The Apsaroke (Crow)

The Apsaroke consisted of two bands, the dominant one being the Many Lodges Asadhaho, the so-called Mountain Crows. The Binesupede, usually known as the River Crows, although part of the tribe, were not so closely associated with the main group and were considered inferior by the powerful Many Lodges, who were likened by one of their old men to a great pack of mountain wolves, all in a solid mass facing outward on every side so that none could successfully attack them, while they could rush out at any movement upon unwary foe.

There were four tribal societies [warrior societies] -- Lumpwood, Fox, Big Dog, and Muddy Hand. While all embodied minor features designed for social entertainment, they were in reality military organizations. Among them existed a spirit of intense rivalry in war and in the case of the Lumpwood and Fox societies, their members extended this rivalry to affairs of the heart.

As told by Hunts To Die: "At the season when the grass begins to turn green the Lumpwoods and Foxes felt very strong: the blood ran fast in their veins. This was the time when the new staffs were made, and often they were completed and distributed, every one went into the open, where each society sang its wild songs, challenging the others. Still singing, they marched around the village to the lodge of some member. There one who had been slyly looking into the eyes of a wife of a member of the rival society was sent to get her. With a companion he went to her lodge, usually waiting until they saw her husband going there, for they preferred to take her away before his eyes..."

"As soon as one woman had been brought, others who had sweet-hearts among the wives of the rival society were sent out to bring them in if they could, and all this time the members of the other organizations were doing their best to take the wives of these men. It was an occasion of great rivalry as to which should capture the greater number of wives, and the contest continued for six days after the making of the staffs."