Fools Crow

Fools Crow

by

James Welch

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Fools Crow: Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Fools Crow goes out hunting alone. As he thinks about the Napikwans and the seizers, he wonders why Sun Chief has deserted the people. A figure in the distance suddenly distracts him. It is Fast Horse. He tells Fools Crow that he has ridden far and wide, and now he has been shot. Fools Crow helps him home to Boss Ribs, who seems disappointed rather than excited to see his son.
Fools Crow’s assumption that the Sun Chief has forsaken his people is evidence of his spirituality. He has just honored Sun Chief before the Medicine Pole and sacrificed his blood and flesh to the deity. The fact that the Napikwans are threatening his people is proof, according to Fools Crow, that Sun Chief has deserted the Pikunis.
Themes
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Three days later, Fast Horse wakes in Boss Ribs’ lodge. Boss Ribs tells his son that Mik-api has healed his body with his magic but couldn’t heal his soul. Because of this, Boss Ribs wants to teach Fast Horse the four hundred songs and ceremonies associated with the Beaver Medicine bundle. Boss Ribs reminds his son that “there is no room for a man who despises his fellows” in the tribe.
The sacred nature of the Beaver Medicine bundle highlights the importance of storytelling in Pikuni culture. Boss Ribs turns to the stories of the Pikuni people to heal his son, and therefore he reminds Fast Horse about the importance of community. Fast Horse’s soul will only be healed when he returns to his people.
Themes
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon