt most of the specific provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and wrote their own constitution in 1948. It established a general-council government made up of every adult member of the tribe. The council elects four officers, a chairman, a vice-chairman, a secretary, and a vice-secretary. Both men and women have served in these offices. Various governing committees oversee activities such as land purchases, industrial development, housing, education, and tribal enrollment. Tribal police and court systems are under the jurisdiction of the council.

Social Control. Conflict within the tribe could erupt between rival suitors or take the form of renewed long-standing feuds involving members of clans or military sodalities. In addition to the counsel provided by clan elders and chiefs, the threat of an escalation of fighting could mediate or resolve a conflict. Nevertheless, conflict between tribal members could end in armed fighting. In the 1990s tribal police and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents enforced laws and attempted to prevent intratribal conflicts. Tribal courts oversee tribal law codes and misdemeanors, and felonies are handled in U. S. federal courts.

Conflict. Conflict with another tribe could result from the desire for revenge, to gain honor (coups), or to capture a horse. Warfare did not result from attempts at territorial expansion by the Crow. During combat with another tribe much of the coordination of the warriors was orchestrated through the military sodalities, such as the Foxes and Lump-woods. Each sodality had its own regalia and songs and exhibited intense rivalry as it attempted to outdo the others in combat. Ad hoc war parties could be organized to seek limited ends. During the twentieth century Crow men and women regularly served in the U. S. military and were honored publicly as veterans of foreign wars.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. Although addressed by a number of names, an omnipresent though nonanthropomorphic creator is understood to be ultimately responsible for the animation of the world. Direct spiritual access is mediated through "medicine fathers" or guardian spirits. Often expressed as an animal such as an eagle, buffalo, or elk, medicine fathers are sought in vision quests. If the quest is successful, the vision seeker is "adopted" by the medicine father and given a "medicine, " a spiritual power known as baaxpee. Represented in a medicine bundle, the baaxpee helps guide one's life and is applied when one is ill. The Crow attribute their origins and the creation of the world to the trickster Old Man Coyote. Old Man Coyote is traveling alone in a cold and wet world. As four ducks fly over, he asks each to dive beneath the waters and bring up some earth so that he can make the land. The first three ducks dive unsuccessfully. Old Man Coyote asks the fourth duck, Hell-Diver, to bring up some earth. The duck dives deep and finally surfaces with a small piece of mud. With this earth Old Man Coyote travels from east to west and makes the mountains and rivers and the animals and plants. As it is still a lonely place, he molds from the earth an image he likes and blows a small breath into it. The first man is made, but Old Man Coyote is not satisfied. He tries again and prefers his second attempt, the first woman. Old Man Coyote is no longer alone. He teaches the people how to live and pray and gives them their language and clan system and many of their ceremonies.

Religious Practitioners. A variety of individuals perform different religious functions. Herbalists have extensive knowledge of plant remedies to treat specific illnesses. Certain medicine men and women with baaxpee conduct hunting and healing ceremonies, foretell the future, locate lost items or individuals, and officiate over Sun Dances and Peyote Meetings. Although access to and the acquisition of medicine were widespread among the adult population in former times, being a medicine person continues to entail having a variety of medicines and being publicly acknowledged by other members of the community. Christian practices are coordinated by priests and ministers.

Ceremonies. Ceremonies permeate all aspects of Crow life. Individual family medicine bundles are opened throughout the year, and prayers for the family's welfare are offered. Sweat lodge rituals involve prayer, ritual cleansing, and healing. Youths seek their medicine during a summer's vision quest. Unique to the Crow is the Tobacco Society. The sacred tobacco seeds are planted and harvested by its adopted members. A bountiful tobacco seed harvest foretells a success year for the entire tribe. After the acquisition of the horse the summer's Sun Dance became a prominent ceremonial expression, helping to unite the tribe and providing a means to obtain baaxpee to avenge the death of a relative. Although the last "buffalo-days" Sun Dance was held in 1875, Sun Dancing resumed in the 1940s, though with a different motivation. As many as 120 men and women participate in the dance. Each dancer pledges to go without food and water and "dry up" to help a relative who may be sick or in need. Typically, the dances last three days. During the Sun Dance individual participants offer prayers for family members and the welfare of all peoples, the sick are "doctored" by medicine men, and individual dancers may be given a vision. Other forms of ceremonial expression are found in Native American Church Peyote Meetings as well as Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, and Evangelical Christian services.

