August begins to bring
the slightest relief from the scorching heat of mid-summer, just
as the Crow Nation gathers together for their annual inter-tribal
fair and festival. Many have prepared for months to make the
pilgrimage to Southwestern Montana, while others who live nearby
stay ready year-round for this memorable event. Artisans, dancers,
healers, pow wow princesses, and even rodeo cowboys will present
their talents and skills as awards are given, trades are made,
and good times are had by all.
Perhaps the most striking
scene of all are the many traditional Plains Indian tipis that
are errected in the camp along the river in the days and weeks
leading up to Crow Fair. Emerging from one of those lodges might
be this man, adorned with a ceremonial eagle feather headdress
- customarily worn by chiefs or other special guests and dignitaries.
A look of honor is proudly emblazoned across his face as he stares
intently at the young men and women dancing in the arena.