the Battle of the Little Big Horn began . . .
Uhba'asaxpiluua - "Where they
make the noise."
third week in August every year, the Crow Indian Reservation is
transformed into the "Tepee Capital of the World" as hundreds of
Crow Indian families, their relatives and guests gather to
celebrate the customs and traditions of their culture.
Crow Fair, the largest outdoor powwow in the United States, has
been described as the ultimate family reunion. Over 1,000
tepees are assembled along the banks of the Little Big Horn
River just outside Crow Agency, the town that serves as the
center of the tribal government.
Crow Fair was established in 1904 by S.C.
Reynolds, the local reservation superintendent and has become an
integral part of Crow tradition. The original intent of
the tribal gathering, formed by the local reservation
superintendent S.C. Reynolds, was to help the Crow Indians
become self-sufficient through farming.
Fair was patterned after agricultural Midwest county fairs where
cash prizes would be awarded for the best produce, handicrafts
and native foods. During the event, government
restrictions on traditional Indian ceremonies were lifted.
Over the years, more tribal and cultural events such as horse
racing and exhibition dancing were introduced
until the original intention of showing off produce and
Modern day Crow Fair is a six-day event
filled with daily parades, powwows, and rodeos. At the powwow
held in the Dance Arbor, drum groups perform in turn for highly
costumed dancers. Men and women dancers compete and are
judged on their footwork, body movement and attitude.
Copyright Custer Battlefield Museum, 2009