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Ancient History
Native American History
Crows

What did the crow tribe eat?

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October 13, 2012 12:58PM

As true Plains nomads the Crow people depended almost entirely on large game animals for food: buffalo (bison), elk, deer, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep. Meat made up over 90% of the diet, with wild plant foods, berries and other foods making up the rest.

Pemmican was dried meat pounded with fat and berries, that would be preserved for many months. Fruit included sarvis berries, juneberries, bitterberries, bullberries, chokecherries and wild plums.

Each year a specific person who dreamed in a certain way would sponsor the festival known as iru'k-oce waraxu'a "Cooked Meat Singing" - a combination of social and ritual celebrations in which sacred stones and the bear spirit played a part. People brought meat and bones for a huge communal feast, which was accompanied by rituals and singing, as well as gift-giving.

Wild carrot (ise' in Crow, also known as bear root) was widely used as a medicine as well as a ceremonial incense; it could be eaten, made into an ointment or a liniment rub for aching limbs. Wild turnip was also used in a kind of bread.

Berries and roots would only be available for very short periods each year, so collecting them was a seasonal chore for the women and children.
As true Plains nomads the Crow people depended almost entirely on large game animals for food: buffalo (bison), elk, deer, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep. Meat made up over 90% of the diet, with wild plant foods, berries and other foods making up the rest.

Pemmican was dried meat pounded with fat and berries, that would be preserved for many months. Fruit included sarvis berries, juneberries, bitterberries, bullberries, chokecherries and wild plums.

Each year a specific person who dreamed in a certain way would sponsor the festival known as iru'k-oce waraxu'a "Cooked Meat Singing" - a combination of social and ritual celebrations in which sacred stones and the bear spirit played a part. People brought meat and bones for a huge communal feast, which was accompanied by rituals and singing, as well as gift-giving.

Wild carrot (ise' in Crow, also known as bear root) was widely used as a medicine as well as a ceremonial incense; it could be eaten, made into an ointment or a liniment rub for aching limbs. Wild turnip was also used in a kind of bread.

Berries and roots would only be available for very short periods each year, so collecting them was a seasonal chore for the women and children.