Arts. Made with Crow-stitch and overlay-stitch techniques, geometric and floral beadwork designs adorn powwow dance regalia, belts, vests, pipe bags, and horse trappings. A characteristic Crow beadwork and painted raw--hide parfleche design is the "hourglass" formed by two isosceles triangles joined at the apex. Powwow dancing and singing occur throughout the year, culminating in the annual Crow Fair, which involves up to twenty thousand participants attending the weeklong celebrations in August. Among many families the winter is a time for telling Coyote stories and maintaining other oral traditions. The story of Burnt Face is an important oral tradition. A young boy is badly scarred and subsequently ostracized. He fasts from food and water for several days in the Big Horn Mountains. While on the mountain he assembles the "Big Horn Medicine Wheel" as a gift to the Sun. Having given of himself, Burnt Face is "adopted" by the Little People, who remove his scar. He returns to his people and becomes a great healer. Using Euro-American painting techniques and Indian subjects, several Crow artists have gained an international reputation.

Medicine. Illness and misfortune can be attributed to both natural and spiritual causes. A variety of plants were and continue to be used for medicinal purposes. An example is "bear root, " which is used as a tea to treat sore throats and colds, made into a poultice for swelling, and burned as incense during sweat bathing. Ritual healing during a sweat bath, Sun Dance, Peyote Meeting, or medicine bundle opening also be applied to effect a cure. A "jealous" individual may use "bad medicine" to "shoot" an object into a person. The ritual healing can involve a medicine man "sucking" the object out. Sickness also can be treated with an eagle feather fan. The fan and baaxpee are applied to the afflicted area of the patient and then removed, pulling out the sickness. The application of scientific medicine typically is viewed as complementary to the use of tribal healing practices.

Death and Afterlife, Upon death an individual traditionally would be wrapped in a blanket with his or her favorite possessions and placed either on a burial scaffold or in a tree. After decomposition the bones and remaining articles would be buried in the earth or a rock crevice. After death the kinsmen of the deceased would begin a period of mourning lasting up to a year, refraining from participation in most social events. Immediate family members, both male and female, would cut their hair short, gash themselves with knives, and often cut off finger joints. While the spirit of the deceased may remain close to the corpse, it eventually moves on to a camp of the dead. During this transition period the ghost of the deceased may visit its living relatives or may be heard in the call of an owl. If death came in a violent fashion, the ghost may continue to visit relatives until a ceremony placating it is performed. In most families there was little concern with or articulation of the nature of life after death. In the twentieth century Christian practices and ideas increasingly were integrated into wakes and burial ceremonies and in the conceptualization of an afterlife.

For the original article on the Crow, see Volume 1, North America.

Bibliography

Frey, Rodney (1987). The World of the Crow Indians: As Drift--wood Lodges. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press.

Linderman, Frank (1930). Plenty Coups: Chief of the Crows. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

(1932). Pretty Shield: Medicine Woman of the Crows. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Lowie, Robert H. (1935, revised 1956). The Crow Indians. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Medicine Crow, Joseph (1992). From the Heart of Crow Country. New York: Orion Books.

Nabokov, Peter (1967). Two Leggings: The Making of a Crow Warrior. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.

Snell, Alma Logan, and Becky Matthews, editors (2000). Grandmother's Grandchild: My Crow Indian Life. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Voget, Fred (1984). The Shoshoni-Crow Sun Dance. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press.

(1995). They Call Me Agnes: A Crow Narrative Based on the Life of Agnes Yellow tail Deer nose. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press.

Yellow tail, Thomas, as told to Michael Fitzgerald (1991). Yel· lowtail: Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief (An Autobiography). Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press.

