Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyondby Joseph Medicine Crow, Herman Viola
Picture a Crow Indian elder, his wizened eyes catching yours in the ancient flicker of firelight. His mesmerizing stories span the ages, from Custer to World War II to the 21st Century. He is the last traditional chief of his people. He is over 90 years old. Now picture that same man lecturing at colleges nationwide, and addressing the United Nations on the subject
Picture a Crow Indian elder, his wizened eyes catching yours in the ancient flicker of firelight. His mesmerizing stories span the ages, from Custer to World War II to the 21st Century. He is the last traditional chief of his people. He is over 90 years old. Now picture that same man lecturing at colleges nationwide, and addressing the United Nations on the subject of peace.
National Geographic presents the amazing life story of Joseph Medicine Crow, the man who begins life as Winter Man. Trained as a warrior by his grandfather, Yellowtail, he bathes in icy rivers and endures the ceremony of "counting coup"facing fierce combat with an enemy Sioux boy.
An operation at the local hospital brings the young Crow face-to-face with his worst fears: a Sioux, a ghost, and a white man. He excels at the white man's school and is raised in the Baptist faith. He translates the stories of the elder chiefs, becoming the link to the ancient traditions of the pre-reservation generation. His own dramatic and funny stories span both ages, and the ancient Crow legends are passed on in the storytelling tradition.
Joseph Medicine Crow's doctorate degree was interrupted by the call to arms of World War II. On the battlefields of Germany he earned the ancient status of War Chief by completing the four war deeds required of the Crow warrior.
In 1948 the Crow Tribal Council appointed Joseph Medicine Crow (now called High Bird) their Tribal Historian and Anthropologist.
Counting Coup is a vibrant adventure narrative, bringing Native American history and culture alive for young readers. Joseph Medicine Crow's story illuminates the challenges faced by the Crow people as hurricanes of change raged through America. His epic story and its lessons are an essential legacy for us all.
Gisela Jernigan, Ph.D.
Meet the Author
Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow lives in Lodge Grass, MT. He is the last traditional chief of the Crow tribe. His anthropology master's thesis, "The Effects of European Culture Contact Upon the Economic, Social, and Religious Life of the Crow Indians," and his book From the Heart of Crow Country: The Crow Indians' Own Story remains one of the most widely read resources on Crow culture today.
Dr. Herman J. Viola is a curator emeritus at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. His research specialties include the American Indian, the Civil War, and the exploration of the American West. He has authored numerous books for adults on these topics, including Exploring the West, After Columbus, Warrior Artists, and Little Bighorn Remembered: the Untold Indian Story of Custer's Last Stand. Viola's books for young people include the middle school social studies textbook Why We Remember and Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna, which he co-authored with Joseph Lekuton. Dr. Viola lives with his wife Susan in Falls Church, VA, and Bozman, MD.
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Living on the reservation is very hard, no food, no water, and almost no space to roam around. The memoir Counting Coup by Joseph Medicine Crow was about Joseph and all of the challenges he went through to become a war chief. First Joseph Medicine Crow writes about when he was a little boy and how he would spend time with different relatives. One of his grandfathers would always train him to be a warrior during the winter. Then Joseph got old and went into school and he was never good at it. Then he went to college and was the first person out of the Crow nation to graduate college. Then he talks about how he went into World War ll. I enjoyed this book because it had many stories about adventures and stories that the Crows have. I recommend this book for mostly teenage boys and under. I think they will like the adventures that he faced through out his life.