The Crow were subdivided into thirteen clans, described in detail in Robert H. Each of tribal subgroups (large groups of closely related families) was headed by a man with a distinguish record in intertribal war. Members of all clans were found in the Acaraho, Minisepere, and Erarapio encampments.
Each encampment was governed by a council of chiefs, shamans, and tribal elders. Chiefs were individuals who attained this title by performing four specific deeds: leading successful war parties, counting coup by touching enemy and escaping, taking a enemies weapon from him, cutting loose a enemies horse from their camp. One member of the tribal council, usually a chief, was elected head of each encampment. At all levels, chiefs lost their power if they stopped living up to Crow ideals.
The Crow men were divided into men's military societies such as Foxes, Lumpwood, Crazy Dogs, Big Dogs, and Ravens. Membership in the societies was open to any proven warrior. The societies, each having its own rules and customs, competed to recruit the most promising young men. Every spring, one military society was appointed as the tribal police force to keep order in Crow encampments, enforce discipline during important tribal activities such as the buffalo hunt, and keep war parties from setting out at inappropriate times. .
Lifestyles and Culture.
It has been said that the nameCrow? (or Kite) came from the false impression of French explorers and that the tribe was actually named for the sparrow hawk. The Absaroka arose between the mid-sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, after two groups broke away from the Hidatsa tribe. Hidatsas were Indian agriculturalists who lived along the Missouri River. There are several Crow legends about the basis for the split. It is believed that the first Crows were Awatixa Hidatsas who became disenchanted with the lifestyle associated with farming and sought the excitement to be found in a society of nomad hunter-gathers.