RODNEY FREY

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crow." Encyclopedia of World Cultures Supplement. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow." Encyclopedia of World Cultures Supplement. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow

"Crow." Encyclopedia of World Cultures Supplement. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow

Crow

Crow

ETHNONYMS: Absarokee, Apsaalooke, Apsaroke

The Crow are an American Indian group who today live primarily on the Crow Reservation in Big Horn and Yellowstone counties, Montana. The 1980 U.S. census counted 7,074 Crow of whom 4,846 were in Montana, with about 4,000 living on the reservation. The Crow and Hidatsa are closely related linguistically and evidently formed one group in the past before the Crow split off and moved west where they eventually adopted a nomadic bison-hunting life-style typical of the Plains culture of the 1800s. The Crow and Hidatsa languages are classified as a subfamily in the Siouan language family. The Crow language is still spoken regularly on the reservation. The Crow were often at war with the Blackfoot and Teton but maintained generally peaceful trade relations with the Shoshone and Hidatsa. Regular contact with Whites, which began in the early 1800s, was usually peaceful, with the Crow often serving as scouts for the U.S. Army. In 1851 the Crow were given a 38-million-acre reservation, which was much reduced in size in 1868. The Crow Reservation today contains 335,951 acres of tribal land, with an additional 1,229,628 acres allotted to individuals.

As with other Plains groups, Crow life centered on hunting bison from horseback to obtain food and most other material objects. The tipi was the major type of dwelling. The Crow were divided into thirteen exogamous matrilineal clans and six phratries. There were also named military and social societies, with membership through election. The camps were governed by a council of esteemed warriors and a head chief, who achieved this status through succesful military exploits. Governance today rests with the tribal council composed of all adults on the reservation and an executive committee comprising seventeen district representatives. Special Commissions oversee specific activities or projects such as water and utilities and industrial development. Following the Decline of the bison after 1880, the Crow turned to horse and cattle raising and farming on the reservation. Today, compared to many other American Indian groups, the Crow are well-off financially, although the poverty and unemployment rates are several times higher than the national averages. Individual and tribal income is derived from ranching, farming, manufacturing, commercial establishments, wage and salaried labor, and tourism, with many tourists visiting the Custer Battlefield National Monument on the reservation and the fairs and rodeos run by the Crow. The tribe also operates Little Big Horn College at Crow Agency, Montana.

The traditional religion centered on beliefs in various spirits, the Trickster (Coyote), visions, and vision quests. Shamanism, although not highly developed, existed. Shamans were those who had acquired stronger supernatural powers in certain endeavors through especially important visions. The Sun Dance and Tobacco Society ceremonies were the most important, and both are still performed today. Most Crow have now been converted to either Roman Catholicism or Protestantism, though traditional beliefs and practices continue.


Bibliography

Frey, Rodney (1987). The World of the Crow Indians: As Driftwood Lodges. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Lowie, Robert H. (1935). The Crow Indians. New York: Farrar & Rinehart.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crow." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-1

"Crow." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-1

Crow

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

CROW

CROW. The Crow Indians of Montana call themselves Apsáalooke, or "Children of the Large-Beaked Bird." This term was erroneously translated as "Crow" by early European traders and has since been their English name. The ancestors of the Crows were affiliated with the Hidatsa of the upper Missouri River. In the late 1400s they migrated westward, coming to control southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming. Historically, the Crows were nomadic hunters and warriors who lived in tipis, traveled in search of game, primarily buffalo, and fought intertribal battles over honors and horses.

The Crows were divided into three political bands: the Mountain Crows, who lived along the Yellowstone River; the River Crows, who occupied the territory north of the Yellowstone River; and the Kicked in the Bellies, who moved about the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming.

By the 1700s the Crows were important middlemen in an intertribal trade network. To the east they traded horses and products of the hunt with the Hidatsa and Mandan for agricultural goods and European trade items, especially the gun. To the west they traded with the Shoshones and Nez Perce for horses, decorative shells, and edible roots.

In the mid-1800s, other native groups, especially the Lakotas and their allies, had moved into Crow territory. In response, the Crows often assisted the U.S. military against a common enemy and to maintain control of their land. With the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, the Crows gradually came under the control of the federal government.

