Thursday, January 19, 2017

Crow Indian Chief Plenty Coups

Crow Indian Chief Plenty Coups

Chief Plenty Coups

Chief Plenty Coups

Chief Plenty Coups, chief of the Crow Nation, was exalted to the head of all the Crows because of his untarnished valour on the field of battle, because of the supremacy of his statesmanship, and his loyalty to the interests of his tribe. He derived his name, “many coups,” from the fact that he was able to add eagle feather after eagle feather to his coup stick, counting coups in victory. When a lad of sixteen his brother was killed by the Sioux. The boy, bewildered with grief, climbed for two days, struggling to reach the summit of some high peak in the Crazy Mountains, there to give vent to his grief and pray for revenge. While he prayed to the sun he mutilated his body. Upon those lonely heights, never 
before desecrated by human footsteps, he dedicated his life to battle. Before he was twenty-six he had counted a coup of each kind and was made a chief, and named “Many Achievements.” At sixty-three years of age he stands as erect as a solitary pine on a lonely hill crest. He has the bearing and dignity of a royal prince and wears his honours and war dress with all the pride and courtliness of a patrician. He glories in the fact that from his earliest days he has never fought the white man, but his life has been a long series of conflicts with other Indian nations. Before the white man ever placed his footsteps upon Indian soil his days were filled with struggle in warding off the blows of hostile tribes who sought the women and the horses of his own people. Then, to use his own expression: “The Great Father ordered that we should stop fighting and live in peace, and since that time we have had allotments of land, schools have been built for the education of our children, and as an illustration of the feelings of my heart to-day, I am at peace with all the tribes, they are all my brothers, and I meet them all as one man. I shall live for my country and shall remain in peace, as I feel peaceful toward my country.” The reign of this great chief over his tribe is one of benignity and beneficence. He is greatly concerned in his last days to raise up young men who shall know the rights and opportunities of his people 
and who shall thus have influence at Washington, which he has many times visited and where he is always welcome. The smile of Chief Plenty Coups is worth crossing many miles of prairie to see. It was eminently fitting that this great chief on the grounds of his own Indian tribe should receive the chiefs attending the last Great Indian Council.