Fools Crow

Fools Crow

by

James Welch

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Heavy Shield Woman Character Analysis

Yellow Kidney’s wife and mother to Red Paint, Good Young Man, and One Spot. When Yellow Kidney disappears during the horse raid on the Crows, Heavy Shield Woman pledges to take the vow of the Sacred Vow Woman at the summer ceremony in exchange for her husband’s safe return. He does return, and she successfully fulfills her vow, a role that ensures the health and prosperity of her people by way of her virtue; however, Heavy Shield Woman begins to question her role as Sacred Vow Woman, and by extension, she begins to question her virtue. A series of tragedies means that she has felt little peace since taking her vow, and she even considers renouncing her role. She ultimately remains in her role and is presumably killed in the outbreak of white-scabs disease.

Heavy Shield Woman Quotes in Fools Crow

The Fools Crow quotes below are all either spoken by Heavy Shield Woman or refer to Heavy Shield Woman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Fools Crow published in 1986.
Chapter 6 Quotes

But [White Man’s Dog] killed many animals on his solitary hunts and he left many of them outside the lodge of Heavy Shield Woman. Sometimes he left a whole blackhorn there, for only the blackhorn could provide for all the needs of a family. Although the women possessed kettles and steel knives, they still preferred to make spoons and dippers out of the horns of the blackhorn. They used the hair of the head and heard to make braided halters and bridles and soft-padded saddles. They used the hooves to make rattles or glue, and the tails to swat flies. And they dressed the dehaired skins to make lodge covers and linings and clothes and winding cloths. Without the blackhorn, the Piknuis would be as sad as the little bigmouths who howled all night.

Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:
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Heavy Shield Woman Character Timeline in Fools Crow

The timeline below shows where the character Heavy Shield Woman appears in Fools Crow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Three days later, Heavy Shield Woman , Yellow Kidney’s wife, emerges from her lodge having cut her hair, slashed her arms... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Later, Heavy Shield Woman goes to visit Three Bears, the chief of the Lone Eaters, and requests that, should... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...White Man’s Dog hunts alone, and he kills many animals. He has begun to bring Heavy Shield Woman and her family blackhorns, and one day, Red Paint catches him dropping off a fresh... (full context)
War Theme Icon
In the meantime, Red Paint sits outside her mother’s lodge sewing beads onto the moccasins Heavy Shield Woman will wear at the Sun Dance ceremony. Since her request to be Medicine Woman, her... (full context)
Chapter 10
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
White Man’s Dog sees Heavy Shield Woman and Red Paint in the crowd, and he notices Red Paint watching him. White Man’s... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
On the first day, after Heavy Shield Woman purchases the sacred medicine bundle from the previous Sacred Vow Woman, the bull blackhorn tongues... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
In her lodge, Heavy Shield Woman prays to the Above Ones, the Below Ones, and to the four directions. As she... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...up an elkskin dress, followed by an elkskin robe, both of which are placed on Heavy Shield Woman . He then removes the remaining objects: a medicine bonnet made of weasel skins, feather... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...stand the center pole of the Medicine Lodge; if the pole does not stand straight, Heavy Shield Woman will be accused of not being virtuous. The pole stands straight, meaning Heavy Shield Woman... (full context)
Chapter 11
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Heavy Shield Woman approaches, and Red Paint says that her mother looks different since the Sacred Vow. “Someday... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Heavy Shield Woman says that Yellow Kidney has changed since he returned from the raid. He no longer... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Mik-api has told Heavy Shield Woman that he can drive the bad spirit from Yellow Kidney, but her husband must be... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...make sure that they grow into men, and he no longer feels any desire for Heavy Shield Woman . His wife is content in her role as the Sacred Vow Woman—she will not... (full context)
Chapter 21
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...though his relationship with his wife is strained, he still wants to grow old with Heavy Shield Woman . He thinks about meeting his grandson and name him during his naming ceremony. He... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
In the days following, as Heavy Shield Woman tends to One Spot’s wounds, she wonders about her role as the Sacred Vow Woman.... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...the hide. He purifies the air by burning a bundle of sage grass and instructs Heavy Shield Woman to bathe One Spot in warm water. (full context)
Chapter 35
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
At Heavy Shield Woman ’s lodge, Good Young Man quietly dies. Fools Crow had performed a healing ritual the... (full context)