Their present reservation is a mere 2.2 million acres, compared to the 38 million acres they once controlled. In 2000 their population was slightly more then 10,000 individuals, with most living on or near the reservation. Contemporary Crow people have accepted some Euro-American practices and beliefs, but they continue to utilize their native language and culture.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Frey, Rodney. The World of the Crow Indians: As Driftwood Lodges. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.

Hoxie, Frederick E. Parading Through History: The Making of the Crow Nation in America, 1805–1935. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Lowie, Robert Harry. The Crow Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

McCleary, Timothy P. The Stars We Know: Crow Indian Astronomy and Lifeways. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1997.

Medicine Crow, Joseph. From the Heart of the Crow Country: The Crow Indians' Own Stories. New York: Orion Books, 1992.

Timothy P.McCleary

See alsoLaramie, Fort, Treaty of ; Tribes: Great Plains ; andvol. 9:Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crow." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow

"Crow." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow

crow

crow figurative uses may refer to carrion crows feeding on the bodies of the dead, and the bird is also taken as a type of blackness.

A crow is the emblem of St Anthony of Egypt and St Paul the first hermit (see St Paul2), who were brought a loaf of bread by a crow or raven.
as the crow flies as directly as possible; the expression is recorded from the early 19th century.
crow quill a quill pen made from a large feather of a crow's wing, formerly used for fine writing.
crow's foot a branching wrinkle at the outer corner of a person's eye.
crow steps the steplike projections on the sloping part of a gable, common in Flemish architecture and 16th- and 17th-century Scottish buildings.
eat crow in North American usage, be humiliated by having to admit one's defeats or mistakes (crow here is taken as a type of poor and unpalatable food).
white crow a rare thing or event, a rara avis; the expression is recorded from the 16th century.

See also on the first of March, the crows begin to search.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crow." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crow." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow

"crow." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow

crow (in zoology)

crow, partially migratory black bird, genus Corvus, of the same family as the raven, the magpie, the jay, and the rook and the jackdaw of Europe. The American, or common, crow, C. brachyrhynchos, about 19 in. (49 cm) long, has a wingspread of over 3 ft (92 cm). Crows eat some eggs and nestlings and grain, but destroy many harmful insects and rodents. In winter they gather at night by thousands in communal roosts. Their throaty "caw" is familiar, although they can also produce a musical warble. Crows, along with the other members of the family Corvidae, are considered to be the most intelligent of all birds. They are easily tamed and can learn to mimic some human sounds. The New Caledonian crow, C. moneduloides, is especially noted for its intelligence with respect to tools and toolmaking; it can use sticks, wire, string, and other objects as tools and can reshape them so that the object is better suited to a specific use. The fish crow, C. ossifragus, of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts is smaller than the common crow. The carrion crow, C. corone, of Eurasia is a flesh-eating bird 18 to 20 in. (46–51 cm) long. Crows are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Corvidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crow (in zoology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crow (in zoology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-zoology

"crow (in zoology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-zoology

Crow (indigenous people of North America)

Crow, indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Siouan branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages) and who call themselves the Absaroka, or bird people. They ranged chiefly in the area of the Yellowstone River and its tributaries and were a hunting tribe typical of the Plains cultural area. Their only crop was tobacco, which they used for pleasure and religious purposes. Until the 18th cent. the Crow lived with the Hidatsa on the upper Missouri River; after a dispute they migrated westward until they reached the Rocky Mts. The Crow developed a highly complex social system. They were enemies of the Sioux and helped the whites in the Sioux wars. Today most Crow live in Montana, near the Little Bighorn, where tourism, ranching, and mineral leases provide tribal income. In 1990 there were over 9,000 Crow in the United States.

