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Custer Battlefield Museum

Where the Battle of the Little Big Horn began . . . Garryowen, Montana

Crow Fair
Uhba'asaxpiluua - "Where they make the noise."



The 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.  Crow 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 livestock disappeared.

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.


Photographs Copyright Custer Battlefield Museum, 2009



Custer Battlefield Museum  1-90 Exit 514  Town Hall, P. O. Box 200, Garryowen, MT  59031  (406) 638-1876

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