Crow Tribe Lesson for Kids: History & Traditions

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

In this lesson, you'll learn about the Crow, a tribe of Native Americans that have lived in the United States for hundreds of years. Read on to find out about their lifestyle and where the Crow live today.

Children of the Large-Beaked Bird

The Crow lived on lands that are now part of Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana, in the valley of the Yellowstone River, for hundreds of years. Also called the Apsáalooke, which means ''children of the large-beaked bird,'' they were called the ''Crow'' because Europeans incorrectly translated their name to mean ''children of the crow.''

Unlike some Native American tribes, the Crow language is both spoken and written. Their writing system is called Apsáalooke ammaalaátuua.


In the past, the Crow were hunter-gatherers. The men captured mostly elk, mountain sheep, deer, and bison, which was the main food source. Crow women gathered available food, such as berries, herbs, nuts and roots.

Crow Tribe

Most of the Crow clans didn't raise food, but they did raise tobacco. A few clans did do some farming, and they raised corn, squash, and beans for food. They also had many dogs, but they didn't use them for food.

Crow Appearance and Travel

Both Crow men and women wore moccasins, which are soft shoes made of animal skin. The women had short hair, while the men had very long hair. Some men had hair that was so long it touched the ground! The Crow wore clothing made from the skins of deer and bison, which was decorated with embroidery, beads, elk teeth, and porcupine quills dyed different colors.

Horses were very important to the Crow people, and they were skilled at catching and stealing them. Crow often walked great distances in hopes of catching or stealing a horse from their enemies to ride back home.

Crow Warrior

When the Crow needed to travel long distances, they used a travois, which was a flat sled that was pulled along over the land. It could be pulled by horses, dogs, or by people, and was used to transport people, food, or just about anything else.

Role of Women

Even several hundred years ago, when Europeans and Americans didn't give women the right to vote, Crow women were very powerful; sometimes they were even chiefs! Their opinions were important and they had a say in tribal decisions.

Crow women cared for their children and home, and were responsible for building the tipis in which the Crow lived. Because the Crow were nomadic, which means they moved frequently, their tipis had to be movable.

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