See R. H. Lowie, The Crow Indians (1935, repr. 2004); P. Nabokov, Two Leggings: The Making of a Crow Warrior (1967); E. G. Denig, Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri (1975).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crow (indigenous people of North America)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow (indigenous people of North America)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-indigenous-people-north-america

"Crow (indigenous people of North America)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-indigenous-people-north-america

crow

crow1 / krō/ • n. 1. a large perching bird (genus Corvus) with mostly glossy black plumage, a heavy bill, and a raucous voice. The crow family (Corvidae) also includes the ravens, jays, magpies, choughs, and nutcrackers. 2. (the Crow) the constellation Corvus. PHRASES: as the crow flies in a straight line. eat crow inf. be humiliated by having to admit one's defeats or mistakes. crow2 • v. (past crowed or Brit. crew / kroō/ ) [intr.] (of a cock) utter its characteristic loud cry. ∎  (of a person) make a sound expressing a feeling of happiness or triumph. ∎  say something in a tone of gloating satisfaction: avoid crowing about your success. • n. [usu. in sing.] the cry of a cock. ∎  a sound made by a person expressing triumph or happiness: she gave a little crow of triumph.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-2

"crow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-2

crow

crow Large, black bird found in many temperate woodlands and farm areas worldwide. Living in large flocks, crows prey on small animals and eat plants and carrion. They can be crop pests. They are intelligent birds and can sometimes be taught to repeat phrases. The female lays three to six greenish eggs. Family Corvidae. See also jay; magpie; raven; rook

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crow." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crow." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-0

"crow." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow-0

Crow

Crow Large tribe of Siouan-speaking Native Americans who separated in the early 18th century from the Hidatsa. They migrated into the Rocky Mountains region from the upper Missouri River. Today, they occupy a large reservation area in Montana, where they were settled in 1868. They are noted for their fine costumes, artistic culture, and complex social system.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crow." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow

"Crow." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow

crow

crow 2 utter the cry of a cock. OE. crāwan, corr. to Du. kraaien, OHG. krā(w)en (G. krähen). WGmc. word of imit. orig. The str. pt. is still prevalent in the proper sense, but crowed is used in the sense ‘utter joyful cries’.
Hence crow sb. act of crowing XIII.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-4

"crow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-4

Crow

Crow

The cawing of a crow is said to be an omen of evil. Another superstition claims that if a crow croaks an odd number of times, the weather will be bad; if even, the weather will be fine. In general, the crow has been considered a messenger of death since ancient times.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crow." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow

"Crow." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/crow

Crow

Crow / krō/ • n. (pl. same or Crows) 1. a member of an American Indian people inhabiting eastern Montana. 2. the Siouan language of this people. • adj. of or relating to this people or their language.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Crow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-1

"Crow." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-1

crow

crow 1 black carrion-feeding bird OE.; bar of iron with beak-like end XIV. OE. crāwe, corr. to OS. krāia (Du kraai), OHG. krāwa, krā(ha) (G. krähe); f. next.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-3

"crow." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-3

crow

crowaglow, ago, alow, although, apropos, art nouveau, Bamako, Bardot, beau, Beaujolais Nouveau, below, bestow, blow, bo, Boileau, bons mots, Bordeaux, Bow, bravo, bro, cachepot, cheerio, Coe, crow, Defoe, de trop, doe, doh, dos-à-dos, do-si-do, dough, dzo, Flo, floe, flow, foe, foreknow, foreshow, forgo, Foucault, froe, glow, go, good-oh, go-slow, grow, gung-ho, Heathrow, heave-ho, heigh-ho, hello, ho, hoe, ho-ho, jo, Joe, kayo, know, lo, low, maillot, malapropos, Marceau, mho, Miró, mo, Mohs, Monroe, mot, mow, Munro, no, Noh, no-show, oh, oho, outgo, outgrow, owe, Perrault, po, Poe, pro, quid pro quo, righto, roe, Rouault, row, Rowe, sew, shew, show, sloe, slow, snow, so, soh, sow, status quo, stow, Stowe, strow, tally-ho, though, throw, tic-tac-toe, to-and-fro, toe, touch-and-go, tow, trow, undergo, undersow, voe, whacko, whoa, wo, woe, Xuzhou, yo, yo-ho-ho, Zhengzhou, Zhou

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crow." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crow." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-0

"crow." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crow-0