Road Trip Roundup: Dirty Foot, Crazy Head

While we were in Montana, we visited Chief Plenty Coups State Park.

Who was Plenty Coups? A Crow chief “whose bravery, leadership and vision helped bridge the gap between two cultures.”

The main feature of the park was Plenty Coups’ log home, which he built in 1884.

Plenty Coups house

He lived there with at least two of his wives (Kills Together & Strikes the Iron) until passing away in 1932 at the age of 84.

Inside the house, along one wall, were several huge maps “indicating original ownership of land” within the region. Here’s a small portion:

Chief Plenty Coups - Landowner Map

Many of the landowners had names that were popular during that era (early 20th century). Examples include Albert, Alva, Charles, George, Frank and Sarah.

But many others had descriptive Native American names–all rendered in English. Here are a whole bunch of examples:

All alone
Among the fog
Annie plentygood
Back of the head
Bear that raises his paw
Begs plenty
Big hoot
Big shoulder blade
Bird by himself
Bird everyway
Bird ties knot on top of head
Bird without a cloud
Buffalo neckhair
Buffalo that grunts
Bull moves all the time
Bullets don’t strike him
Can’t get up
Can’t shoot him
Carson rides a pretty horse
Charges five times
Charges madly on the enemy
Cleans up the ice
Corner of the mouth
Covers his face
Crack of the gun
Crazy head
Crazy sister-in-law
Crooked face
David bad boy
Dirty foot
Does anything
Does everything
Does lots of things
Donald passes everything
Don’t fall down
Drinking all the time
Everything is hers
Finds his enemies
Fire weasel
Flat boy
Gets down often
Gets hold of the dead
Gets their medicine tobacco
Gives lots of things away
Goes against the wind
Goes to look at prisoners
Goes with the whites and kills
Good to prisoners
Goose goes over the hill
Got two scalps
Hairy alligator
Hairy moccasin
Hector knows the gun
Helps the whole camp
Herbert crooked arm
Horns on her neck
Horse stays all the time
Hugs the weasel
Hunts to lie down
James loves to fight
John shot in the nose
Kills at the door
Kills close
Kills one man
Kills over beyond the other
Kills plenty enemies
Kills with her husband
Kills with her mother
Kills with his bro-in-law
Knot between the eyes
Knows her luck
Knows her scalp
Knows the road
Knows the whole camp
Knows to take a horse
Knows where to find things
Looks at the bear
Looks at the medicine
Looks at the one comes from war
Looks at the rising sun
Loves to fight
Lots of stars
Louise enemy hunter
Many necklaces
Mortimer dreamer
Nearly gone
Nettie driftwood
Nice knife
No mud
Not a pretty woman
Not afraid
Otter goes a long way
Paints her face pretty
Pipe that talks
Plays with himself
Plenty lodge poles
Points gun in his face
Pounded meat
Puts medicine in water
Red feet
Rides a sorrel horse
Rides everything
Root digger
Sees all over the ground
Sees in the mouth
Sees the ground all the time
She is a woman
She is high up
Shoots her foot
Shoots pretty things oldtail
Shoots tent poles
Shouts loud
Shows the pipe
Shuts her eye among enemy
Sing among the tobacco
Sits among the cedars
Sits before a cloud
Sits on the blanket
Sits on the sweathouse
Sits with a star
Sits with the alligator
Sits with the stars
Small heart
Snapping dog
Stays there
Strikes and strikes again
Strikes between the forts
Strikes one with a lance
Strikes the one with a hat
Strikes the thief in camp
Swamp flag
Sweathouse wellknown
Takes a crooked stick
Takes a gun first
Takes hold of the cloth
Takes pretty scalps
Takes the dead
Takes things first
Takes things on top of house
Talks everything
The spleen
Theodore ridesahorse
Tobacco sings
Top of the moccasin
Two barreled gun
Walks over ice
White clay on forehead
White forehead
Wind blowing
Wolf looks up
Working mouse
Yellow fringe
Young chicken

How were names chosen among the Crow?

Newborns were typically named by a noted warrior — a godfather of sorts. “The name was to reflect some experience of the godfather’s, hence women as well as men bore names reminiscent of some feat of arms.” Names were also sometimes inspired by visions.

“If the child proved sickly, the godfather gave him a new name; and if the infant’s condition then failed to mend, another man was asked to rename him.”

As adults, women rarely changed their names, but men “frequently did so after some creditable deed.”

Source: Lowie, Robert H. The Crow Indians. 2nd ed. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

[What’s this road trip all about?]

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