Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Gregory Campbell

Commitee Members

Kimber Haddix McKay, Rosalyn LaPier


bitterroot, ceremony, Echinacea, huckleberry, iilapxe, juniper, myth, Old Man, oral history, pine, sage, sundance, sweat lodge, sweetgrass, tobacco, tobacco society, tradition, bear root, Ihchihchiaee, yucca, baaxpe, cattail, Iisee


University of Montana


The aim of this project was to provide a preliminary understanding of the Crow’s usage of plants. Ethnohistorical data, combined with botanical information, were utilized to give an overview of Crow ethnobotany. By focusing on the Crow tribe's views on health, religion, and food, we can provide an understanding their traditional knowledge about plants. Information was gathered from a select literature review of existing research. Chapter One addressed methods, theory, and significance of the project including an explanation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Native North American ethnobotany. Chapter Two discussed Crow historical ethnography which includes a historical overview of their emergence from the Hidatsa, an explanation of their worldview and cosmology, a brief description of their religious ceremonies, as well as an explanation of the etiology of their illnesses. Chapter Three contained a list of eighty-two plants used by the Crow. The plants were listed alphabetically by Latin name first, followed by their common name, Crow name, the English translation of the Crow name, and additional common names. They were grouped by family. Each plant had a description of its appearance and location, and an explanation of how the Crows used the plant. The uses were categorized as tools, toys, toiletries, technology, food, medicine, and religion. Chapter Four was a critique on the complications and benefits of traditional ecological knowledge.

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