Crows, a tribe of American Indians, called by themselves Absaroka or Upsaroka, occupying when first known the basins of the Yellowstone, Big Horn, and Tongue rivers. They belong to the great Dakota family, having separated from the Minetaries or Gros Ventres, but were driven from their territory by the Ogallala Sioux and the Northern Cheyennes. In their turn they pressed on the Flatheads, Blackfeet, and other mountain tribes. They were roughly estimated about 1820 at 3,250. They are divided into three tribes, with as many dialects: the Kikatsa or Crows proper; the Ahnahaways, near the Mandans; and the Allakaweah. A treaty was made with them in 1825, by which they agreed to give passage to traders to New Mexico, and to remain at peace. They joined in 1851 with other Indians in a treaty giving the United States the right to run roads through their territory, and in return were to receive an annuity of $50,000 for 50 years; but the Sioux and Blackfeet often prevented agents from reaching the Crows to pay them.
By the treaty of Fort Union in 18G6 they gave lands for stations; and by a treaty in 18G8 it was attempted to place both the Mountain and River Crows (in all about 3,600) on reservations in Montana. Under these treaties the annual payments in 1872 were about $64,000 - They obtained horses at an early day, and became expert hunters and warriors of the plains. They are tall, well made, and remarkable for the extraordinary length of their hair. Catlin painted a chief whose hair swept the ground as he walked. They dress buffalo skins for lodges and attire till it is perfectly white, and the Crows and their lodges are easily recognized by this clean appearance.
Crow Indians - Chief in Full Dress.